May 1 – 8, 2017
There’s plenty to do getting ready to open the North Rim after being closed over the winter. At one point there was 11 feet of snow. Now the roads are clear and patches of snow can be seen in the shade of the forest. But it could snow again so come prepared for all kinds of weather.
The North Rim opens May 15th in the morning when gates are opened at Jacob Lake and the entrance station. Entry free is $30/car load or free with National Park pass. No cash, credit or debit card only.
We’ll be ready for your arrival. However, some services may be limited. High snow pack on the North Kaibab plateau caused rock fall which took out over 300 feet of water pipe to the North Rim and severely damaged over 800 feet of the North Kaibab trail. It is the worst damage the pipeline has suffered in more than 20 years. Crews have been working diligently on repairs keeping safety in mind. Repairs are moving along but all staff are currently on tight water conservation. A contractor is hauling up to 40,000 gallons of water a day to fill the storage tanks until repairs are completed and there is enough drinking water stored for visitors and to meet structural fire requirements.
Because repairs to the water pipeline were completed before schedule the Lodge will open with full food and accommodation services. The Deli in the Pine will not open until May 26th. The campground will also open May 15th with potable water, public laundry and shower facilities. The North Rim grocery store, gas station and post office will be open. Grand Canyon Trail Rides offered at the North Rim will begin operations May 15. The North Rim Visitor Center and Grand Canyon Association bookstore will be open from 8 am to 6 pm daily, with a variety of ranger programs offered. The backcountry information center will be open 8 am to noon and 1 pm to 5 pm daily.
The North Rim Interpretive Rangers drove to the South Rim last week to pick up supplies and get reinstated on the government computer system. Something we do every year. Stopped at Navajo Bridge on the way there and saw #01 (stud book #601), a six-year old male California Condor born in the wild, hanging out under the bridge. Isn’t he cute?
The offices, storage and supplies are clean and organized. The visitor center wiped down, mopped and stocked. We’re doing research, studying and polishing up our programs. Monday I joined two other Rangers for a three-day training session in Page, 2 1/2 hours away. I’d say we’re ready to open the North Rim May 15th. Hope you’ll make it for a visit.