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Grand Canyon park access to increase, including Colorado River trips

(Flickr Photo/Grand Canyon National Park)

PHOENIX — The National Park Service on Thursday announced plans to increase recreational access to Grand Canyon National Park, including the resumption of Colorado River trips.

Private, noncommercial river trips with current permits will be authorized to launch in additional to commercial and administrative ones beginning June 14.

When river trips do return, they will be with limited passenger capacity to mitigate potential spread of COVID-19, NPS said in a press release.

No new permits for trips will be issued until at least the end of June.

Additional access will also start Friday.

The south entrance to the South Rim will be open daily from 4 a.m. to 2 p.m. for limited day use.

Visitors who enter the park by 2 p.m. will be able to remain in the park until sunset.

The Tuweep campground will also open for day use access, and day hiking on inner canyon trails and existing backcountry permits for overnight camping will be honored. NPS won’t be issuing any additional permits.

Next Friday, the Mather campground will reopen for existing reservations and the North Rim will open for day use.

Finally, lodging at the North and South rims will begin a phased reopening some time in June.

There are currently no plans to reopen the east entrance of the South Rim, the Desert View watchtower area and Desert View campground.

Amenities in Grand Canyon National Park began reopening on May 15.

The national park closed in early April because of the coronavirus outbreak.

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