It’s not a full return to normal operations, but Grand Canyon National Park officials announced plans for an expanded reopening.
The park had been open for day use on weekends use since mid-May. Limited daily access began on May 29 and 24-hour access will begin June 5. Lodging in the park also will begin reopening June 5 on a rolling schedule.
Through June 4, the South Rim’s south entrance (near Tusayan) will be open 4 a.m.-2 p.m. daily. Those in the park by 2 p.m. can remain until sunset. Some services, such as food and souvenirs for purchase, will be available, but most services will be limited.
Hiking on inner canyon trails is allowed. Existing backcountry permits will be honored, but no new permits will be issued.
The Tuweep area of remote Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument in northwestern Arizona also opened for day use on May 29.
Starting June 5, the South Rim south entrance to the Grand Canyon will be open 24 hours per day. (Photo: Rob Schumacher, The Arizona Republic)
Mather Campground, North Rim to reopen
Starting June 5, the South Rim south entrance will be open 24 hours per day. Mather Campground will open for those with reservations.
The North Rim will open on June 5 for day use only. The North Rim Campground is closed for construction until July 1.
Hotels and services
Grand Canyon National Park lodges on the South Rim will reopen on a rolling basis starting June 5 with Maswik Lodge. El Tovar and Kachina lodges are expected to open June 10 while Bright Angel and Thunderbird lodges should open June 15. Check www.grandcanyonlodges.com for updates.
Hotels and other businesses in Tusayan, just outside of the park’s south entrance, are open to receive visitors.
“The town has gone to great lengths providing supplies for our businesses and implementing town-wide policies to ensure our residents and guests feel comfortable while visiting the Grand Canyon,” Tusayan Vice Mayor Brady Harris wrote in an email to The Republic.
Those steps include efforts to educate visitors about social distancing and other best health practices in addition to providing masks, gloves, disinfectants and hand sanitizer for businesses.
Grand Canyon Lodge on the North Rim expects to open June 15. Check https://www.grandcanyonforever.com for updates.
Desert View Watchtower area and Desert View campground are among a number of Grand Canyon areas still closed. (Photo: Susan Hamilton)
What’s still closed
While certain areas of the park are opening, much remains closed to visitors. Residential areas, the South Rim’s east entrance, Desert View Watchtower area and Desert View campground are still closed.
For a complete list of openings, closings and services, visit https://www.nps.gov/grca.
The Havasupai waterfalls and reservation, which are not part of the national park, remain closed to tourists. For updates, https://www.havasupaireservations.com.
MORE: Havasupai Falls closed indefinitely due to coronavirus. Here’s what we know
Colorado River trips
A phased reopening of access to the Colorado River will begin June 14.
Private, noncommercial trips that have received permits will be allowed to launch, but no new permits will be issued until at least the end of June. Those interested in noncommercial river trips should email the Grand Canyon River Permit Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Commercial trips also will resume on June 14 and operators will take steps to comply with health guidelines. Those wishing to take commercial trips should contact those companies for details on how these guidelines could affect impact the trip.
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