Winter has come early this year! Not only is much of the country experiencing early winter conditions, but Grand Canyon has been seriously impacted by heavy snow and freezing temperatures.
Various road closures are affecting the park. State Route 67 to the North Rim has been closed and will remain so until it reopens in mid-May for the summer season.
Other road closures include Desert Rim Drive (previously known as East Rim Drive), I-40 and I-17 in the Flagstaff and Williams areas. Highway 180 is rough, especially considering that you are going over some very high elevation spots near the San Francisco Peaks.
The power went down on the South Rim Friday morning and is not expected to be back on until early evening. Per Grand Canyon’s Facebook page, most places are without heat as well as power.
Roads in and out of the park are closed. However, both the Village and Desert View markets are open and Yavapai Lodge has power. The park is setting up emergency shelters for those who are unable to leave today.
As you can see, a visit to the park is going to require preparation. And this isn’t just for hikers! Remember, the South Rim sits at 7,000 feet elevation! That’s higher than most people realize.
Be safe and do your research before coming up, especially if you are driving in from Phoenix or Las Vegas.
Happy holidays everyone. Yikes!