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Park Operations Update - Wednesday, December 2, 2020
To find a complete listing ot what is open, and what is closed in Grand Canyon National Park, scroll down this page.
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 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.
COVID-19 confirmed cases in zip code 86023 (Grand Canyon/Tusayan): 80
COVID-19 confirmed cases inside the park 25 —Recovered 25
COVID-19 confirmed cases in Coconino County: 7,575 deaths: 173
COVID-19 confirmed cases in Arizona: 337,139 deaths: 6,687
AZ Department of Health Services Phased Reopening Plan for Paused Industries: On 8/10, Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) announced a series of public health recommendations that would allow certain Arizona businesses to reopen if specific criteria are met. Park management is reviewing the recommendations and monitoring for any additional information from the state, and we will provide updates as we learn more.
On Monday, November 16, the Navajo Nation reinstated a stay at home lockdown order for the entire reservation while closing tribal offices and requiring new closures and safety measures for businesses due to rising COVID-19 cases.
Tribal officials announced that the lockdown order goes into effect for a three-week period. A previously ordered 56-hour weekend curfew began Friday November 13.
Because of the lockdown on the Navajo Nation, the East Entrance to the park, and most Desert View visitor facilities are CLOSED. Grand Canyon National Park is open. However, park visitors must use the South Entrance near the town of Tusayan to enter and exit the park.
Roads, Entrance Fees, and Closures:
Entrances fees should be paid at automated fee machines at the entrance stations, or by purchasing a pass in advance from nearby third-party vendors, or online, through Recreation.gov.
State Route 64, (Desert View Drive), is open a distance of 25 miles (40 km) from Grand Canyon Village to Desert View. There is a turnaround at Desert View. The East Entrance to the park at Desert View remains CLOSED. You must use the South Entrance near the town of Tusayan to enter and exit the park.
Hermit Road is open to all vehicle traffic during the months of December, January and February.The 7.5 mile (12 km) scenic road may also be accessed by foot, or bicycle.
The North Rim of the Park and State Route 67 have closed for the Winter. The 2021 Season is scheduled to begin on May 15, 2021. More >
Campground, Trail and Backcountry Updates:
Mather Campground: during December, January, and February, Mather Campground registration will be on a first-come, first-served basis using the automated fee machine located at the entrance to the campground, (by the campground office kiosk). Campsites will be available for small groups (6 or less only) and will remain at 50% capacity. Restroom locations and availability will change daily due to COVID-19 cleaning protocols. More >
The Canyon Rim Trail and the GreenwayTrail system on the South Rim, are open to the public outside of the village residential area.
Canyon trails are open for day hiking, and overnight backcountry permit requests are being considered.More >
The South Rim Backcountry Information Center remains closed.
They have set up a process to manage last minute permit requests and questions during the pandemic using a new email system. They have placed signs and details on the Backcountry Information Center doors for visitors in the park.
During the months of December, January, and February, the Hikers' Express shuttle bus will depart from Bright Angel Lodge at 8 and 9 am, then make stops at the Backcountry Information Center, and Grand Canyon Visitor Center, on the way to the South Kaibab Trailhead.
Bright Angel Trail Water:Effective 10/2020, water at 1.5 Mile Resthouse, 3 Mile Resthouse, and Plateau Point has been shut off for the winter. Water is still available at the trailhead and Indian Garden. More backcountry updates >
Grand Canyon National Park recommends that hikers and runners be prepared to filter or disinfect creek water along corridor trails, in the event of a pipeline break.
South Rim Shuttle Bus Service During Winter Months
The Village (Blue) Route shuttle will begin service at 6 am each day. Buses arrive at designated stops every 15-30 minutes, with the last bus at 9 pm.
The Kaibab (Orange) Route shuttle will begin service at 6 am each day. Buses arrive at designated stops every 15-30 minutes. The Kaibab (Orange) Route will run until one hour after sunset, with service to South Kaibab Trailhead, Yaki and Yavapai Points.
The Hikers' Express Bus will run at 8 and 9 am during December, January and February. The buses will run their normal route, beginning at Bright Angel Lodge, then stopping at the Backcountry Information Center and 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.
Shuttle Bus Routes Not in Service During Winter Months:
Tusayan Shuttle (Purple Route) Scheduled to resume March 1, 2021.
Hermit Road Route (Red Route) Scheduled to resume March 1, 2021.
Grand Canyon Clinic (North Country Healthcare, 1 Clinic Road) The Clinic is open Monday-Friday from 8 am to 5 pm. Please call ahead at 928-638-2551 to schedule an appointment (no walk-ins available). If you have a scheduled appointment please wear a face mask anytime you enter the clinic. If you do not have a face mask one can be provided to you.
South Rim Visitor Centers and Contact Stations
South Rim Visitor Center and Theater - CLOSED
Grand Canyon Conservancy'sPark Store9 am - 6 pm
(across the plaza from the Visitor Center)
Park Headquarters Information Desk - CLOSED
Backcountry Information Center (BIC) - CLOSED
Yavapai Geology Museum -Temporarily CLOSED (as of 11/26)
Verkamps Visitor Center 9 am to 5 pm
Kolb Studio -Temporarily CLOSED (as of 11/26)
Desert View Watchtower and Tusayan Museum - CLOSED
All Interpretive Park Ranger programs are CANCELLED
Most Desert View Facilities Remain Closed
Updated December 1, 2020
Visitors driving on US Route 89 in northern Arizona 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.
IMPORTANT > The East Entrance to the park at Desert View remains closed because of COVID-19 lockdowns on the neighboring Navajo Nation. The East Entrance gate is locked.
You must use the South Entrance near the town of Tusayan to enter and exit the park. The driving distance from Grand Canyon Village to Desert View along Desert View Drive (SR 64) necessitates a 50 mile (80 km) round-trip, since you must enter and exit the park through the South Entrance.
The following Desert View areas and services are open for visitors: • Viewpoints in the Desert View vicinity
• Desert View parking lot and RV parking
• Porta-toilets located near the Desert View parking lot
With public health in mind, the following facilities and areas remain closed at this time:
The East Entrance to the park on SR 64 CLOSED
Desert View Watchtower, including visitor contact station and bookstore CLOSED
Desert View Visitor Center CLOSED
Desert View Campground CLOSED
Desert View Chevron Gas Station CLOSED
Desert View Trading Post & Ice Cream CLOSED
Desert View Market and Deli CLOSED
Tusayan Ruin and Museum CLOSED
The North Rim is Closed for the Winter
Follow the link to learn about the North Rim's 2021 Season (May 15, through October 15, 2021) and things to know when considering a visit. More >
Update: Phased Reopening of Colorado River Rafting Trips
Beginning June 14, 2020, Grand Canyon National Park initiated a phased reopening of Colorado River commercial and noncommercial trips.
Private, noncommercial river trips with current permits will be authorized to launch, and no new permits will be issued through at least the end of June. Noncommercial river trips including administrative trips should contact the Grand Canyon River Permit Office via email at: email@example.com for details.
Commercial river trips resumed with implemented mitigation measures including modified passenger capacities for some launches, so customers should contact the commercial river companies for any potential impact to their trip.
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 between Flagstaff or northern Arizona and Cameron 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.