The good news for lovers of Grand Canyon National Park’s North Rim is that the National Park Service will be opening the gates on May 15, following the annual winter closure. The caveat is that overnight lodging will be delayed by a week or two due to major damage sustained by the Trans-Canyon Pipeline.
The pipeline, which serves as the sole source of potable water for the developed area of the North Rim, was severely damaged in a massive rock slide earlier this year. NPS crews are working hard to replace the damaged sections, recharge the line, and get the water flowing again to the hotels, campgrounds, and administrative buildings in time for the summer crowds.
Trails and the public campground will not be directly affected, and the hotel will be open for day use until the restrictions are lifted. Employees and visitors alike will have to make do in the interim with the dwindling supply in the park’s one million gallon storage tank.
After the anticipated rocky start, the North Rim can look forward to tens of thousands of hikers, campers, backpackers, and rim walkers cycling through before the next seasonal closure begins in mid-October.