The consequences of the record-breaking precipitation of early 2023 continue to manifest, as the North Rim of the Grand Canyon further delays its summer season opening.
Left to right:
Snow can really add to the beauty of a landscape scene ...
... but for all the beauty, enough snow can make it hard to get into the lodge. Photos courtesy of the National Park Service.
Per the National Park Service website, “Following a record-setting snow season, this delayed opening is necessary to ensure the safe plowing of State Route 67 and allow staff to reopen visitor facilities on the North Rim.” According to Superintendent Ed Keable, “We appreciate the patience and cooperation of our neighbors and visitors with this delay as our partners and park staff work to open the North Rim roads, trails, and facilities safely.” During the winter storms, parts of the park - with North Kaibab Trail mentioned specifically - suffered landslides and rockfall damage that requires addressing before they can reopen.
The NPS has set the opening date for general North Rim summer season operations as June 2, 2023, with the North Rim Campground opening on June 9. Sites like Cape Royal, Point Imperial, Widforss Trail, Point Sublime, the North Bass Trailhead and other locations along the Kaibab Plateau will open in early July. According to the NPS announcement, “Snow removal, damage assessment and road repairs necessitate the closure of these roads until this date to ensure visitor and worker safety … These closures are necessary to protect park resources and allow crews to remove downed trees currently blocking the routes.” Once open, all other roads including State Route 67 will remain open to vehicle traffic through the end of the season.
For specifics on the park’s operations and for help planning a 2023 visit to the North Rim, readers can visit www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/north-rim.htm.