Video: Rockslide closes Kaibab Trail, Grand Canyon North Rim opening delayed

Redwall Bridge at the Grand Canyon in May 2019. Kaibab trail closure will make access to this and other landmarks impossible until June. (At Home in Wild Spaces)

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GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK — The North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park has received more than 250 inches of accumulated snow this winter. Due to heavy snow, the reopening of the North Rim has been delayed from mid-May until June 2, according to the National Park Service.

The announcement followed news that a rockfall and landslide had damaged both the North Kaibab Trail, as well as the North Rim pipeline making many areas unsafe or impassable for hikers. Until the damage can be fixed, hikers will not be permitted between Cottonwood Campground and the North Kaibab Trailhead for any reason. The trail closure is also expected to be lifted by June 2.

As the only maintained trail into the canyon on the north end of the popular rim-to-rim corridor, the North Kaibab Trail and rim closures will adversely affect travelers planning to visit the north rim, as well as rim-to-rim hikers and others hoping to enter the canyon from the north.

The Grand Canyon Lodge, located at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, is barely visible following record-breaking snowfall this winter.
The Grand Canyon Lodge, located at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, is barely visible following record-breaking snowfall this winter. (Photo: E. Shalla via National Park Service)

With approximately 7 miles of the rim-to-rim route along the North Kaibab Trail inaccessible, completing the iconic rim-to-rim canyon crossing will be impossible throughout the month of May.

If you had previously planned to visit the North Rim or attempt crossing rim-to-rim during the month of May, you'll need to seek out other routes or activities.

This video highlights areas affected by the closures and presents several alternative options, ranging from short introductory hikes into the canyon along the South Rim, as well as a number of strenuous rim-to-rim alternatives if your plan to cross the canyon has been interrupted by recent closures.

Park officials said the delayed opening is necessary to ensure that state Route 67 can be safely plowed.

"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," said Grand Canyon National Park Superintendent Ed Keable.

Whether you plan to visit Grand Canyon this year or not, make sure to prepare adequately for any treks into the canyon and always respect the land, wildlife and your fellow travelers.

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Intermountain WestOutdoorsU.S.
Mike is a writer, filmmaker and public speaker, who, along with his wife Michelle, owns and manages At Home in Wild Spaces Films, a film studio that produces informational outdoor adventure media and resources. Mike graduated from BYU with a degree in film and animation, and occasionally writes about entertainment and current events.


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