Oct 132014
 

Fall colors North Rim Grand Canyon National Park ArizonaAs autumn quickly slips away and winter approaches the North Rim begins to close down for the 2014 season.

Snow buried Grand Lodge by Gary Keysar North Rim Grand Canyon National Park ArizonaIt’s been a great summer but historic North Rim facilities weren’t built for the cold temperatures found at 8200 feet in elevation.  From October 16th to December 1st the North Rim becomes pretty much a day use area.  And that all hinges on weather conditions.

Visitor Center and sign North Rim Grand Canyon National Park ArizonaRanger programs run through Oct 15th with a few of us staying to help operate the Visitor Center until it’s early closing beginning October 20th.  The inside of the Visitor Center is getting a facelift so we’ll all see something new in the spring.

Cabins and fall colors North Rim Grand Canyon National Park ArizonaThe last night of cabin/hotel lodging is October 15th with the last meal breakfast the 16th.  (The boss usually takes us all out on that day.)  Think about reserving now for a visit next year.

General Store North Rim Grand Canyon National Park ArizonaThe General Store also closes after October 15th.  Being this is the only internet hotspot in the park don’t expect much in the line of signal and only if standing on the rim looking south.  Usually the best signal with Verizon.

Campground North Rim Grand Canyon National Park ArizonaCampground reservations are need until the end of October and after that are available by permit only.  If you plan to visit in 2015 think about making a reservation ahead of time as the campground is usually full all season.  Alternate camping located outside the park includes DeMott National Forest camp 7 miles from the park entrance and Jacob Lake campground, both close after October 15th.  Plus free dispersed camping on the Kaibab National Forest which includes places right on the canyon rim.

Lisa on mule North Kaibab trail Roaring Springs Canyon North Rim Grand Canyon National Park ArizonaOctober 15th is also the last day for mule rides on the North Rim.  You can experience either a rim ride or descending two miles into the canyon on the North Kaibab trail.  North Rim mules do not go the 14 miles to the bottom.

Self-pay station North Rim Grand Canyon National Park ArizonaThe North Rim entrance station remains staffed until November 1st, weather permitting.  After that entrance fees are paid at the self-pay station behind the Visitor Center at south end of the main parking lot.

The Forever Resort gift shop at the Grand Lodge will be open until December 1st from 9am to 4pm and will offer coffee and limited snacks.

Water fill station by Administration North Rim Grand Canyon National Park ArizonaAfter October 15th the North Rim becomes pretty much day use.  With no food services and self-serve fuel you need to come prepared.  It can snow and be very cold so remember warm clothing.  Water to fill your own containers will only be available by the Administration building.

Closed gate at Entrance Station North Rim Grand Canyon National Park ArizonaWeather permitting, the North Rim will remain open for day use until December 1st.  At that time gates on State Route 67 will be closed at Jacob Lake and the park entrance station.

Yurt on North Rim Grand Canyon National Park ArizonaRim to rim canyon hikers can get a permit for the yurt or camping online or at the backcountry office on the South Rim.  Daily roundtrip van service by Trans-Canyon Shuttle between the North and South Rims will continue into November.  For specific times and reservations call 877-638-2820.

North Rim Store along Hwy 67 Kaibab National Forest ArizonaFacilities outside the park are also limited.  The North Rim Country Store 6 miles from the park entrance will remain open until noon on November 1st, weather permitting.  Jacob Lake Inn, restaurant and gas station, located 45 miles from the North Rim developed area, remains open year-round.

Snow along State Route 67 North Rim Grand Canyon National Park ArizonaAccording to a Grand Canyon news release, “Arizona Department of Transportation officials will try to keep Highway 67 open through December 1, but a major storm with heavy snowfall could close the road earlier. After October 15, visitors should be prepared for winter driving and travel conditions and are encouraged to call Arizona Highway information at (888) 411-7623 in advance of their trip to check on the status of Highway 67. Visitors to the area are reminded that Highway 89A remains open year-round.”

Kolb Studio and cloudy canyon with snow South Rim Grand Canyon National Park ArizonaThe South Rim remains open all year.  But it’s a good idea to check weather conditions.

Clouds over temples from Lodge North Rim Grand Canyon National Park ArizonaFor more information check out the Grand Canyon National Park website.

Fog backed Wotans Throne from Wedding Site North Rim Grand Canyon National Park ArizonaHope to see you on the North Rim next year after the May 15th opening date.

Sep 112014
 

All in a day.  Last week Teri and I went out on the Walhalla Plateau stopping at overlooks on the way to Cape Royal.  We waited until the morning rain passed and saw a lot of changing sky.

Stormy sky over Marble Plateau from Point Imperial North Rim Grand Canyon National Park ArizonaMoving away to the east from Point Imperial.

Cloud over Mt Humphreys from Cape Royal North Rim Grand Canyon National Park ArizonaHanging low over Mt Humphreys to the south from Cape Royal.

Sun rays over Zoroaster & Brahma temples from Cape Royal North Rim Grand Canyon National Park ArizonaMesmerizing sun rays to the west.

Moon over Cape Royal North Rim Grand Canyon National Park ArizonaThe moon made an appearance.

Sunset over South Rim from from Cape Royal North Rim Grand Canyon National Park ArizonaAnd we left just at sunset.

View skies from around the world or share your own at Sky Watch Friday.

Aug 282014
 

Much of the rim is not easily accessible but worth walking around the trees for a sunset through the North Rim forest.

Sunset North Rim Grand Canyon National Park ArizonaYet the trees frame the sky and canyon.

Sunset North Rim Grand Canyon National Park ArizonaTip toeing through the golden grasses to observe the golden view.

Sunset North Rim Grand Canyon National Park ArizonaAspen glow in the last light.

Sunset North Rim Grand Canyon National Park ArizonaWhile Ponderosa deepens into shadow.

Sunset North Rim Grand Canyon National Park ArizonaThe sky takes on the colors of the canyon walls in the fading light.

Sunset and crescent moon North Rim Grand Canyon National Park ArizonaMe and the moon, watching the show.

View more skies from around the world and share your own at Sky Watch Friday.