TUCSON, AZ (KOLD News 13) - Visitors to the Grand Canyon are cheering as National Park Services officials announce the opening date for the North Rim.
According to a NPS news release, the gate at the entrance for the North Rim of this popular destination, will open at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday, May 15. This date also signals when the Grand Canyon Lodge and Grand Canyon Trail Rides commence their 2019 season and businesses on the Kaibab Plateau from Jacob Lake to the park boundary are expected to open.
National Park Services, including the Visitor Center, Backcountry Information Office and campground, in addition to the Grand Canyon Conservancy bookstore will also be available on May 15, starting at 8 a.m.
Operations including lodging, groceries, camper services, food services and gas stations at the Grand Canyon Lodge North Rim will begin on that day; 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.
North Rim visitors will also see construction during their visits, as a water distribution line replacement project gets under way. Work is expected to take place in the campground, employee housing areas, as well as near the lodge and along access roads. According to park officials updates will be posted regularly on the park's website and at various locations on the north rim.
The last day of the 2019 season for most commercial services and regularly scheduled ranger-led programs will be October 15.
The National Park Service will continue its operations including the visitor center, Backcountry Information Office, and campground through October 31. November 1 through December 1 the North Rim will be open for day use only (no overnight parking) unless snow closes Highway 67 prior to that date.
- Overnight lodging reservations for North Rim facilities may be made by contacting Forever Resorts at 877-386-4383 or by visiting their website at www.grandcanyonforever.com.
- For reservations from outside of the United States, please call 480-337-1320. Reservations for the North Rim Campground (May 15-October 31) must be made by calling 877-444-6777 or online at www.recreation.gov.
- For information on Grand Canyon Trail Rides, please call 435-679-8665 or visit their website at www.canyonrides.com.
- For North Rim trip-planning information, visit https://go.nps.gov/1ec1y9.
In addition to the North Rim gate opening, the road to get there - State Route 67 is opening too.
Each winter the Arizona Department of Transportation closes the winding, 43-mile highway after park facilities shut down. Leading south from US 89A in Jacob Lake, SR 67 passes through a high-altitude area that averages more than 9 feet of snow annually.
In the spring, ADOT crews plow any remaining snow and conduct any needed pavement repairs before SR 67 reopens along with North Rim lodges, campgrounds and other amenities.
State Route 64 remains open all year to the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park.
Before heading off to enjoy the North Rim and other scenic areas of Arizona, motorists should do the following:
- Make sure all occupants in a vehicle are buckled in.
- Check tire pressure, fluids and more to make sure a vehicle is in proper running condition.
- Be patient, including not following other vehicles too closely and building in extra travel time.
- Get enough sleep before the trip.
- Bring extra water and food.
- Never drink and drive.
- Check for information about highway restrictions and more by visiting az511.gov, calling 511 or following ADOT on Twitter (@ArizonaDOT).