News Release

Rangers successfully investigate and convict illegal backcountry guide within Grand Canyon National Park

A small group of hikers with large backpacks descend down the Hermit Trail within Grand Canyon National Park
A group of hikers descend the Hermit Trail

NPS Photo

Subscribe RSS Icon | What is RSS
News Release Date: April 26, 2022

Contact: Grand Canyon Office of Communications

Following an investigation by Rangers of the National Park Service (NPS), a man pled guilty for conducting business operations without permits within the remote backcountry of Grand Canyon National Park. William “Billy” Chandler Woods of Flagstaff, Arizona, pled guilty on April 8, 2022, and was ordered to serve two years of supervised probation and is banned from Grand Canyon National Park and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area for the next two years.

Court documents show that in November 2020, the NPS investigated an initial allegation that Woods organized a commercially-guided backpacking trip on the Colorado Plateau without a permit. Further investigation revealed Woods illegally advertised guided trips in the park’s backcountry under the company names of Blue Marble Guides, Canyons and Chefs, Blue Marble Adventure Geotourism, LLC, and Red Rock Culinary. Woods had been previously contacted and warned by park staff regarding his illegal operation but continued his activities. The case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona.

Commercial Use Authorizations (CUAs) are required for all commercially-guided activities, including backcountry hiking, that results in compensation, monetary gain, benefit or profit within Grand Canyon National Park and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. A CUA must be obtained prior to any commercial backcountry use. CUAs do not include activities related to guided packrafting, climbing, canyoneering, or other off-trail use.

To obtain a commercial permit or for more information about commercial regulations in Grand Canyon National Park, please email or visit our website at For more information on CUAs within Glen Canyon National Recreation area, please contact the Commercial Use Authorizations Coordinator at 928-608-6325.

Last updated: April 26, 2022

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

PO Box 129
Grand Canyon, AZ 86023



Contact Us