As I mentioned earlier, the Grand Canyon Village area can be extremely congested, especially in summer. If possible, you may want to use one of the transportation options below to avoid the park's traffic jams and parking problems. To give you an idea, in summer you can expect at least a 20- to 30-minute wait at the South Rim entrance gate just to get into the park. You can cut the waiting time here by acquiring an America the Beautiful-National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass before arriving. The standard pass costs $80 and is good for 1 year. This pass is not an especially good value unless you plan to visit several other major national parks or lots of smaller parks and monuments. The senior pass and access pass are, on the other hand, exceptional bargains. With any of the three America the Beautiful passes in hand, you can use the express lane.
Free shuttle buses operate on three routes within the park. The Village Route bus circles through Grand Canyon Village throughout the day with frequent stops at the Grand Canyon Visitor Center, hotels, campgrounds, restaurants, Market Plaza (site of a general store, bank, laundry, and showers), and other facilities. The Hermit's Rest Route bus takes visitors to eight canyon overlooks west of Bright Angel Lodge (this bus does not operate Dec-Feb). The Kaibab Trail Route bus stops at the Grand Canyon Visitor Center, Mather Point, Yavapai Geology Museum, Pipe Creek Vista, the South Kaibab Trailhead, and Yaki Point. There's also a morning Hikers' Express bus to the South Kaibab Trailhead. This bus stops at Bright Angel Lodge, the Back Country Information Office, and the Grand Canyon Visitor Center. Hikers needing transportation to or from Yaki Point when the bus is not running can use a taxi (tel. 928/638-2631, ext. 6563). Between mid-May and mid-September, the Tusayan Route operates between the town of Tusayan, outside the park, and Grand Canyon Village, inside the park. To use this shuttle, you must have a valid park entrance pass.
Between mid-May and mid-October, Trans Canyon (tel. 928/638-2820; www.trans-canyonshuttle.com) offers shuttle-bus service between the South Rim and the North Rim. The vans leave the South Rim at 1:30pm and arrive at the North Rim at 6pm. The return trip leaves the North Rim at 7am, arriving at the South Rim at 11:30am. The fare is $80 one-way and $150 round-trip; reservations are required.
Service stations are outside the south entrance to the park in Tusayan, at Desert View near the east entrance (no cash sales in winter), and east of the park at Cameron. Because of the long distances within the park and to towns outside the park, fill up before setting out on a drive. Gas at the canyon is very expensive.
Taxi service is available to and from the airport, trail heads, and other destinations (tel. 928/638-2631, ext. 6563). The fare from the airport to Grand Canyon Village is $10 for up to two adults ($5 for each additional person).
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.