GRAND CANYON - The staff on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park will begin to shut down most visitor services and facilities on Saturday, Oct. 15; but the North Rim will remain open to visitors through Nov. 27 or until snow closes Highway 67 leading into the park.
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. 27 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. 27. From Oct. 16 until closure, operating 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. Entrance fees and campground fees will be collected through the end of the day on Nov. 27 or until snow closes Highway 67.
Starting Nov. 28, 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 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 p.m. to 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 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 until noon Nov. 1, 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 to 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.
The South Rim and Inner Canyon facilities remain open year-round. Visitors can contact the North Rim Visitor Center at (928) 638-7864 for additional information on North Rim operations. For additional trip planning information, visit the park's website at www.nps.gov/grca or call the park's main information line at (928) 638-7888.