Spring Break: Grand Canyon offers tips on avoiding congestion

Overlooks, roads and parking lots are often congested during peak visitation times like Spring Break. Park officials recommend arriving at the park before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m. to avoid crowds. (Photo/NPS)

Overlooks, roads and parking lots are often congested during peak visitation times like Spring Break. Park officials recommend arriving at the park before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m. to avoid crowds. (Photo/NPS)

GRAND CANYON, Ariz. — Spring Break is one of the most popular times to visit Grand Canyon National Park as guests from around the world take advantage of warming temperatures and sunny skies.

Because roads, overlooks and accommodations can be crowded, planning in advance can help travels go more smoothly as the busy peak season is right around the corner.

To make the most of a visit to the park during this Spring Break and into the peak summer season, park rangers recommend the following tips:

  • South Rim entrance stations experience long lines and wait times between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Visitors coming from the east on Interstate 40 or from Phoenix on Interstate 17 can enter the park through the eastern entrance at Desert View for shorter wait times at the entrance station.  
  • Arrive early and pack your patience. Parking lots in Grand Canyon Village can fill as early as 10 a.m. If you arrive after 10 a.m., the park and ride Tusayan (Purple) route shuttle bus. A valid park pass is required to ride the Tusayan route shuttle bus, purchase your 7-day pass on your mobile device by visiting, www.yourpassnow.com/parkpass/park/grca.
  • Visitors can enjoy the scenic viewpoints of Hermit Road by connecting from the Village (Blue) Route shuttle bus to the Hermits Rest (Red) Route shuttle bus. Instead of waiting in line at the Hermits Rest Transfer Station, enjoy the scenery and walk to the next closest overlook and pick up a shuttle there.
  • Take advantage of ranger and special programs, including Native American cultural demonstrations at Desert View Watchtower and ranger-led hikes to the Tusayan Pueblo ruins or along Cedar Ridge below the Rim.

No matter what time of year you visit the park, officials recommend the following tips to keep you, your family and furry friends safe:

  • Stay on designated trails and walkways and always keep a safe distance from the edge of the rim.
  • Do not climb over railings or barriers.
  • Check the weather, check yourself! The South Rim sits at 7,000 feet above sea level and frequently experiences spring snowstorms. Visitors are encouraged to bring layers of clothing to adjust to changing weather conditions and take time to get used to the elevation by resting often and drinking plenty of fluids.
  • Stay a safe distance away from and never feed or water any wildlife.
  • Prepare for an inner canyon hike ahead of time by visiting the Backcountry Office.
  • Know where you can go with your pet, and use the South Rim Kennels instead of leaving your furry friend in a car.

Information provided by NPS

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