Grand Canyon National Park transitions to winter operations this week

Nov 29, 2021, 2:04 PM | Updated: 6:49 pm
(Flickr Photo/Grand Canyon National Park) (Flickr Photo/Grand Canyon National Park) (Flickr Photo/Grand Canyon National Park) (Flickr Photo/Grand Canyon National Park) (Flickr Photo/Grand Canyon National Park) (Flickr Photo/Grand Canyon National Park) (Flickr Photo/Grand Canyon National Park)

PHOENIX – Grand Canyon National Park is modifying operations this week as part of its annual winter transition.

South Rim area facilities are open year round, but visitors during the winter months should be prepared for poor driving conditions, temporary road closures and weather that can change quickly.

The following operational changes go into effect Wednesday:

Shuttle buses

One of the four shuttle routes that have been operating this fall will be cut off, and the other three will see a reduction in service.

The Hermit Road (Red) shuttle route will be suspended until the spring, although private vehicles will be allowed on the scenic South Rim road.

The Village (Blue) and Kaibab (Orange) shuttle routes will start daily at 6 a.m., an hour later than the fall schedule.

The Hikers’ Express Bus will cut back to two daily departures from Bright Angel Lodge, at 8 a.m. and 9 a.m., down from three during the fall.

Mather Campground

The Mather Campground, with more than 300 sites, remains open year round, but advanced online reservations are not accepted from December through February.

Spots, which are expected to fill up during busy holiday periods, will be available on a first-come, first-served basis using an automated payment machine at the entrance to the campground.

Mather Campground reservations for March and beyond in 2022, up to six months in advance, can be booked online.

North Rim

The North Rim closes to vehicle traffic for the winter, with State Route 67 expected to reopen May 15, 2022.

The North Rim campground can still be reached via hiking trails from the South Rim, or by hiking, cross-country skiing or snowshoeing 45 miles from Jacob Lake, but backcountry permits must be obtained in advance.

The North Rim Lodge is already closed for the year, with operations scheduled to resume May 15. Reservations for the 2022 season are open and usually fill up far in advance.

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Grand Canyon National Park transitions to winter operations this week