It’s that time again. The end of October marks the official end of another summer at the Grand Canyon.
This means that as the sun sets on Arizona on the 31 st , it also sets on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon
for another year.
Arizona is known for having beautiful weather until early November. This prompts the park to get ahead
of possible bad weather by starting the shut down of services two weeks ahead of the change. This year,
the National Park Service expects to start the annual closure at noon on October 16 th , 2019.
Of course, the Grand Canyon does not become a ghost town the last two weeks, leading up to
Halloween. Instead, rangers continue to staff the campground, entrance station, and visitor center
occasionally. Yet, The Grand Canyon Lodge, restaurants, shower, laundry facilities, campground store,
ranger programs, canyon trail rides, and the visitor center’s bookstore will be closed. However, these
facilities will be ready and waiting for you to visit them again in the middle of May.
The Backcountry Information Center will be open daily until October 31 st , from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Yet, the
information center does close for lunch from noon to 1 p.m. So, make sure you are prepared for that if
you plan to visit this area during this time.
The reason for the Winter closure is due to safety concerns. The North Rim is only accessible via State
Route 67. Park officials explain that this road, which is a total of 43-miles is also the only way to reach
Jacob Lake and U.S. 89A. During times of bad weather, the roads and subsequent areas of the North Rim
become a hazard. To mitigate that hazard, the park takes these safety precautions.
Fortunately, though, there are still many areas to visit throughout the Grand Canyon, both on the North
and South Rim of the canyon.
Some of these amenities include Bright Angel Point Trail, which is a scenic drive throughout the entirety
of the year. (However, it is important to note that if there is extremely bad weather, this trail could
close. Although, it is not closed off seasonally.) There is a gift shop, a self-service gas station (which does
not accept cash), and port-a-potties that are available to park visitors all year long.
Additionally, Backcountry overnight camping is available. However, this requires a permit during the
winter, which needs to be requested in advance.
If you would like to experience more of the Grand Canyon during your trip, however, the South Rim is
open all year. This is the rim which has better weather, so the precautions that are necessary for the
North Rim are not mandatory on the South Rim