Grand Canyon National Park to begin phased opening

 Thursday, May 14, 2020 


The Grand Canyon National Park has decided to gradually reopen access starting May 15. Authorities have planned to open the park’s South Rim South Entrance for incoming traffic. The entrance will open on Friday and will be available for access from 6 AM to 10 AM. The announcement was officially made by the National Parks Service on Wednesday.

The decision arrives a day after Governor Doug Ducey declared that the Stay Home, Stay Healthy, Stay Connected” order would expire on May 15. Retail stores in the region began opening for business last week. On Monday, Dine-in restaurants were allowed to resume services. Pools and gyms reopened Wednesday. Salons and barbershops also opened in the area. Right after, the announcement regarding recreational access to selected South Rim viewpoints was made.

The park will provide limited access to the viewpoints at Pipe Creek Vista, Shoshone Point, Twin Overlooks, Duck on a Rock, Thor’s Hammer, No Name Point, and Navajo Point along East Desert View Drive. Visitors will have to turn around their vehicles at Navajo Point. Access would also be given to picnic areas near Shoshone Point Pavilion, east of Yaki Road, Thor’s Hammer, and Buggeln Picnic area. Restroom facilities at South Entrance Grand Canyon National Park sign, picnic area east of Yaki Road, Shoshone Point, and Buggeln picnic area will also be available with limitations. These facilities would be available from May 15 to May 18.

However, facilities at South Rim’s east entrance and Desert View area, the Rim Trail, Greenway Trail system, Grand Canyon Village, the Colorado River, North Rim, and Tuweep area will be closed. Inner canyon and all hiking trails will also remain unavailable. Center Road west from the South Entrance Road intersection as South Entrance Road north of Desert View Drive has also been ordered to remain closed.

The National Park Services has mentioned no overnight accommodations are available at the moment and visitors would be allowed to stay at the park throughout the day except for the night. Visitors have also been advised to carry hand sanitizer as well as food and water. All commercial services at the park will also remain closed at the moment.

The National Park Service has also mentioned that it is currently working in association with federal, state, and local public health authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation. It has been informed that the authorities are using a phased approach to increase access on a park-by-park basis. Grand Canyon Park has also mentioned that it will ensure that visitors abide by guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to maintain social distancing measures that can help mitigate the risk of coronavirus spread. It has also decided to undertake all necessary measures required to protect public health. 

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