Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Using the Shuttles at the Grand Canyon, South Rim, Arizona

Grand Canyon (South Rim) Shuttle Information

There are three FREE shuttles in the Grand Canyon, so you can leave your car & enjoy the incredible views. The shuttles begin their routes ½ hour before sunrise, run every 15-minutes, and stop running ½ hour after sunrise. We were quite pleased with the cleanliness of the buses, the ease at which to find the bus stops, how quickly we got to our destination, and the information shared by the drivers as we rode. Each bus is handicapped accessible for wheelchairs, and has bike racks in case you bike part of the way. Each is described here:

Village Route ~ This is the route that takes you around Canyon Village. There are stops at: Mather Campground -> Trailer Village -> Market Plaza (food store, PO, bank – located here) -> Canyon View Information Plaza (also where you can transfer to the Kaibab Trail Route) -> Yavapai Observation Station -> Shrine of Ages (place where evening ranger programs occur in the cooler months -> Train Depot -> Bright Angel Lodge -> Hermits Rest Route transfer -> Maswik Lodge -> Backcountry Information Center -> Center Road -> Village East -> and back to Mather Campground.

Hermit’s Rest Route ~ The shuttle is the only transportation allowed on this route, so if you head in this direction (which you should – there are some great views), this is the route to take. (Tip – Sit on the right side of the bus when heading west, you’ll get all the views.) You pick-up the Hermit’s Rest Route at the west end of Canyon Village, and you can take a Village Route shuttle to get there. There are nine stops on the way west, but only three on the return, so you should get out when you want heading westbound. The stops are: Tailview Overlook -> Maricopa Point -> Powell Point -> Hopi Point (a great sunset place, get there ½ hour before sunset) ->Mohave Point -> The Abyss -> Monument Creek Vista -> Pima Point -> Hermit’s Rest (where there’s a small gift shop/bookstore). The return trip will take 30 minutes if you do not get out and sight-see on the way back.

Kaibab Trail Route ~ This is a short shuttle bus that is mainly used by people hiking the South Kaibab Trail, since there is no parking at the trailhead. The route begins at the Canyon View Information Station ->South Kaibab Trailhead (to read about our hike on the South Kaibab, click here) -> Yaki Point -> Pipe Creek Vista -> Canyon View Information Station.

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