$25 per car (not per person). good for one week. See if you can find accommodation in the park. Its not that much more expensive than Tusayan and it will save you time and energy diving around in the dark before dawn.
Entrance fee is $25 per car, including all of its passengers. This is good for a week. A week is the smallest increment; there are no daily admission options. If you're visiting other US federal parks (national parks, national monuments, etc), there is an annual pass option for $80. The $25 admission is for the Grand Canyon only.
Is there a particular reason why you've chosen to stay in Tusayan? If you're only going to be there for one night, you might consider changing your accommodations to one of the in-park lodges. It will be a lot more convenient, especially for sunrise (I always joke about throwing a jacket over my PJ's and wandering out with my coffee for sunrise but it's really one of my favorite parts of being at the Canyon!)
Definitely agree to stay right inside the park if you can provided you have a "no-fee" cancellation policy with the hotel you are currently booked with in Tusayan!
Call them direct to see about lodging availability....888-297-2757 inside the USA....303-297-2757 outside the USA!! Keep calling if you have to...something will open up!
Is Tusayan a difficult drive to the park? I thought it was really close to the park. We decided due to price. We are staying at the Holiday Inn Express.
Emmalake, I just checked at www.grandcanyonlodges.com and there are lots of rooms available inside the park on Jan. 9, including Maswik, kachina, el Tovar, and Bright Angel. The latter three are right on the rim---all you do is walk out your door and you're there. it doesn't get better than that! And there is a range of options there to fit any budget, from lowest (Bright Angel Lodge rooms) to highest (El Tovar).
You are more than 30 days out from this date so probably still within the cancellation time for your Tusayan lodging. If you cancel that and book something inside the park, you will be very glad you did.
Here are examples of prices for rooms inside the park that night:
Maswik South, $85
(I believe this is about what you will pay at HI Express).
Bright Angel Lodge room with ensuite bath, $94
Bright Angel cabin, $117
The rest are higher. But if price is a big consideration, the Maswik South room, although not right on the rim like Bright Angel, is a nice motel-stily room just 1/4 mile or less from the rim. This is "Winter Special" rate; the rooms normally are priced much higher than that.
Note that there is constructon around Bright Angel which is a consideratino for some people.
Thank you for all your help, will check into it tomorrow.
Your question about the drive from Tusayan into the park. It is not a difficult drive. That's not the point of staying in the park. It saves driving back and forth, particularly in the dark. Tusayan is next to the park boundary, but it's another 15 miles to GC Village. Staying in the park is a special experience. You can't know until you do it.Edited: 12:52 pm, December 04, 2012
I have stayed at Maswik 3 times and find it perfectly comfortable for a short stay. It is a short walk with some interesting scenery to the Rim and in the morning and evening you will see mule deer and sometimes elk right along the path. It is also convenient to have the Maswik cafeteria close by for food options. While not gourmet dining, it is good food and very accessible.
Wherever you stay, take a flashlight. There are many areas of the park, including the walk to Maswik, which are not well lit after dark. Enjoy your trip!
Do stay in the park. You only go round once! I don't know if you were, but if you were planning to do any gambling in Vegas, save the $$ and stay in the park at any cost. The memories will last much longer than any winnings you might realize in Vegas! ;-) There's nothing quite like hearing an elk bugle nearby as you saunter to the rim, coffee mug in hand, prior to sunrise. You'll never forget it, and you'll miss it if you stay in Tusayan.