GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK - The second of three "fee-free" weekends, announced by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar as a way of encouraging Americans seeking affordable vacations to visit their national parks, will be held this weekend. On Saturday and Sunday, Grand Canyon National Park will join national park units across the country in waiving entrance fees for all park visitors. Visitors who arrive on either of these days will be allowed to enter and visit the park free of charge.
Those whose plans include additional days in the park will need to pay the regular entrance fee for the remainder of their stay, according to park officials. Grand Canyon visitors are reminded that the fee-free designation applies to entrance fees only and does not affect fees for camping, reservations, tours or use of concessions. Park entrance stations will have Senior and Annual passes available for those who wish to purchase them.
In addition to free admission to the park, Grand Canyon visitors who come during the fee-free weekend will once again have the opportunity to take advantage of specials being offered by park concessionaires. Xanterra South Rim, LLC, will repeat their All American Dessert special in their three rim-side restaurants - the El Tovar, the Arizona Room and the Bright Angel Lodge Dining Room - and their retail outlets will offer a special price on custom-designed fleece blankets with a purchase of $50 or more. At the Grand Canyon Market Place (also on the South Rim), fee-free weekend will be celebrated with ice cream specials; and a voucher for $5 off any purchase is also available on-line at www.parkspecialoffers.com from the Market Place's parent company, Delaware North. On the North Rim, Forever Resorts will be handing out free reusable eco-friendly shopping bags all weekend; and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., they will once again be helping visitors commemorate their visits with free digital photos.
This is the second of three fee-free weekends to be held this summer. The final fee-free weekend will be held Aug. 15-16.
To learn more about visiting Grand Canyon National Park, visit the park's Web site at www.nps.gov/grca; or to have a free trip planner mailed to you, call (928) 638-7888. To learn more about fee-free weekends in national parks around the country, go to http://www.nps.gov/findapark/feefreeparks.htm.