South Kaibab Trail Shelter Now Available

8 workers wearing safety vests and helmets are standing in front of the framework of a partially assembled shade structure 12 x 24 feet.
Workers who completed the assembly of the Tipoff Shade Structure

Photo courtesy of Helen Ranney

Grand Canyon National Park backcountry users can seek out shade and an opportunity to rest from the elements at the new Tipoff Shelter along the South Kaibab Trail.

Over the past week, a shelter was partially assembled on the South Rim, flown in and completed installation at the Tipoff area, which is approximately four miles from the South Kaibab Trailhead on the South Rim and two miles from the Colorado River. This is the only shelter structure along the South Kaibab Trail.
"We receive a lot of calls from people on the lower half of the South Kaibab Trail who experience fatigue or are overheated," said Grand Canyon National Park Ranger Debbie Brenchley. "This shelter will benefit people who could use a rest house to recover during their hike, especially during the summer."
open-sided, trail-side shade structure measuring 12 x 24 feet with a corrugated metal roof and a wooden floor.
Structure nearing completion. The cisterns will be placed on the right side.

NPS/Craig Chenevert

The structure is 12 feet by 24 feet with 4-foot overhangs to provide shade around the exterior. It features shade screens to provide air flow, six benches inside and a lightning protection system to protect the structure and occupants from lightning strikes.

There are also two 125-gallon cisterns to provide non-potable water for visitors to use to potentially cool down.
two buildings, an open-sided shade structure, and a composting toilet in a desert environment, with colorful cliffs in the distance
New shade structure (left) in relation to existing restrooms (right)

NPS/Craig Chenevert

“The building site location was selected based off a shade study I conducted on a computer program based off the longitude and latitude of longest day of the year to optimize shade,” said Grand Canyon’s Historical Architect Craig Chenevert.

The Tipoff area previously had restrooms and an emergency phone box. The emergency phone is being relocated within the shelter.

Funding for the shelter was provided by the Grand Canyon Conservancy (GCC), which is the official nonprofit partner of Grand Canyon National Park. The National Park Service and the GCC jointly installed the shelter.

Additional Photos

the framework of a 12 x 24 foot shade structure being lowered from a cable by helicopter, with colorful cliffs and peaks in the background.
Tipoff Shade Structure framework being lowered into place by helicopter on October 30, 2019 .

NPS/Craig Chenevert

workers completing a 12 x 24 foot shade structure, in a desert, with a canyon wall rising in the distance
Workers completing Tipoff Shade Structure on South Kaibab Trail

NPS/Craig Chenevert

interior of open-air shade structure showing position of benches, and side-wall shade screens
Interior of shade structure showing placement of benches and shade screen walls.

NPS/Craig Chenevert

unpaved trails leading to two small buildings in a desert with colorful cliffs in the distance
View of the Tipoff area while descending South Kaibab and heading north. Shade structure on left, restrooms on right.

NPS/Craig Chenevert

standing on a backcountry trail with rock liner sides. a small building is on the left, at the top of a hill
View approaching Tipoff Shade Structure while ascending South Kaibab Trail from the river.

NPS/Craig Chenevert

view across a desert plain at a clearing with two small buildings. In the background canyon cliffs rise.
Overview facing southwest of the Tipoff area with restroom building on the left, and shade structure on the right.

NPS/Craig Chenevert

Last updated: November 5, 2019