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Archive for May 13th, 2013

Road Conditions for Remote Trailheads – date posted May 13, 2013

Posted at May 13th, 2013
Posted by Zion National Park Motel
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Most National Park Service North Rim backcountry roads should be accessible by May 16, 2013. The W-1 Road from AZ 67 to W-4 (The Basin) will remain closed (locked at the gate beyond Widforss) until it dries out. The W-4 Road north of Kanabownits will likely be unlocked/open on May 16. Access to Point Sublime will be possible from this road (from USFS lands). The W-1 Road will be signed closed from the intersection with W-4. The Swamp Point Road from its intersection with the W-4 Road will potentially be cleared of logs on May 16.

After heavy rains, usually during the summer (July and August) and winter (December through March) months, expect impassable backcountry roads. If clear skies abound after the rain, then it is often just a matter of days until the sun dries everything out. Sometimes, heavy rain can lead to flooding, which can cause erosion of the roadbed and can delay access.

Other considerations for visitors travelling on remote backcountry roads include high clearance, such as may be needed on Forest Road 328 to South Bass Trailhead (limestone ledges) and on the final approach to Toroweap overlook (sandstone knobs and ledges).

Finally, consider elevation of the road that you will be travelling on, especially during the winter months. Roads in the 6,500 to 8,000 foot range may be impassable due to a snowpack, where lower elevations roads (below 6,000 feet) will see deteriorated road conditions due to rain.

Always check road conditions with the Backcountry Information Center before heading out to remote trailheads, tell someone where you are going and when you will be back, and be adaptable and prepared for the worst. High clearance, four-wheel drive is usually recommended for roads to remote trailheads.

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It is not uncommon for trees to fall and block access to remote trailheads. When you encounter a road blocked by fallen trees, what should you do?

  • Report the location and diameter of the tree to Grand Canyon park dispatch (928-638-7805) as soon as possible. The park will assign staff to clear the road.
  • If an appropriate (not blocking the road and not damaging vegetation) place to park is available, park your vehicle and continue to the trailhead on foot.
  • Do not drive off-road attempting to bypass the obstacle, doing so can cause resource damage.

Report from the North Rim – date posted May 13, 2013

Posted at May 13th, 2013
Posted by Zion National Park Motel
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Grand Canyon’s North Rim will open on May 15 for the 2013 summer season. The Arizona Department of Transportation will open Highway 67 to the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park on Wednesday, May 15 by 8:00 am; and Grand Canyon Lodge North Rim, a Forever Resorts property, and Grand Canyon Trail Rides will commence their 2013 seasonal operations.

Most National Park Service North Rim backcountry roads should be accessible by May 16, 2013. The W-1 Road from AZ 67 to W-4 (The Basin) will remain closed (locked at the gate beyond Widforss) until it dries out. The W-4 Road north of Kanabownits will likely be unlocked/open on May 16. Access to Point Sublime will be possible from this road (from USFS lands). The W-1 Road will be signed closed from the intersection with W-4. The Swamp Point Road from its intersection with the W-4 Road will potentially be cleared of logs on May 16.

Grand Canyon Lodge North Rim operations include lodging, groceries, camper services, food services and a service station. All concessioner facilities will open at 10:00 am with the exception of the dining room which will open at 11:30 am for lunch. Lodge check-in will begin at 4:00 pm. All services provided by the National Park Service, including the Visitor Center, backcountry permitting office, and campground, as well as the Grand Canyon Association bookstore will be available on May 15th at 8:00 am.

The last day for most concessioner services and regularly scheduled ranger-led programs will be October 15, 2013. The National Park Service will continue its operations including the North Rim Visitor Center and Bookstore, as well as the Backcountry Permits Office through October 31. November 1 through December 1 the North Rim will be open for day use (no overnight parking) only unless snow closes Highway 67 prior to that date. From November 1 through December 1 pay-at-the-pump gas and diesel will still be available and visitors will continue to have access to Point Imperial and Bright Angel viewpoints, as well as the North Kaibab Trailhead. Camping will be available to those that walk or hike in (no car camping) at the North Rim Campground and Yurt, provided a backcountry use permit has been obtained – these permits will continue to be available through the South Rim Backcountry Information Center, and at the visitor Center at Pipe Spring National Monument located in Fredonia, Arizona.

Zion National Park Accepting 2014 Artist-in-Residence Applications

Posted at May 13th, 2013
Posted by Zion National Park Motel
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Four artists will be selected for two spring and two fall residency slots.

Free Lecture “Mormonism in the 19th-Century American Mind” on Thursday, May 16 at Zion Canyon Community Center

Posted at May 13th, 2013
Posted by Zion National Park Motel
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The lecture is free and open to the public.