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Grand Canyon National Park - South Rim - Arizona

| 3rd of 3 pages |

 Canyon View
Information Plaza

Canyon View Information Plaza is a state-of-the-art transportation and orientation hub. The Grand Canyon Association also opened a new bookstore on the Plaza.

The Plaza's opening was the first major step in implementing the park's 1995 General Management Plan, a plan that focused on public transportation and enhanced educational and recreational opportunities. The Plaza fulfills four functions:

bullletProvides visitors with their first glimpse of the canyon - away from noise and vehicle congestion;

bullletIntroduces visitors to the park's major interpretive themes - enriching the visitors experience;

bullletOffers visitors a menu of recreational options that include orientation to riding shuttle buses, biking, hiking, and ranger guided activities;

bullletConnects visitors to other points in the park, with the completion of a mass transit system in early 2004, that will include alternative fuel buses and light rail.

The park's shuttle system is a year round service. The Village Route, connecting Canyon View to the South Rim Village, now operates from an hour before sunrise to 9:00, 10:00 or 11:00 p.m., depending on the season. The Hermits Rest Route to overlooks on the west rim operates from an hour before sunrise to an hour after sunset from March through November. The Kaibab Trail Route now operates during the same hours throughout the year. Hermit Road (formally West Rim Drive) and the South Kaibab and Yaki Point Roads are now open from December through February.

The Grand Canyon Greenway, a multi-use trail system will eventually extends from Canyon View Information Plaza to the future Grand Canyon Transit Center north of Tusayan, and to Desert View and Hermits Rest. The recently developed 3-maile trail to Hermit's Rest isone of the best places for cycling along the South Rim.

The Information Plaza is designed to accommodate up to 4,200 people per hour at peak times. The facility will eventually serve as a hub for four modes of transportation; bus, train, biking and hiking. It was also the first major project completed at Grand Canyon with funds from the Recreational Fee Demonstration Program, a pilot program approved by Congress in 1996 that allows the national parks and other federal agencies to keep up to 80% of most user fees collected.

Visitors are asked to park their vehicle, board a shuttle bus, and visit Canyon View Information Plaza to begin their connection to the Grand Canyon. Once the light rail system is completed, day use visitors will park their cars outside of the park at the Grand Canyon Transit Center and board a light rail train for the short trip to Canyon View Information Plaza.

 

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