2020 Fee-Free Days
The first fee-free day of 2020 is coming up this Monday, January 20th for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. National Parks that normally charge an entry fee will be free to visit that day. This is a great opportunity to visit Grand Canyon without fighting the summer crowds. Winter is a truly amazing time at the Canyon!
Learn more by visiting the following links:
- Grand Canyon News – Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day at Grand Canyon for Free
- USA Today – Get free admission to more than 100 national parks on Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Kolb Studio Webcam
There is a new webcam at the South Rim! The Grand Canyon Conservancy, Grand Canyon’s non-profit partner, has installed a webcam at the historic Kolb Studio at the top of the Bright Angel Trail.
Now you can check out the weather conditions for yourself by checking out their Park Information page, https://www.grandcanyon.org/park-information, for the latest image as well as other useful information for visiting the park.
Of course, the webcam operated by the Park Service is still available at Yavapai Point and can be viewed on my Grand Canyon Weather page, https://www.hitthetrail.com/grand-canyon-weather.
New National Park
This next bit of news isn’t Grand Canyon-related but is exciting all the same. White Sands National Monument has just been elevated to National Park status. White Sands became the 62nd designated national park Friday with Trump’s signing of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020.
If you’ve never visited this amazing park, I urge you to check it out. The “sand” at White Sands is unlike sand you’ll find elsewhere. It is made of silky-smooth gypsum and feels like cool sugar between your toes. It is truly magical!
As stated on the Sandatlas site:
“Ordinary sand grains made of quartz are the disintegration product of granite, sandstone, or other quartz-containing rocks. The crystals of quartz can be very old. Gypsum grains in the White Sands National Monument are different. They are not the product of disintegration of rocks. These grains are formed in the salty brines which get their high dissolved gypsum from the gypsum containing sedimentary rocks nearby.”https://www.sandatlas.org/gypsum-sand/
Learn more about White Sands new designation by visiting the following links:
- White Sands NPS page: https://www.nps.gov/whsa/index.htm
- NPS White Sands Press Release: https://www.nps.gov/whsa/learn/news/nr12212019.htm
- USA Today – White Sands National Monument in New Mexico has been re-designated as U.S. national park
Until next time, Happy Trails!