blue marble adventure

How Much Does it Cost to get into Grand Canyon?

What would you pay for a million dollar view into 2 billion years of Earth’s history?  While we say this is priceless, there is a price when entering Grand Canyon, and all National Parks here in the USA and around the world.  In fact, depending on what you want to do, there may be other fees to explore the park in addition entry fee itself.  There are permit fees for overnight hiking, camping and designated use area fees, lodging, and if you’re the gift shop type (who among us can resist?), there can be almost limitless optional fees.  Never fear, The Goat is here to break it down for you, whatever adventure you may crave in Grand Canyon National Park.

Grand Canyon Colorado River

Looking out across the Tanner Trail in Grand Canyon

Simple Entry:

This is the most straightforward, and it is paid upon entry to Grand Canyon.  Instead of individual fees, the fee is per vehicle for passenger cars.  Fees vary depending upon the type of vehicle you drive, and your vehicle can include up to the legal number of people that can fit in your vehicle.

Grand Canyon National Park Vehicle Permit- $35.00 (U.S. Dollars)
Admits one single, private, non-commercial vehicle and all its passengers. Organized groups are not eligible for the vehicle permit.

Grand Canyon National Park Motorcycle Permit- $25.00 (U.S. Dollars)
Admits one single, private, non-commercial motorcycle and its passenger(s).

Grand Canyon National Park Individual Permit – $15.00/person (U.S. Dollars)
Admits one individual when entering by foot, bicycle, park shuttle bus, Grand Canyon Railway and private rafting trip. Individuals 15 years old and younger are admitted free of charge.

Backcountry Permits:

These fees are charged for any kind of overnight expedition below the rim.  This includes backpacking, rafting, or any kind of activity that requires an overnight stay below either North or South Rim in Grand Canyon National Park.

Backcountry overnight permits are $10 per permit plus $8 per person or stock animal per night camped below the rim and $8 per group per night camped above the rim.

*Be advised that backcountry permits can be hard to come by in busy season, and really all times of year, especially for corridor trails such as Bright Angel and South Kaibab into Phantom Ranch.  Make your reservations as early as possible, or call us for more information on a guided tour

Camping:

Camping in the developed campgrounds of Grand Canyon National Park provides easy access to the canyon during sunrise and sunset, two times that any photo enthusiast will want to observe.  Be sure to make reservations well (months) in advance, as spots book very quickly.  Do not expect to roll into the park, regardless of the time of year, and get a campsite without a reservation.  The North Rim Campground is open from May 15 to October 31, and camping can be had at-large and for free in the Coconino National Forest (South Rim) and Kaibab National Forest (North Rim) if you get shut out of the park.

South Rim Campgrounds:

Mather Campground: $22/night, reservations required

Desert View Campground: $22/night, first come-first served

North Rim Campgrounds:

North Rim Campground:  $22/night, reservations required

Contact Grand Canyon National Park

Bottom of Grand Canyon

Sunrise on the Colorado River, Grand Canyon National Park

Annual Passes

Annual passes to Grand Canyon are the way to go if you plan to be here more than a couple of times in a year.  There are several passes to choose from, and some are awarded free to those who qualify such as military and senior citizens.

National Parks Annual Pass

This pass allows for unlimited access to every National Park and National Monument in the National Park system.  It does not cover other fees such as camping, nor does it grant access to State Parks.  This is easily the best value for people that want to explore several (more than 3) National Parks within the year.  The pass grants one year of access from the date it was purchased, and costs $80.

Military Pass

This pass is available to currently-serving members of any military branch.  Simply present your military ID at any federal recreation site, and you will be granted free entrance.  You may also get a hard copy of the pass itself.  Thank you for your service!

Senior Pass

The Senior Pass is available to any US citizen over the age of 62.  You must present proof of age and residency.  This is typically as simple as showing a current drivers license.  If you do not have a driver’s license, here is a list of acceptable documentation.  The cost for this pass is $80 lifetime, or $20 annually.

4th-Grade Pass

This program began just a few years ago, and is a really great initiative by the NPS.  Any child in 4th grade may be granted a free pass during their entire 4th-grade school year (September-August).  This is a great way to get kids excited about America’s Best Idea, the National Parks!  Visit the Every Kid Outdoors website for more information about this pass.

Access Pass

The Access Pass is available FREE to any US citizen or permanent resident with permanent disabilities.  Applicants must provide documentation on their residency and medical conditions to qualify.  Read this article for more information about the Access Pass.

Volunteer Pass

250 hours of volunteer service will earn you a free lifetime pass to the National Parks.  Find out more about how to volunteer here.

Going Guided

Exploring and hiking in Grand Canyon is more than worth the cost of admission.  Simply seeing the canyon up close is an experience that most cherish for their entire lives.  Hiring a guide outfitter service dramatically enhances your experience in these glorious wild lands.  Outfitters handle logistics that could otherwise bog down a trip, provide safety and security in the wild, and have a depth of knowledge about the region that truly brings it to life.

Blue Marble Adventure GeoTourism takes it to the next level, offering a glimpse into deep time with our geologist/guides.  Tours function as time machines, whisking guests back in time through the lens of the dramatic rocks.

Blue Marble Adventure Guides Hiking

Happy guests on a Blue Marble Grand Canyon backpacking tour

The Goat’s Final Word

Grand Canyon is a stupendous hole in the ground.  In this hole you can find wonder, awe, spirit, and soul.  Come here; the cost matters not.  However, if general information is required that is certainly sensible.  The cost of entry to Grand Canyon is $35/week for passenger vehicles, which is how most enter the park.

There are different fees for different activities within Grand Canyon, such as overnight use and camping.  There is a myriad of annual passes available as well that can provide tremendous value for those that wish to visit multiple times a year, or to visit different parks besides Grand Canyon.  See you on the trail!

Read our blog, The Call of the Goat.

To experience the southwest in a geologic time machine check out our tours in Grand Canyon, Utah, and Arizona.

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Explore Further, Be Wild, See Through Time — Blue Marble Adventure GeoTourism