Grand Canyon delays opening of North Rim due to snowfall
NORTH RIM, Ariz. (AP) - The public will have to wait a little longer to visit the North Rim at Grand Canyon National Park this year.
Like other parts of the West, northern Arizona received an abundance of snow over the winter, and park officials say pushing back the opening from mid-May to June 2 will give them more time to plow the main state road that leads to the rim and allow staff to reopen visitor facilities.
"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," Superintendent Ed Keable said in a statement Friday.
According to park officials, the North Rim has received more than 250 inches (6.35 meters) of accumulated snowfall since October. That marks what is believed to be the second-snowiest on record for the North Rim since 1925, although there are some years of missing data during that time period.
Photos shared by the park showed impassable areas and snow up to the eves of one of the entrances at Grand Canyon Lodge.
The snow depth recorded on Bright Angel Point in March totaled a record 92 inches (2.34 meters). The weather station near the point is situated at an elevation of 8,339 feet (2.54 kilometers).
The North Rim typically receives an average of 126 inches (3.2 meters) of snow each year.
The Grand Canyon Lodge as seen on April 4, 2023. The North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park has received more than 250 inches of accumulated snowfall this winter season. (E. Shalla/NPS)
Park officials said the visitor station, backcountry information center and the bookstore will reopen June 2 and daily ranger-led programs will resume. Grand Canyon Lodge North Rim operations also are expected to reopen on that date, while the North Rim Campground will reopen June 9.