Grand Canyon North Rim opens for 2015 season

GRAND CANYON, Arizona — The Arizona Department of Transportation will open Highway 67 to the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park on May 15 by 8 a.m.; and Grand Canyon Lodge North Rim, a Forever Resorts property, and Grand Canyon Trail Rides will commence their 2015 seasonal operations.

All services provided by the National Park Service at the North Rim will be available May 15, including the visitor center, Backcountry Permits Office and campground, as well as the Grand Canyon Association Bookstore.

Grand Canyon Lodge North Rim operations, including lodging, groceries, camper services, food services and a gas station, will also open May 15. Lunch will be served starting at 11:30 a.m., lodge check-in will begin at 4 p.m. and seating for dinner will begin at 4:45 p.m.

A California condor stretches its wings. Location not specified, Utah, circa June 2014 | Photo by Lynn Chamberlain, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, St. George News
A California condor stretches its wings. Location not specified, Utah, circa June 2014 | Photo by Lynn Chamberlain, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, St. George News

At the North Rim Entrance Fee Station, visitors can use only debit or credit cards to pay park entrance fees. However, visitors can use cash at the Grand Canyon Association Bookstore in the visitor center.

Rangers will present the first scheduled ranger program, Grand Canyon Geology, on the veranda of the Grand Canyon Lodge May 15 at 3:30 p.m., followed by a 5 p.m. talk about California condors. The first evening program will be held May 15 at 8 p.m. in the lodge auditorium. All ranger programs are listed in “The Guide” (North Rim: 2015 Season), a free publication distributed at the North Rim Entrance Fee Station, the North Rim Visitor Center, other contact stations in the park.

The last day for most concessioner services and regularly scheduled ranger-led programs will be Oct. 15. The National Park Service will continue its operations including the visitor center, bookstore and Backcountry Permits Office through Oct. 31. Nov. 1 through Dec. 1 the North Rim will be open for day use only (no overnight parking) unless snow closes Highway 67 prior to that date.

From Nov. 1 through Dec. 1, pay-at-the-pump gas and diesel will still be available and visitors will continue to have access to Point Imperial and Bright Angel viewpoints, as well as the North Kaibab Trailhead.

Camping will be available to those that walk or hike in (no car camping) at the North Rim Campground and yurt (available in December), provided a backcountry use permit has been obtained. Backcountry permit holders will be allowed to park overnight. Permits will continue to be available through the South Rim Backcountry Permits Office and at the visitor center at Pipe Spring National Monument located in Fredonia, Arizona.

The North Rim lies at the southern end of the Kaibab Plateau at approximately 8,500 feet in elevation and offers spectacular canyon views. It is approximately a 215-mile drive from the South Rim. Points of interest include Point Imperial, Cape Royal, Point Sublime, North Kaibab Trail and Bright Angel Point.

Visitors traveling to the area should know U.S. Route 89 between Page, Arizona and Bitter Springs, Arizona has reopened for the first time in two years since a major landslide forced its closure.


Read more: US Highway 89 south of Page reopens after 2013 landslide


Resources

  • Advance lodging reservations for North Rim facilities, contact Forever Resorts at 877-386-4383 or online
  • Advance reservations for the North Rim Campground, contact 877-444-6777 or online
  • Grand Canyon Trail Rides, contact 435-679-8665 or online
  • For a copy of the park’s Trip Planner or “The Guide” for the North Rim, go online
  • Grand Canyon National Park website

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1 Comment

  • SteveSGU May 8, 2015 at 10:45 am

    We really need to press GCNP to explain why they don’t allow us to enjoy the North Rim earlier in the Spring. They maintain their artificial May 15th date even when their has been no snow on the road for many weeks. Just because they don’t get their temporary employees back until May is no reason why we can’t enjoy the wonderful views for a much longer portion of the year.

    Yellowstone National Park, in an area with much worse weather and road conditions, keeps some roads plowed and open year-round, and they opened other roads to the public as soon as conditions permitted. Most roads up there in the northern high country are now open, while we are still looking at a barricade across the road at Jacob Lake.

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