For decades the seven-mile road, rim trail and parking areas that lie between Grand Canyon Village and historic Hermits Rest fell into disrepair due to a combination of heavy use and the elements. Even after restricting access to private vehicles the infrastructure continued to deteriorate.
In February of 2008 the park service began closing the area and embarking on an ambitious project to address the bucket list of needed repairs. To absorb the thousands of park visitors that were turned away, alternate park service bus routes were added on those roads that remained unaffected.
On November 15th, a newly-invigorated Hermit Road was opened to the public with both ceremony and celebration—just in time for the throngs of holiday travelers.