That’s right, the long awaited opening of the North Rim at Grand Canyon National Park happens May 15th when the entrance station gate is swung back at 8am to welcome all. And that newspaper called ‘The Guide’ given to you by a friendly Park Ranger will give you a map of the park plus a whole lot of information about what to do. Please take a moment to leaf through it and even if you don’t read cover to cover be sure to keep it with while you visit for reference. If you have questions stop at the Visitor Center and we will try to help you have the best time while visiting the North Rim.
Whether you want to hike, ride a mule, attend a Ranger program or just sit quietly and absorb the wonder, you can find it all at the North Rim.
The North Rim offers a campground and cabin accommodations that typically require a reservation. Dining and a deli can be found at the Grand Lodge. Trails and a scenic drive provide many views of the canyon. Special events occur over the summer like Western Arts Day, Native American Heritage Days, a week long Star Party and the Kanab Symphony. I could go on and on but just check the Grand Canyon National Park website for all the details. (Here’s the link http://www.nps.gov/grca/index.htm)
Please remember that we are in a dry environment at high elevation, 8200 feet, so drink plenty of water. And if you find breathing a little difficult, slow down, there’s less oxygen up here.
Important new information
The entrance station and camp ground only accept credit cards, NO CASH, for fees.
Why close the North Rim
The North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park closes for the winter. This is partly due to past snowy conditions but mostly because the infrastructure wasn’t built to sustain the cold temperatures seen at this 8200 foot site on the edge of the big ditch. The water source that supplies both sides of the canyon’s development comes from 3000 feet down in the side canyon of Roaring Springs on the north side of the Colorado River. This water could be considered ancient as it originates as precipitation that percolates through rock over time and emerges from the canyon walls as a waterfall. It is then pumped either up to the North Rim or across canyon and up to the South Rim. Due to typical freeze patterns the system is shut down on the North Rim for winter and the few who remain for maintenance and security rely on water stored in tanks.
Unfortunately, this past winter didn’t provide much snow pack on the Kaibab Plateau and the forest around the North Rim is dry. Oh you may see a few minor patches of snow buried under the trees facing north but don’t be fooled. The forest floor is parched. And although there is not a current fire restriction on the North Kaibab National Forest please be reminded that campfires should not be unattended or large and put out completely cold to the touch when finished enjoying it. Tiny sparks have been known to produce much devastation in large forest fires. Human cause is not a natural wildfire.
So what am I doing the day before we open? Enjoying the day off and going out on the scenic drive to Cape Royal for sunset in the quiet of we’re not open yet. Hope you’ll come visit this summer.
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