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Contact: Kirby-Lynn Shedlowski, 928-638-7779Grand Canyon, Ariz. –Over the last 24 hours Grand Canyon National Park has received heavy snowfall resulting in significant snow accumulation. The National Weather Service is predicting additional winter storm activity and heavy snow fall across Northern Arizona, including Grand Canyon National Park. The National Weather Service Flagstaff has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for areas including Grand Canyon National Park through Friday, January 8th. A Winter Storm Watch also remains in effect for other portions of Coconino County including the Flagstaff and Williams areas through Friday, January 8th.
Park roads are currently snow packed and icy. Throughout the weekend, drivers can anticipate hazardous road and trail conditions and possible closures restricting access to portions of Grand Canyon National Park.
Although Grand Canyon National Park remains open, the National Park Service has temporarily closed some park roads and locations including Highway 64 to Desert View (East Rim Drive), Hermit Road (West Rim Drive), Yavapai Geology Museum, some visitor parking lots, and some rim walking pathways. These areas will remain closed until snow is removed and area conditions are made safe for public use. Additional areas may be closed as necessary. Shuttle bus service may also be temporarily suspended until road conditions improve.
Park Rangers are encouraging all visitors to plan accordingly and be prepared for winter driving conditions. "Visitor safety is our number one priority. We want to ensure that all of our visitors arrive at Grand Canyon safe" explained Chief Ranger Matt Vandzura. "If you decide to travel, please be careful and prepared. If you can reschedule your visit to Grand Canyon to a later date with more optimal weather we would hope you consider doing so." Vandzura said.
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.