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Grand Canyon suspends some services because of coronavirus outbreak

(Flickr Photo/Grand Canyon National Park)

PHOENIX – The Grand Canyon National Park remains open, but it is suspending certain services and operations in response to the coronavirus outbreak in Arizona.

Starting at noon on Friday, the park will close the Mather campground and corridor trails.

Those trails include the Bright Angel and North and South Kaibab trails which lead to the inner part of the canyon.

The park has also suspended backcountry permits for camping at Bright Angel, Indian Garden and Cottonwood campgrounds.

Visitors can still access the viewpoints along the South Rim. Entrance fees are waived at Desert View and South Entrance stations.

The park is recommending guests follow social-distancing guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local and state public health officials to protect visitors and employees.

Last week, tourist-related operations that run through Grand Canyon West, like the Skywalk and river tours, temporarily closed operations in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

On Thursday, local governments and the Navajo Nation were waiting on an answer from the U.S. Department of the Interior on their request earlier this week for federal officials to shut down Grand Canyon National Park as cases of the coronavirus grow in surrounding areas.

Refunds for Mather campground reservations can be refunded through Recreation.gov. Information about rescheduling backcountry permits can be made by e-mailing grca_bic@nps.gov.

A handful of services are still open at Market Plaza, like the Canyon Village Market.

The park is providing closure updates on its website.

For all articles, information and updates on the coronavirus from KTAR News, visit ktar.com/coronavirus.

Arizona open and hiring: If you’re looking for job openings, visit ktar.com/arizonahiring.

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