North Rim colors approach peak<br>

Aspens contrast with pines on the North Rim.

The National Park Service’s North Rim Visitor Center closes for the season at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 13. The North Rim Campground will be converted to primitive camping on Oct. 14 with limited services (portable toilets), and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis until snow closes Highway 67.

The North Rim Backcountry Office will be open through 5 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 31. Hikers and cross-country skiers will be permitted to use the park’s group campsites throughout the winter if they have obtained a permit through the park’s South Rim Backcountry Office, or by going to the Visitor Center desk at Pipe Springs National Monument.

The South Rim Backcountry Office is open year-round and can be reached by calling 638-7875, Monday through Friday from 1-5 p.m. Permit requests can be faxed year-round to 638-2125. Permits are not considered earlier than the first of the month, four months prior to the proposed start date.

Overnight accommodations through the concessioner, the service station and related visitor services will close before noon on Oct. 14. The last meal served at the North Rim’s Grand Lodge will be breakfast. The final night for lodging will be Wednesday, Oct. 13. The camper store and gift shop will close for the season at the end of the day on Oct. 13.

Reservations for mule rides on the North Rim will be accepted through Oct. 12 by calling Grand Canyon Trail Rides at 638-9875. The Kaibab Lodge, four miles from the park boundary, will be closed after breakfast on Oct. 16 and the Country Store, located outside of the park boundary, will remain open until early November, and then will be closed until mid-May.

Arizona Department of Transportation officials have assured the park staff that Highway 67 into the North Rim will remain open to public travel through Nov. 1, but cautioned that from Nov. 2 on, the road is subject on closure on short notice due to major storms and heavy snowfall. After Nov. 1, visitors are encouraged to call the park at 638-7888 in advance of their trip to check on the status of Highway 67.

During daytime visitation, from Oct. 14 until final closure of State Highway 67, only emergency services will be provided by the NPS, and visitors are reminded to pay special attention to their gas gauge, since gas will no longer be available in the park. Gas and diesel fuel will be available five miles north of the park at the Country Store through early November. Jacob Lake Inn, restaurant and gas station, 44 miles north of the park, remains open year-round.

The South Rim and Inner Canyon facilities remain open year-round.

For more information, visit www.nps.gov/grca or call the park at 638-7888.

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