Fire Restrictions Going Into Effect Friday, May 14
The Kaibab National Forest (the national forest lands surrounding both the South and North Rim of the Grand Canyon) will be entering Stage 1 Fire Restrictions starting Friday, May 14. This is being done to reduce the risk of human-caused wildfires during periods of high fire danger and severe fire weather conditions. Read more about this on the Kaibab National Forest’s Alerts & Notices page.
What do Stage 1 Fire Restrictions mean? It means that the following is prohibited:
- Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire, charcoal, coal, or wood stove, except within a developed recreation site.
- Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle, building, or a developed recreation site.
To find a list of developed sites as well as more information on fire restrictions, visit the Kaibab’s Fire Restrictions page.
The North Rim Opens May 15 With Some Changes
The Grand Canyon announced the gate at the entrance to the North Rim will open on Saturday, May 15 at 6:30 a.m. to start the 2021 season. The Grand Canyon Lodge and Grand Canyon Trail Rides will also open the same day.
While many of the services will open, there will be some changes this year. There will be no shower or laundry service available this year. The North Rim Hiker Shuttle will also be unavailable. Masks will be required indoors and outdoors in any locations where physical distancing cannot be maintained.
For a full list of services, times, and changes, read the park’s press release, North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park to Open May 15 for 2021 Season.
Spelunking the Grand Canyon to Learn More About Its Springs
I told you there would be something fascinating! Have you hiked past Roaring Springs, Ribbon Falls, or Havasu Falls and wondered at the amazing amount of water flowing from them? They are beautiful and life-giving in the parched desert that surrounds them.
I heard a wonderful report on NPR about scientists spelunking Grand Canyon’s caves to learn more about the springs and underground water that feed them, the waterfalls, and of course, the mighty Colorado River. I was shocked to learn that most of the water in the Colorado does not come from snowmelt but rather from groundwater!
I highly recommend this NPR/Cronkite News report, Researchers spelunk the Grand Canyon to document its beautiful, confounding springs. You can listen to it online or read the transcript. It gave me a whole new appreciation for the water here – and it was already soaring.
A final note. Due to the exceptional drought throughout Arizona, please take extreme care when traveling and camping. I cannot stress how dry it is. The entire state is tinder dry and ready to burn at the slightest provocation. Chains from trailers, cigarette butts thrown out the window, pulling your vehicle off the road into grass, campfires – anything hot – can spark a wildfire that can change our lives and landscape for the rest of our lives. And the wind is more than happy to make it the largest in history. It seems that every fire becomes the largest in history – until the next one! Thank you for being careful.