In case you missed it: the National Park Service celebrated its 100th year in August this year, and they’ve been celebrating in a big way all year long. One of their most popular centennial promotions has been offering free admission to their parks—including the ever popular Grand Canyon—on sixteen days throughout the year. That’s the good news. The bad news? Fifteen of those days have come and gone, meaning you’ve got one more chance to visit the Grand Canyon for free this year.
Of course you want to make the most of this offer, but you might not be sure how to do it. Lucky for you, we happen to know a thing or two about unforgettable trips to the Grand Canyon! Here are some tips as you plan your trip to join in on the NPS Centennial celebration with free admission to the Grand Canyon.
Plan now. (Actually, plan yesterday, but now will do just fine.) The last free admission day of the year is on Veterans Day—Friday, November 11. You probably already have that day off work, but if you don’t, now is the time to put in that request! You might want to consider taking surrounding days off, too, since Veteran’s Day itself might be a little busier than normal. You’ll also want to book any tours ahead of time, so get planning!
Take a tour. Take advantage of the free admission to do something a little extra special before or after entering the park on your own. A jeep tour of the Grand Canyon will take you to all the best photo spots, landmarks, and lookouts, all with the added benefit of a guide to give you the history and folklore of the canyon as you go. There are also amazing sunset tours as well. Take one of these incredible tours, learn about the park from an expert guide, and then use the free admission offer to go back into the park and do some exploring on your own.
Seek out adventure. We believe that the best travel comes with a little adventure. There are plenty of things to do at the Grand Canyon that go beyond taking in the scenery (although that’s pretty important, too). Take a hike along one of the canyon’s many famous trails. Visit the Grand Canyon Village, where you can visit some of the parks original buildings, including the stately El Tovar Hotel. Go beyond the typical tourist stops and rumble along the rim in an open air jeep! Whatever you do, do it with the spirit of adventure—the very thing that inspired the creation of national parks in the first place.
While the free admission day is the perfect excuse to visit the Grand Canyon, let’s face it—it’s worth the trip any time. Even if you can’t make it for this special celebration, stop making excuses, and visit this awe-inspiring destination. With tours conveniently departing from Las Vegas and Sedona, the Grand Canyon is never too far away. And since these tours include admission to the park (for as long as you’re on the tour), it’s like taking advantage of the centennial offer anyway—just according to your own schedule.
The adventure is waiting for you. Don’t pass it up!