The Grand Canyon is and always has been an attraction in the most literal sense of the word. Since the canyon’s original discovery, it’s mystified and inspired all who have gazed upon it, and that inspiration is the reason why the canyon is still open to visitors today.
The Grand Canyon has been a very busy place this Summer, with officials warning visitors to expect delays and, sure enough, those delays are beginning to effect summer visitors. This is the canyon’s busiest time of year, with the 4th of July a particularly popular day, but why has overall tourism been on the rise in past years? Emily Davis, a spokesperson for the Grand Canyon National Park, has the answers.
“Gas prices might be a little bit cheaper this year than they were. October 2013 was the government shutdown, so we had an obvious decrease in visitation then,” Davis said.
When you visit the Grand Canyon National Park, always bring sunscreen and plenty of water, but this Summer, make sure you pack a little extra patience – or maybe even a good book to keep you busy – because wait times are expected to soar, possibly keeping you waiting for an hour or more for a ride on the shuttle bus. Lines are even worse at the park’s main entrance.
Don’t want to put up with the wait times when you come to the canyon? Planning far in advance is extremely beneficial, and so is visiting the park at non-peak times of the year – particularly winter and fall – to avoid massive crowds as well as dangerous temperatures and bothersome insects. If you visit during the colder months, be sure to pack some reliable hiking boots that can stand up to slick icy surfaces, and don’t underestimate the usefulness of sunscreen, even when it’s freezing.
Even with traffic at its highest in history, there are still more than enough reasons to visit the park – even during peak times. During the Summer, all facilities are open, while winter months leave some facilities and areas inaccessible. What is your ideal Grand Canyon climate? Let us know in the comments below, and call or click for more information on planning a flawless vacation.