ST. GEORGE — Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument Superintendent Rosie Pepito has closed Kelly Point Road to motorized vehicles for the winter season. However, this year permits may be available for winter motorized access depending on conditions.
The seasonal road closure during the winter months was implemented in accordance with the General Management Plan Record of Decision approved in 2008. 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.
“The road to Kelly Point is very rough and one of the most isolated places in the monument,” Chief Ranger Chad Corey 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.”
New this year, permits may be available from the Chief Ranger for winter motorized access to Kelly Point if conditions warrant. For more information and to download the permit request form, go to the National Park Service’s Parashant webpage.
Kelly Point Road is expected to open in late March when warm, dry weather returns.