Getting to Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon National Park Entrance Fees
The entrance fee for Grand Canyon National Park is $25 per vehicle, which includes all passengers in the vehicle. If you are entering on foot, bicycle, or motorcycle, the fee is $12 per person. (There’s no charge for kids 15 and younger.) A $12-pp fee also applies to those entering as part of an organized noncommercial group, such as church groups, scouting troops, and so on. Admission fees are good for seven days and include all areas of the national park, even if you exit to go from one rim to the other.
If you’re planning more than a couple of visits to the canyon in a single year, you can purchase an annual Grand Canyon pass for $50. An annual interagency pass (good for all national parks, monuments, and recreation areas) is $80 annually. Discounted or free passes are available for seniors, people with disabilities, and federal lands volunteers with more than 500 hours of service.
There are no entry fees for the areas bordering the park that are managed by the U.S. Forest Service or the Bureau of Land Management. Fees for hiking, camping, or photographing on neighboring Indian reservation lands vary; contact tribal governments for information.
If you plan on backpacking or camping during your visit to the canyon, be sure to get a backcountry permit and make campground reservations well in advance. Additional fees apply for these and other special uses.
Grand Canyon National Park is in Arizona’s northwest corner, close to the Utah and Nevada borders. The nearest major cities are Las Vegas, 278 miles west, and Phoenix, about 230 miles south.
Geography divides Grand Canyon National Park into three areas: the South Rim, the North Rim, and the river corridor that bisects the park east to west. The North Rim is accessible only by Highway 67, and heavy snows usually close the road mid-November–mid-May. The inner canyon is accessible on foot from either rim, but the most feasible way to travel its length is by boat. River trips put in at Lees Ferry, east of the park’s boundaries.
Most visitors head for the canyon’s South Rim, further delineated as the East and West Rims. The South Rim is accessible via two entrance stations. The South Entrance Station is close to Grand Canyon Village and the West Rim. The East Entrance Station is at Desert View, about 25 miles east of the village.
If you’re traveling to Grand Canyon from another state, be aware that Arizona does not observe daylight saving time. Arizona stays on mountain standard time year-round, except for the Navajo Reservation. That means if you’re arriving from New Mexico for a summer vacation at Grand Canyon and stopping to visit the Hopi and Navajo Reservations en route, you’ll be changing your watch four times.
Newer residents consider it confusing, but after an appropriate period of adjustment, most Arizonans are grateful to have the sun set an hour earlier on summer days.
© Kathleen Bryant from Moon Grand Canyon, 5th Edition