Grand Canyon Designated a Dark Sky Park

Milky Way over Grand Canyon

The International Dark Sky Association has designated Grand Canyon National Park as a Provisional Dark Sky Park. The Park joins Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument, which was designated a Dark Sky Park in 2014. For more information, see http://darksky.org/grand-canyon-designated-a-provisional-dark-sky-park/.

Grand Canyon Forever Stamp

"The Grand Canyon of Arizona, from Hermit Rim Road", by Thomas Moran

WASHINGTON — An iconic painting of one of the seven natural wonders of the world — the Grand Canyon — was previewed today as the eighth of 16 Forever Stamp images to be revealed over a three-week period to celebrate the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary.

Long Lines and Limited Parking

Visitors to Grand Canyon National Park over Memorial Day weekend can expect long lines, crowds, and full parking lots. Last year, Grand Canyon's visitation hit an all-time high and the park is already seeing an increase over last year's numbers. The park anticipates a busier-than-normal holiday weekend.

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Star Party at Grand Canyon, June 4-11, 2016

The twenty-sixth annual Grand Canyon Star Party will be held from Saturday, June 4 through Saturday, June 11, 2016 on the South and North rims of Grand Canyon National Park. National parks such as Grand Canyon are protective harbors for some of the last remaining dark skies in this country. This year's Grand Canyon Star Party honors Joe Orr, a Star Party enthusiast and protector of Grand Canyon's skies, who died in 2013. This is one of many special events going on in national parks across the country in this centennial year of the National Park Service.

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Free Tusayan Shuttle Service Resumes May 7

Free Grand Canyon Shuttle

The National Park Service (NPS) will again offer shuttle bus service between Grand Canyon National Park and the neighboring town of Tusayan, Arizona in 2016. The shuttle bus service will run an additional five weeks this year. The Tusayan Route will be available from Saturday, May 7, 2016 through Sunday, October 9, 2016 and will run at 20-minute intervals between 8 am and 9:30 pm daily.

Earth Day at Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon National Park invites the public to celebrate the 46th anniversary of Earth Day during National Park Week on Friday, April 22, 2016.

Grand Canyon's Earth Day celebration will feature games, information about local and national environmental initiatives, a recycled art sculpture, and exotic plant removal. All Earth Day activities are open and free of charge to the public and will take place at Grand Canyon Visitor Center plaza near Mather Point between 10 am and 2 pm.

North Rim Opens May 15

North Rim

The gate at the entrance to North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park will open on Sunday, May 15 at 7:30 am;and Grand Canyon Lodge North Rim, a Forever Resorts property, and Grand Canyon Trail Rides will commence their 2016 seasonal operations. Although the gate to the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park will not open until May 15, Arizona Department of Transportation will open Highway 67 at Jacob Lake at 1 pm on Friday, May 13.

Three Films Celebrating Grand Canyon

Three original films that capture the diverse personal, cultural, recreational and biological values of the greater Grand Canyon region will be shown at FilmBar in Phoenix on Thursday. Carletta Tilousi, councilwoman with the Havasupai Tribe, will discuss the long-term efforts to protect the region from uranium mining and her support of the proposal.

Grand Canyon to Waive Entrance Fees during National Park Week April 16-24

Grand Canyon National Park will waive entrance fees April 16-24, 2016 to celebrate National Park Week and the National Park Service Centennial.

Park ranger programs will be available all week long including history and geology programs, fossil walks, and condor talks. For more information about ranger-led walks and talks visit https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/ranger-program.htm.

Park Infrastructure Being Strained by Record Visitation

Like nearly all American national parks, Grand Canyon National Park has a huge maintenance backlog due to years of underfunding by Congress. Yet the park smashed it's visitation record in 2015 with 5.5 million visitors, and is expected to break that record again this year. Between lower gas prices and celebrations around the National Park Service's 100th birthday this year, the number of visits continues on the upward trend:

https://cronkitenews.azpbs.org/2016/04/04/20323/

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