Critical Backcountry Updates: Including Trail Closures and Restrictions

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Park operation updates can be found on the Grand Canyon National Park Operations Update webpage.

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Average temperatures, weather information and road conditions can be found on the Weather Conditions page.

Backcountry Status Updates (listed by date posted):

 
 
(Confused about RSS and how to use it? Visit the Grand Canyon RSS Information page.)
 

Drinking Water in the Cross-Canyon Corridor
updated Feb 13, 2024

Grand Canyon's water supply comes from Roaring Springs, a natural spring located approximately 3,500 feet below the North Rim. Water is delivered via an aging pipeline that suffers multiple breaks a year. When the pipeline breaks, water stops flowing to the North and South Rims and sites along the way. Although large storage tanks provide ample water to rim locations, while the pipeline is being repaired water may or may not be available below the rim in the cross-canyon Corridor.

When hiking below the rim a method to treat water must ALWAYS be part of your hiking gear. Information on how to treat water at www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/safe-water.htm

The list below shows if water is on or off
(IF THE PIPELINE IS UNDERGOING REPAIRS WATER MAY BE OFF TEMPORARILY)

  • North Kaibab Trailhead: water OFF for the season
  • Supai Tunnel: water OFF for the season
  • Roaring Springs Day Use Area is CLOSED and has no water
  • Manzanita Day Use Area: water ON
  • Cottonwood Campground and Day Use Area: water OFF for the season
  • Bright Angel Campground: water ON
  • Phantom Boat Beach: water ON
  • Plateau Point: water OFF for the season Plateau Point Trail and Point are CLOSED for waterline replacement
  • Havasupai Gardens (formerly known as Indian Garden): water ON Havasupai Gardens is CLOSED for waterline replacement
  • Bright Angel Trail, Three-Mile Resthouse: water OFF for the season
  • Bright Angel Trail, Mile-and-a-Half Resthouse: water OFF for the season
  • Bright Angel Trailhead: water ON
  • South Kaibab Trailhead: water OFF for the season

Seasonal water stations are usually turned off for the winter sometime between Oct 10th and 30th dependent on location and associated temperatures.

Water available (year-round) on the South Rim at the Backcountry Information Center in the lobby. Water available (year-round) on the North Rim outside the Backcountry Information Center. Additional water bottle filling stations can be found on the Go "Green" and Refill Your Water Bottles web page.

Plan Ahead and Prepare: A backup method to treat water must always be included as part of your hiking gear. Backcountry hikers should always carry extra water.

 

Backcountry Status and Trail Conditions
updated Feb 5, 2024

Trail Closures (current and upcoming)

  • NORTH KAIBAB TRAIL between Manzanita and Supai Tunnel - CLOSED from 8am MST until 4pm MST through February 29, 2024. Closure is to allow contractors to install seismic survey nodes in Roaring Springs Canyon. Work crews will be installing survey nodes in highly technical terrain above the trail, which may result in inadvertent and unpredictable rock fall onto the North Kaibab Trail. Reminder that the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park is currently closed to vehicle traffic.
  • PLATEAU POINT TRAIL from the Tonto Trail junction to Plateau Point - CLOSED October 12, 2023, through March 14, 2025 (transcanyon waterline construction-related closure)
  • BRIGHT ANGEL TRAIL approximately 1/2 mile from the Trailhead to Silver Bridge, including Havasupai Gardens Campground - CLOSED December 1, 2023 through April 14, 2024 (transcanyon waterline construction-related closure)
  • TONTO TRAIL east of Horn Creek to the South Kaibab Trail junction near the Tip Off area - CLOSED December 1, 2023 through April 14, 2024 (transcanyon waterline construction-related closure)

No hikers or other trail users will be allowed to pass through closure areas under any circumstances. The National Park Service emphasizes the importance of always staying on designated trails, and visitors should not attempt to go over or around a closure. Trail users should pay attention to directions from park rangers, volunteers, construction flaggers, and signs placed along the trail.

Information about the Transcanyon Waterline project is available on the Transcanyon Waterline project webpage.

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Winter Trail Conditions

  • The North Kaibab Trail has snow/ice covering the trail, with the higher elevations along the trail having between 5-12 inches of snow. Foot traction is recommended.Caution, during the warmer parts of the day, avalanches could be triggered on slopes that are 30-45 degrees.

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Ribbon Falls Bridge has been removed due to damage. Until the bridge is replaced, visitors will be asked to stay on the North Kaibab Trail and travel safely in this area. The park intends to replace the bridge so Ribbon Falls can be safely accessed.

The Cave of the Domes is closed to protect roosting bats and other sensitive cave resources. Bats are particularly sensitive to human disturbance and will abandon roost sites. As a reminder all caves in Grand Canyon National Park are closed to protect sensitive resources.

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Hiking the Corridor? Be sure to visit the Trail Courtesy Practices That Leave No Trace webpage.

Organized Group Rim-to-Rim and Extended Day Hike/Run: Any organized, non-commercial group of 12-30 participants, or not-for-profit group conducting rim-to-rim, rim-to-rim-to-rim, rim-to-river-to-rim, and/or extended day hikes in the inner canyon must obtain a Special Use Permit (SUP). The inner canyon is defined as the area below the Tonto Platform from the South Rim and below Manzanita Resthouse from the North Rim. Groups may not break into smaller groups on different permits to accommodate group size. Commercial operations are not authorized under this SUP. For more information visit www.nps.gov/grca/parkmgmt/sup.htm

 

Report from the North Rim
updated Dec 1, 2023

Grand Canyon National Park’s North Rim is closed for the season. The entrance gate on State Route 67, which provides vehicular access to the North Rim, is closed.

The North Rim campground is 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 the South Rim Backcountry Information Center.

For information on visiting the North Rim,go to: www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/north-rim.htm.

 

Backcountry Permits Move to Recreation.gov for Start Dates in 2024
updated Sep 14, 2023

Grand Canyon National Park has moved its overnight backcountry reservation system to Recreation.gov for all calendar year 2024 and later permits. This move will help streamline the backcountry permitting process by allowing around 80% of backcountry permits to be directly reserved and paid for online. The new system will provide applicants with greater control and add additional transparency. Applicants will no longer need to submit applications by fax and wait up to a month for the thousands of requests to be considered manually by park staff.

News release available at www.nps.gov/grca/learn/news/backcountry-permits-move-online.htm

Grand Canyon backcountry permits and Recreation.gov FAQs available at www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/backcountry-permit-questions.htm

 

Summer Heat Warning
updated Sep 14, 2023

The National Park Service urges SPECIAL CAUTION for all hikers during the summer months. Individual days can reach a high of 115°F (46°C) or higher. These temperatures are beyond unpleasant or uncomfortable-they are, in fact, dangerous and if you fail to factor the heat into your plans the results could be tragic.

It's hot down there! Manage the heat for a safe hike.

  • get wet
  • take breaks in the shade
  • hike early and/or late
  • eat real foods and foods with high salt content (salt pills aren't advised, instead have salty foods like chips or ramen noodle soup)
  • add an electrolyte mix to your water
  • visit Summer Hiking - Hike Smart for more info


Phantom Ranch weather at https://www.nws.noaa.gov/wtf/MapClick.php?site=fgz&textField1=36.1050&textField2=-112.0940&lg=ep

Grand Canyon National Park Recreational Forecast at https://www.weather.gov/fgz/recreation?location=GrandCanyon

 

Road Conditions for Remote Trailheads
updated Sep 14, 2023

Havasupai tribal boundary at junction with Forest Service Road 328 closed until further notice. Visitors heading out to South Bass should contact the Backcountry Information Center prior to departure. For specific information about Havasupai land, contact Havasupai Tribe, PO Box 10, Supai, Arizona 86435. Email: info@havasupai-nsn.gov Phone: 928-433-8130

Driving Muddy Roads Prohibited. Operating a motor vehicle on muddy roads, or in a manner that damages roads or park resources, is prohibited.

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After heavy summer rain (July and August) or winter snow (December through March), expect impassable backcountry roads. If clear skies abound after the rain or snow, then it is often just a matter of days until the sun dries everything out. Sometimes, heavy rain or melting snow can lead to flooding, which can cause erosion of the roadbed and can delay access.

Other considerations for visitors travelling on remote backcountry roads include high clearance, such as may be needed on Forest Road 328 to South Bass Trailhead (limestone ledges) and on the final approach to Toroweap overlook (sandstone knobs and ledges).

Finally, consider elevation of the road that you will be travelling on, especially during the winter months. Roads in the 6,500 to 8,000 foot range may be impassable due to a snowpack, where lower elevations roads (below 6,000 feet) will see deteriorated road conditions due to rain.

Always check road conditions with the Backcountry Information Center before heading out to remote trailheads, tell someone where you are going and when you will be back, and be adaptable and prepared for the worst. High clearance, four-wheel drive is usually recommended for roads to remote trailheads.

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It is not uncommon for trees to fall and block access to remote trailheads. When you encounter a road blocked by fallen trees, what should you do?

  • Report the location and diameter of the tree to Grand Canyon park dispatch (928-638-7805) as soon as possible. The park will assign staff to clear the road.
  • If an appropriate (not blocking the road and not damaging vegetation) place to park is available, park your vehicle and continue to the trailhead on foot.
  • Do not drive off-road attempting to bypass the obstacle, doing so can cause resource damage.
 

Be Aware of Lightning Danger
updated Jun 15, 2023

Summer storms in the southwest are often accompanied by potentially deadly lightning. Visitors walking and hiking in the park are reminded that if they can hear thunder, they should consider ending outdoor activities. If the sound of thunder follows a lightning flash within 30 seconds, seek shelter inside a building or vehicle. If this is not possible, move well away from high points such as ridges and the edge of the canyon. Do not seek shelter beneath tall trees.

More information can be found on the Lightning Danger web page (www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/lightning-danger.htm).

 

Tuweep Update
updated Jun 2, 2023

Visitors to Tuweep, including all park areas within Toroweap Valley and on the Kanab Plateau, must have (1) a Park Pass with Photo ID and (2) a Day Permit or Backcountry Permit. These are not available on site and must be purchased prior to trip. A backcountry permit is required for Tuweep Campground (TCG).

Driving Muddy Roads Prohibited. Plan visit for dry Tuweep conditions! Operating a motor vehicle on muddy roads, or in a manner that damages roads or park resources, is prohibited.

For Tuweeep info visit https://go.nps.gov/tuweep

Tuweep Day Permits available at Recreation.gov https://www.recreation.gov/timed-entry/10089462

Park entrance pass info at www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/fees.htm

 

South Kaibab Trailhead Access
updated Jun 2, 2023

NOTE: There is ***NO PARKING ALLOWED*** at the South Kaibab Trailhead. Hikers must park their vehicles elsewhere. DO NOT PARK at the South Kaibab trailhead. If you drive beyond the "Do Not Enter" signs, and park at the trailhead, you WILL get a ticket.

You can either walk to the South Kaibab Trailhead or take a park shuttle bus. Two park bus routes stop at the trailhead.

The Hikers' Express bus starts at the Bright Angel Lodge, then travels to the Backcountry Office, the Visitor Center, and the South Kaibab trailhead. The bus runs daily.

The Kaibab Rim Route (Orange Route) eastbound operates daily. Hikers can park at the Grand Canyon Visitor Center and access the South Kaibab Trailhead via the Kaibab Rim Route (Orange Route).

Visit the Shuttle Buses page for schedules and more info.

 

Hermit Trailhead Access
updated Jun 2, 2023

From Mar 1 to Nov 30, Hermit Road is closed to private vehicles. A numerical code is required to open the gate giving access to Hermit Road. Hikers with a valid backcountry permit who are beginning or ending their hike via the Hermit Trail will be permitted to park at the Hermit trailhead. The Backcountry Information Center will provide the gate access code when the backcountry permit is issued.

The Hermit Road shuttle between South Rim Village and Hermit Rest and the Hermit trailhead is operational Mar 1 to Nov 30. The Hermit Road Shuttle is free. Visit the Shuttle Buses page for schedules and more info.

Weather dependent, Hermit Road is open to all private vehicles Dec 1 to Feb 28. Be aware that in wintertime inclement weather can cause Hermit Road to close with little notice as storms move through the area. Always check with the Backcountry Information Center regarding the wintertime status of Hermit Road or call 928-638-7496 for updated road conditions.

 

Drinking Water outside the Cross-Canyon Corridor
updated Jun 2, 2023

Hikers should make every effort to obtain recent confirmation of water availability and become familiar with routes to the river before starting any hike. Contact the Backcountry Information Center for recent water reports.

Water available (year-round) on the South Rim at the Backcountry Information Center and at Hermits Rest (near the other public amenities). Water available (year-round) on the North Rim outside the Backcountry Information Center.

Additional water bottle filling stations can be found on the Go "Green" and Refill Your Water Bottles web page.

 

How to contact the Backcountry Information Center

The South Rim Backcountry Information Center is open daily from 8 am to noon and 1-5 pm Mountain Standard Time. The North Rim Backcountry Information Center is open daily mid-May to October 31 from 8 am to noon and 1-5 pm Mountain Standard Time.

Backcountry Information Center staff answer information telephone inquiries at 928-638-7875 between 8 am and 5 pm Monday through Friday, except on federal holidays.

Email the Backcountry Information Center

Mailing address is:

Grand Canyon National Park
Permits Office
1824 S. Thomson St., Suite 201
Flagstaff AZ, 86001

Trip Planner (2mb PDF file): The information in this newspaper can assist you in obtaining a backcountry use permit.

Video: Hiking Grand Canyon, Prepare for Backpacking. This video is designed to help you plan for and enjoy your hike into the canyon's harsh, yet fragile, environment.

Video: Leave No Trace. All Grand Canyon backcountry users are asked to follow Leave No Trace principles. The goal is to have minimum human impact on the canyon as a result of your trip.

The Grand Canyon Conservancy sells maps and guides on hiking in Grand Canyon National Park.

 

Last updated: February 13, 2024

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

PO Box 129
Grand Canyon, AZ 86023

Phone:

928-638-7888

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