News Release

Grand Canyon National Park Transitions to Winter Operations

A snowy landscape in the South Rim Historic District. El Tovar and Kolb Studio can be seen in the background.
A snowy landscape in the South Rim Historic District

NPS Photo/M. Quinn

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News Release Date: November 25, 2020

Contact: Joelle Baird, 928-638-7609

Grand Canyon, AZ – Beginning December 1, 2020, visitors traveling to Grand Canyon National Park this winter season should be prepared for modified changes in operations. Visitors should also plan ahead and anticipate temporary road closures and poor driving conditions whenever winter storms pass through the area.

The following operational changes will be in effect beginning on December 1, 2020:

Shuttle Bus Operations 
  • The Hermit Road will open to private vehicles; the Hermit Road Shuttle (Red) Route will be suspended for the season.
  • The Village (Blue) Route and the entire Kaibab (Orange) Route will resume shuttle bus service. These routes will both begin service at 6 a.m. each day and stop every 15-30 minutes at designated shuttle bus stops. The Kaibab (Orange) Route will run until one hour after sunset each day and the Village (Blue) Route will run until 9 p.m. each day.
  • The Hikers' Express Buses will operate at 8 and 9 a.m., which are normal times during the winter months. The express buses will run their normal route, stopping at the Bright Angel Lodge, Backcountry Office, and the Grand Canyon Visitor Center on their way to the South Kaibab Trailhead.
  • All shuttle bus services are subject to change and may be suspended on short notice due to public health concerns or inclement weather. Visitors should anticipate alternative means of transportation if traveling to the South Rim during the winter months.
  • More information on shuttle bus operations can be found by visiting: https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/shuttle-buses.htm
Mather Campground
  • Beginning on December 1, 2020, online reservations will no longer be available for the months of December, January, and February. Registration will be on a first-come, first-served basis using the automated fee machine located at the Mather Campground Kiosk at the entrance to the campground.
  • The Mather Campground will be available for small groups only and will remain at 50% capacity.
  • Campers should expect restroom locations and availability to change daily due to COVID-19 cleaning protocols. 
  • Showers and laundry services remain suspended at Camper Services until further notice.
  • More information on winter operations at Mather Campground can be found by visiting: https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/cg-sr.htm
North Rim
  • The North Rim will be closed to all vehicle traffic for the winter. State Route 67 and all services on the North Rim are expected to re-open for the 2021 season on May 15, 2021 (subject to change).
  • The North Rim campground will be available for winter camping and is accessible via hiking inner canyon trails from the South Rim or by hiking, cross-country skiing, or snowshoeing 45 miles from Jacob Lake. To camp at the North Rim during the winter months, visitors need a backcountry permit, which can be obtained in advance through fax, mail request, or in person by following procedures posted outside of the South Rim Backcountry Information Center.
  • More information on obtaining a backcountry permit can be found by visiting: https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/backcountry-permit.htm
Winter Travel

If traveling to Grand Canyon National Park during the winter months, visitors should always be prepared for winter driving conditions. The National Park Service, Arizona Department of Public Safety, and Coconino County Sheriff’s Office recommend the following winter driving tips:
  • Take your time and be patient. Allow extra time to get to your destination.
  • For best traction, always slowly accelerate, decelerate, and turn.
  • Increase the distance between you and the traffic ahead of you, allowing plenty of time to brake and steer around hazards.
  • Slow down. Posted speed limits are set for normal road and driving conditions. Snow and ice are not normal.
  • Keep emergency supplies such as blankets, flashlights, and snacks in your vehicle
For current road and weather information in Grand Canyon National Park, please call 928-638-7496. For road conditions across Arizona, visit http://www.az511.gov or dial 511.

Visitors and residents are encouraged to visit the National Weather Service Flagstaff website http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/fgz/ for up-to-date weather forecasts and snow fall predictions. For information about Grand Canyon National Park road closures and conditions call 928-638-7496 or visit https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/weather-condition.htm.  

For additional information on visiting Grand Canyon National Park during the winter season visit: https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/winter-visits.htm



Last updated: November 25, 2020

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Mailing Address:

PO Box 129
Grand Canyon, AZ 86023

Phone:

928-638-7888

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