News Release

Grand Canyon National Park Increases Recreational Access

a limestone cliff in the foreground with an unpaved trail entering a tunnel in the rock. In the distance, warm sunset light falling onto peaks and cliffs within a vast canyon
Sunset overlooking Bright Angel Trail

NPS/Michael Quinn

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News Release Date: May 28, 2020

Contact: Media Contact: Lily Daniels, 928-638-7958

Contact: General Information, 928-638-7888

Following guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local public health authorities, Grand Canyon National Park is increasing recreational access for the South Rim, North Rim and river trips.

The National Park Service (NPS) is working servicewide with federal, state, and local public health authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and using a phased approach to increase access on a park-by-park basis.

Beginning May 29, 2020, the South Rim’s south entrance will be open every day from 4 a.m. until 2 p.m for day use with limited commercial services.The entrance will close at 2 p.m. and visitors already inside the park can remain for day use access until sunset. The following areas will be open:

  • Tuweep will be open for day use access.
  • Day hiking on inner canyon trails and existing backcountry permits for hikers camping overnight will be honored. No new overnight camping permits for the inner canyon will be issued.

Beginning June 5, 2020, the following areas will be open for visitors every day:

  • South Rim’s south entrance will be open 24/7, and Mather Campground will open for existing reservations only.
  • The North Rim will be open for day use. The campground is closed for construction until July 1.

Beginning June 14, 2020, Grand Canyon National Park will initiate a phased reopening of Colorado River commercial, noncommercial and administrative trips until further notice.

  • Private, noncommercial river trips with current permits will be authorized to launch, and no new permits will be issued until at least the end of June. Noncommercial river trips including administrative trips should contact the Grand Canyon River Permit Office via email at: e-mail us for details.

  • Commercial river trips will resume with implemented mitigation measures including modified passenger capacities. Customers should contact the commercial river companies for any potential impact to their trip.

Lodging accommodations on the South and North Rims will begin a phased reopening in June, and visitors should check the reservation sites for their availability.

With public health in mind, the residential areas, east entrance on the South Rim, Desert View Watchtower area and Desert View campground will remain closed. A complete list of openings and closures and available services are available on our website at:

Grand Canyon has a fire restriction in effect that prohibits building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire, charcoal, coal, or wood stove fire, including within a developed recreation site or improved site.

The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners continues to be paramount. At Grand Canyon National Park, our operational approach will be to examine each facility function and service provided to ensure those operations comply with current public health guidance, and will be regularly monitored. We continue to work closely with the NPS Office of Public Health using CDC guidance to ensure public and workspaces are safe and clean for visitors, employees, partners, and volunteers.  

While these areas are accessible for visitors to enjoy, a return to full operations will continue to be phased and services may be limited. When recreating, the public should follow local area health orders, practice Leave No Trace principles, avoid crowding and avoid high-risk outdoor activities.

As a reminder, visitors driving on U.S. Route 89 in northern Arizona between Flagstaff and the communities of Cameron and Bodaway will be travelling through the Navajo Nation, which requires face masks to be worn at public facilities and businesses to slow the spread of COVID-19. The South Rim’s east entrance is accessed by driving on U.S. Route 89, and the entrance remains closed. Public health and operational updates for the Navajo Nation can be found on their website. Also, the neighboring Havasupai reservation remains closed for tourism, and details for operational updates can be found on their website.

The CDC has offered guidance to help people recreating in parks and open spaces prevent the spread of infectious diseases. We will continue to monitor all park functions to ensure that visitors adhere to CDC guidance for mitigating risks associated with the transmission of COVID-19, and take any additional steps necessary to protect public health.

Details and updates on park operations will continue to be posted on our website and social media channels. Updates about NPS operations will be posted on

Last updated: May 28, 2020

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Grand Canyon, AZ 86023



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