Grand Canyon, AZ – The Grand Canyon National Park South Rim remains open as the North Rim closed for the season. Visitors to the South Rim experienced an unusual weather phenomenon earlier this week. A weather inversion trapped fluffy white clouds below the rim lookouts allowing visitors to be above the clouds and view peaks of red rock formation poking through the white mass. The total inversion was caused by warmer air masses from above trapping cooler air masses in the canyon below.
As typically happens every winter, the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park is now closed to vehicle traffic. Arizona State Route 67, leading to the North Rim closed on December 2, 2013. State Route 67 and all services on the North Rim are expected to re-open for the 2014 season on May 15, 2014.
Cross-country skiers and snowshoers can access the North Rim section of the park - a 45-mile trip from Jacob Lake, Ariz or via inner canyon trails from the South Rim. The North Rim campground and yurt will still be available for winter camping. To camp at the North Rim during the winter months, visitors need a backcountry permit, which can be obtained from: Backcountry Information Center located at the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. Pipe Springs National Monument west of Fredonia, Arizona and
Bureau of Land Management Interagency Visitor Center in St. George, Utah.
“Although winter on the North Rim can provide a great wilderness experience, visitors are advised to plan ahead and prepare for winter conditions and weather that can change rapidly,” stated North Rim District Ranger Jeff Webb in a press release. “Trails that normally are well traveled in summer, have almost no traffic during the winter. Backcountry travelers to the North Rim in winter must be self-reliant and understand that they are undertaking a difficult trip where cell phone coverage may or may not be available and where emergency response may be limited or delayed.”
Information on winter camping on the North Rim can be had by calling the Backcountry Information Center at 928-638-7875, between the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. MST, weekdays, excluding holidays or visit the Park’s backcountry web page.
The South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park is open year-round. Additional park information can be obtained by calling 928-638-7888 or by visiting the park website.
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