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Third Pipeline Break in Grand Canyon Closes Section of North Kaibab Trail

Aerial view of pipeline break on North Kaibab Trail

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News Release Date: May 31, 2012
Contact: Maureen Oltrogge, 928-638-7779

Grand Canyon, Ariz. - A third pipeline break in Grand Canyon National Park has closed a one-mile section of the North Kaibab Trail between Roaring Springs and Cottonwood Campground. The break occurred this morning approximately ½ mile above the campground and caused a forty-five foot section of the trail to fail prompting the closure.

Last Friday, the National Park Service reported a pipeline break near Phantom Ranch. The pipeline, known as the trans-canyon pipeline, broke in two separate places. One break occurred near the South Kaibab Trail south of Phantom Ranch and one south of the Colorado River on the Bright Angel Trail near the Pipe Creek Resthouse.

With the latest break and trail closure, cross-canyon travel will not be possible. Those with reservations at Cottonwood Campground and Phantom Ranch will need to use the South Kaibab or Bright Angel Trail to access those areas.

As soon as trail crews can rebuild a stable base, the North Kaibab Trail between Roaring Springs and Cottonwood Campground will reopen to public use. Trail crew supervisors expect to have the trail reopened by next Friday, June 8, pending any unforeseen circumstances.

Potable water will not be available at Roaring Springs or Cottonwood Campground located on the North Kaibab Trail until the pipeline is repaired, which is anticipated to be by this Sunday. Hikers using those areas should be prepared to access and treat or filter creek water.

Because of large storage tanks on the North and South Rims of Grand Canyon, potable water is still available at those locations. Potable water is also available at Phantom Ranch as maintenance crews have been able to refill the storage tank between repairs.

Repairs have been completed on the break south of Phantom Ranch and maintenance crews expect to have repairs completed on the break south of the river within the next 24 hours. Repairs on the third break will commence with completion of the section of pipeline south of the river.

The pipeline, installed in the mid-1960's, feeds water from Roaring Springs, located approximately 3,500 feet below the North Rim. Water is piped from the springs to the South Rim via a 16 mile-long pipeline. Water is then gravity-fed to the Indian Gardens pumping station, located 3,000 feet below the South Rim, then pumped from Indian Gardens to South Rim water tanks. Water is also pumped from Roaring Springs to North Rim water tanks by a seven mile-long pipeline. Portions of the pipeline are exposed and therefore can be susceptible to breaks.

For additional information about trail access, permit changes and water availability in the inner canyon, please contact one of the Backcountry Information Centers within Grand Canyon National Park at 928-638-7875 (South Rim) or 928-638-7868 (North Rim), or visit us on-line at go.nps.gov/grcabackcountry.

Did You Know?

Grand Canyon Shuttle Buses

For more than 30 years Grand Canyon National Park has provided a free shuttle bus system on the South Rim. Visitors and residents have made 75,000,000 boardings. Riding the shuttles makes your stay more enjoyable, while reducing pollution and decreasing traffic congestion. More...