Planning a trip to the Grand Canyon? There is nothing quite like looking out over the canyon! We wanted to share our best Grand Canyon National Park Travel Tips. These are things we have learned, experienced or found out the hard way. Hopefully, they will make your trip even more amazing!
Size – 1.2 million acres
Visitors – The Grand Canyon celebrated six million visitors on December 12, 2016! There has been more than 200 million visitors to the Grand Canyon since it’s establishment in 1919.
Grand Canyon National Park Travel Tips
-Many areas of the park are only accessible via tour buses. Make sure and plan in time to wait for the buses and if there is a line. Also bring water with you since it can get quite warm.
-Be prepared for bugs! Mosquito repellent is your friend. We have started using this spray that you can put on your clothes before your trip.
-Please be careful! Every time we are at the Grand Canyon we have a few gasping moments as people back up towards the edge for photos.
-Water, water, and more water! Make sure and bring a water bottle with you. The park no longer sells bottled water. You can buy a water bottle at the gift stores and fill them up in most of the buildings. We found this cool Grand Canyon Water Bottle on Amazon if you want to shop ahead of your trip or remember a great trip to the Grand Canyon.
-90% of park visitors visit the South Rim, be wild and take a trip to the North Rim for a different perspective of the park.
-Be aware of the elevation, bring sunscreen and a hat. I managed to get quite pink on our last trip because we forgot sunscreen.
-Wifi is available for purchase in the lodge areas if you are not staying on site. We did not have any cell or data service during our time in the park.
-Parking can get a bit crazy depending on where you are in the park. If you are staying at one of the lodges you may need to make a few loops to get a spot near the lodge.
-Be prepared for crowds! Have a family meeting spot that everyone knows to go to. It is very easy to get lost in a crowd at the popular overlooks and near the visitor center.
-After a few pull offs it honestly starts to look the same. Pick and choose which ones you want to visit.
-Keep an eye out for wildlife. We saw elk right next to the road as we were driving through the park.
-Get gas before you get into the park!
-The general store is great for souvenirs, snacks, and drinks. There is even a special Grand Canyon wine that benefits conservation.
-Each park store has its own national park stamp.
-Tour buses are the only way to access some sections of the park. Be prepared to wait at times for the buses.
-If you are driving into the park check out the East entrance. You can drive up to many overlooks on your own and check out the views
-Be prepared for bugs! Mosquito repellent is your friend! I know I said this twice but trust me it is a thing!
-The sunset tour is a great way to see the park at dusk and get to the best sunset spots.
What does it cost to get into the Grand Canyon?
Admission to Grand Canyon National Park is for seven days and includes both the North Rim and South Rim.
No refunds are given due to inclement weather.
Grand Canyon National Park Vehicle Permit: $30.00 (U.S. Dollars) Admits one single, private, non-commercial vehicle and all its passengers. Organized groups are not eligible for the vehicle permit.
Grand Canyon National Park Motorcycle Permit: $25.00 (U.S. Dollars) Admits one single, private, non-commercial motorcycle and its passenger(s).
Grand Canyon National Park Individual Permit: $15.00/person (U.S. Dollars) Admits one individual when entering by foot, bicycle, park shuttle bus, Grand Canyon Railway and private rafting trip. Individuals 15 years old and younger are admitted free of charge.
Other pass options:
- America the Beautiful—National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Annual Pass: $80
Annual pass covering entrance and standard amenity fees for national parks and other federal fee areas. This replaces the National Parks Pass and Golden Eagle Pass.
- Interagency 4th Grader Pass: Free – Available to U.S. 4th Graders (including home-schooled and free-choice learners 10 years of age). Valid for the duration of the 4th grade school year through the following summer (September to August).
- Annual Pass for US Military: Free
Annual pass covering entrance and standard amenity fees for all active military personnel and their dependents. (For active duty military personnel and dependents with proper identification (CAC Card or DD Form 1173).)
- Access Pass: Free
Lifetime admission and discount pass for US citizens or permanent residents with permanent disabilities.
- Interagency Senior Pass:
- $80 – Lifetime admission and discount pass for U.S. citizens or permanent residents who are age 62 and older.
- $20 – Annual admission and discount pass for U.S. citizens or permanent residents who are age 62 and older.
Lifetime admission and discount pass for US citizens or permanent residents who are age 62 or older.
Check out my post on all of the US National Park Passes that are available.
Free Entrance Days in 2019
The National Park Service offers the following Entrance Fee Free Days this year:
- January 21: Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.
- April 20: First day of National Park Week
- August 25: National Park Service Birthday
- September 28: National Public Lands Day
- November 11: Veterans Day
Other fees such as reservation, camping, lodging, tours, concession and fees collected by third parties are not included unless stated otherwise.
Check out other great parks while visiting the Grand Canyon!
Lake Mead National Recreation Area
Here are a few books on the Grand Canyon for more trip-planning information!
Grand Canyon National Park Travel Tips to help you plan your Arizona Vacation. Things to do, photography, hiking and more!
Check out this list of US National Parks to count how many you have visited!