Many North Rim facilities to close for season soon at Grand Canyon

Park will remain open to visitors through late November or until snow closes Highway 67

GRAND CANYON, Ariz. - As colors on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park begin to change, it is a reminder that the North Rim's visitor season is winding down. The staff on the North Rim will soon begin to shut down most visitor services and facilities, but the park will remain open to visitors through Nov. 28 or until snow closes Highway 67 leading into the park. Starting Nov. 29, at 8 a.m., the gates to the park will be closed to motorized vehicles. Hikers and cross country skiers are still welcome to enter the North Rim of the park throughout the winter months, providing backcountry permits have been obtained.

Reservations for the Grand Canyon Lodge North Rim, operated by Forever Resorts, will be accepted through the night of Oct. 15. All other concessioner-related visitor services, with the exception of the gift shop and gas station, will close at the end of the day on Oct. 15. The last meal served at Grand Canyon Lodge will be breakfast, which ends at 10 a.m. on Oct. 16. The final day for mule rides on the North Rim will be Oct. 15. Self service gas and diesel fuel will continue to be available in the park through Nov. 28 or until Highway 67 closes.

The National Park Service's North Rim Visitor Center and Bookstore as well as the Backcountry Permit's Office will remain open through Nov. 28. From Oct. 16 until closure, operation hours will be 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Regularly scheduled ranger-led programs, as advertised in "The Guide," will be offered through Oct. 15. Starting Oct. 16, campsites with limited services, such as portable toilets, will be available for a $12 fee on a first-come, first-served basis. Water will only be available outside the National Park Service administrative office. Gas and diesel fuel will continue to be available at the gas station located inside of the park. Entrance fees and campground fees will be collected through the end of the day on Nov. 28 or until snow closes Highway 67.

As in previous years, hikers and cross-country skiers will be permitted to use the park's group campsites on the North Rim throughout the winter months if they have obtained a backcountry permit through the park's South Rim Backcountry Information Center or at the Visitor Center at Pipe Spring National Monument, located in Fredonia, Arizona. The South Rim Backcountry Information Center is open year-round and can be reached by calling (928) 638-7875, Monday through Friday, from 1-5 p.m. MST. Permit requests can be faxed year-round to (928) 638-2125. Backcountry information can be found on the park's Web site at http://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/backcountry.htm.

The Kaibab Lodge, located four miles north of the park boundary, will have full services through Oct. 31. The Kaibab Lodge will close for the season after breakfast Nov. 1. The North Rim Country Store, also located outside of the park boundary across from the Kaibab Lodge, will remain open through Nov. 2, weather permitting.

Jacob Lake Inn, restaurant and gas station, located 45 miles from the North Rim developed area, remains open year-round. The Kaibab Plateau Visitor Center at Jacob Lake will have reduced hours starting mid-October.

Arizona Department of Transportation officials will try and keep Highway 67 open through the end of November, but a major storm with heavy snowfall could close the road earlier. After Oct. 15, visitors 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 can contact the North Rim Visitor Center at (928) 638-7864 for additional information on North Rim operations.

The South Rim and Inner Canyon facilities remain open year-round. For additional trip planning information, please write: Trip Planner (or) Backcountry Trip Planner, Grand Canyon National Park, P.O. Box 129, Grand Canyon, Ariz., 86023

Additional information can also be obtained by logging onto the park's website at www.nps.gov/grca or by calling the park's main information line at (928) 638-7888.

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