Road in Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument closes for winter

Image courtesy of National Park Service, St. George News

GRAND CANYON-PARASHANT NATIONAL MONUMENT, Ariz. — In order to protect the road, surrounding vegetation and even people who may attempt to travel in the area, the acting superintendent for the Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument has announced the seasonal closure of Kelly Point Road to motorized vehicles.

“The road to Kelly Point is very rough and one of the most isolated places in the monument,” said Superintendent Chad Corey in a press release. He said:

Due to the clay roadbed and fragile features there, a seasonal closure is the best way to protect the road, park resources, and public safety. In addition, we don’t want people getting stranded way out there for multiple nights as has happened in the past. At this time of year Kelly Point is one of those places in the Parashant where you would be truly alone and a vehicle breakdown could be life threatening.

In winter the roadbed is normally saturated by melting ice and snow. This seasonal closure will protect the road and nearby vegetation. In the past the road was damaged by deep ruts and widened as motorists drove around or through deep mud and standing water. This changed natural drainage patterns in fragile meadows and destroyed vegetation and cultural resources.

Motorists were also stranded in the area as the region is seldom traveled.

Permits may be available from the chief ranger for winter motorized access to Kelly Point if conditions warrant. See the National Park Service’s Parashant webpage for more information and to download the permit request form. Click on the “Alert” link on the home page to reach the permit download page.

The seasonal road closure during the winter months was implemented in accordance with the general management plan record of cecision approved in 2008.

Kelly Point Road is expected to open in late March when warm, dry weather returns.

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