You can begin avoiding the parking lot jam on the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park this Saturday by parking at Tusayan and riding the free shuttle bus to the South Rim.
The Tusayan Shuttle will be available from this Saturday through Friday, September 5. It will run at 20-minute intervals between 8 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. daily. Each day, the first bus will leave Tusayan at 8 a.m. from the IMAX, while the first bus will leave the Grand Canyon Visitor Center at 8:25 a.m. The last buses will leave IMAX at 9:45 p.m. and the Grand Canyon Visitor Center at 9:30 p.m. daily.
Shuttle buses will make the following four stops in Tusayan:
· IMAX Theater/R.P.'s Stage Stop,
· Best Western Grand Canyon Squire Inn,
· The Grand Hotel, and
· The Big E Steakhouse and Saloon.
Visitors entering the park from Tusayan must present a valid park entrance pass when boarding the bus. Entrance passes can be purchased at the Squire Inn, Grand Hotel, Grand Canyon Trading Post, the IMAX, R.P.’s Stage Stop, Red Feather Lodge, and Canyon Plaza Resort. Entrance passes purchased at these locations are valid for shuttle bus or private vehicle entry for seven days and are accepted at any of Grand Canyon National Park's entrance stations. Those holding a valid America the Beautiful National Park and Federal Recreational Lands Pass or other valid pass will not need to purchase an additional entrance pass.
Public parking for Tusayan Shuttle riders is available at the Squire Inn, Grand Hotel, Big E Steakhouse, IMAX/R.P.’s Stage Stop, and the Greenway Trailhead on the north end of Tusayan. Those taking advantage of the shuttle service will have a hassle-free entry into the park and will be able to connect with three additional in-park shuttle bus routes, which serve many South Rim attractions, viewpoints, and visitor services, at the Grand Canyon Visitor Center.
To increase ease of use, informational signs regarding the shuttle bus service are posted along Highway 64 south of Tusayan, as well as at various locations within Tusayan. Buses are easily identifiable and are fueled with clean-burning, compressed natural gas. All shuttle buses are wheelchair accessible and are equipped with a bike rack that can hold up to three bikes.
During late spring and early summer of 2014, permanent bus shelters will be constructed in Tusayan and temporary bus stops may need to be established. The NPS and the community of Tusayan will work to keep visitors utilizing the system informed of any changes and make this process as smooth as possible.
In 2013, there were more than 89,000 boardings on the Tusayan Shuttle between May 11 and September 6, representing a reduction of approximately 15,000 cars entering the park. Last year, there were more than 6.1 million boardings on the park's shuttle system overall. If the Tusayan Route continues to prove successful, the Park Service will continue to operate this service as funding allows.
Information regarding the Tusayan Shuttle and the park's other shuttle bus routes is available in The Guide, the park's free newspaper, available at park entrance stations, visitor centers and entrance pass purchase locations. The Guide is also available online.