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Grand Canyon releases guidelines for partial reopening: Here is what you need to know

Grand Canyon National Park generic - Bright Angel Trail
Posted at 1:34 PM, May 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-13 19:16:10-04

GRAND CANYON NATL PARK, AZ — Grand Canyon National Park is beginning to increase access to some recreational areas at some South Rim viewpoints, as Arizona continues to reopen in phases. However, the visitor center and some of the Canyon's more popular view points remain closed.

The National Park Service said it is working statewide with federal, state and local health authorities to offer a phased approach to increase access on a park-by-park basis.

The Grand Canyon National Park's South Rim South will reopen May 15-18 from 6 a.m. - 10 a.m. with limited access.

The following areas will be open:

  • Viewpoints at Pipe Creek Vista, Shoshone Point, Twin Overlooks, Duck on a Rock, Thor's Hammer, No Name Point and Navajo Point along East Desert View Drive. Vehicles will be directed to turn around at Navajo Point.
  • Picnic areas near Shoshone Point Pavilion, east of Yaki Road, Thor's Hammer and Buggeln Picnic area.
  • Restroom facilities located by the South Entrance Grand Canyon National Park sign, picnic area east of Yaki Road, Shoshone Point and Buggeln picnic area.

That means the Visitor's center and popular viewing areas, including Mather Point, Grandview Point, and Yavapai Point and Geology Museum, remain closed. All commercial services are also closed.

Other areas that are closed include:

  • South Rim's east entrance and Desert View area.
  • The Rim Trail, Greenway Trail system, inner canyon and all hiking trails.
  • Grand Canyon Village.
  • Center Road west from the South Entrance Road intersection; South Entrance Road north of Desert View Drive intersection; Yaki Point Road, Rowe Well Road and the USFS 310 Road.
  • The Colorado River, North Rim and Tuweep area.

Visitors are asked to be self-sufficient during their visit, with all commercial services remaining closed for now. That includes bringing your own food and water, as well as hand sanitizer. Access to the park lasts all day, but there will be no overnight accommodations available.

"This initial reopening phase will increase access to our public lands in a responsible way by offering the main feature of the park for the public, the view of the canyon, while reducing the potential exposure of COVID-19 to our nearly 2,500 residents," said Grand Canyon National Park Superintendent Ed Keable in a news release.

If you’re using US Route 89 between Flagstaff or northern Arizona and Cameron, you will be traveling through the Navajo Nation. The Navajo Nation currently requires masks be worn at all time at public facilities and businesses.

For more information on plans to reopen the Grand Canyon, click here.