Arizona’s first major winter storm of the season blanketed Grand Canyon Village with more than two feet of snow. The December 8th barrage brought life on the South Rim to a virtual halt. Snowbound tourists were treated to a once-a-year spectacle, hungry deer switched from grass to low-hanging twigs, and locals traded Subarus for snowshoes to make the morning commute.
As a fifteen year resident, I’ve only seen a few winter storms this potent, and rarely this early. This bodes well for the “wet” winter that many are predicting, and is great news for a thirsty forest ecosystem that has been experiencing drought conditions for more than a decade.
A lesser snowpack would typically melt in a day or two in sunny Arizona, but this one promises to stick around for a while. If you are planning a Hanukkah, Christmas, or New Year’s Eve visit to the park, and were hoping for a winter wonderland, this is your year. Happy holidays!