The Grand Canyon bus system is great way to get to the various vistas, and it’s a service that’s provided by the National Park Service for FREE! There are three bus lines that service the south rim: Blue-Village Route; Orange-Kaibab Route; and Red-Hermit’s Road.
Most of the Grand Canyon’s visitors are in the “Village area”, and for good reason it’s where all the lodging, concessions, and majority of the organized activities take place.
The BLUE Grand Canyon bus route is a loop that takes you through the following stops on its loop:
The BLUE loop is the bus that you’ll want to take to Grand Canyon Visitor Center for ranger-led talks, their phenomenal displays, or a transfer to the ORANGE bus line. The BLUE line also has all of the lodging and restaurants on its path to include: Bright Angel Lodge, El Tovar, and Maswik. Not to mention the Hopi House and the Market Plaza. The Market Plaza has a bank, post office, and a large store with lots of souvenir choices, sundries, groceries, and miscellaneous necessities.
You’ll want to take the ORANGE Grand Canyon Bus to get to Yavapai Point and Geology Museum, and Mather Point (both of these stops are to the Northwest of Grand Canyon Visitor Center). Going east from the Visitor Center, the ORANGE line takes you Pike Creek Vista, South Kaibab Trailhead and Yaki Point.
The RED bus line takes you to points west of Grand Canyon Village out to Hermit’s Rest. The route, Hermit’s Road, is closed to private vehicle traffic from March through September, so if you want to see this part of the Canyon without hiking or biking…the RED line is your only bet.
And while the Grand Canyon bus system is a tremendous and efficient people-mover, it’s not a scenic bus tour. If you’re physically able, I’d highly recommend walking along the paved rim trail for portions of your transit and using the bus system for the longer segments. For example, if you get off of ORANGE bus line at Yavapai Point / Geology Museum, you can walk 0.7 miles east to Mather Point or just over 1 mile east to the Hopi House. Again, the Rim Trail is a flat, safe, and mostly paved path that’s worth strolling along between points, if you have the time.