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mfreyermuth

Road Conditions for Remote Trailheads - date posted Aug 5, 2019

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Grand Canyon National Park has temporarily instituted closures for the portion of the Ikes Fire Planning Area that is within Grand Canyon National Park. The following areas are closed:

  • The Powell Plateau Trail on the North Rim of Grand Canyon. 
  • The North Bass Trail on the North Rim of Grand Canyon.
  • Fire Point on the North Rim of Grand Canyon.
  • Swamp Point on the North Rim of Grand Canyon.
  • The W4 road north of Kanabownits Lookout on the North Rim of Grand Canyon.

This closure will remain in effect until further notice. Other roads and trails in the planning area may be temporarily blocked off due to hazards and fire personnel working in the area. For more info visit https://www.nps.gov/grca/learn/management/firemanagement.htm

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After heavy summer rain (July and August) or winter snow (December through March), expect impassable backcountry roads. If clear skies abound after the rain or snow, then it is often just a matter of days until the sun dries everything out. Sometimes, heavy rain or melting snow can lead to flooding, which can cause erosion of the roadbed and can delay access.

Other considerations for visitors travelling on remote backcountry roads include high clearance, such as may be needed on Forest Road 328 to South Bass Trailhead (limestone ledges) and on the final approach to Toroweap overlook (sandstone knobs and ledges).

Finally, consider elevation of the road that you will be travelling on, especially during the winter months. Roads in the 6,500 to 8,000 foot range may be impassable due to a snowpack, where lower elevations roads (below 6,000 feet) will see deteriorated road conditions due to rain.

Always check road conditions with the Backcountry Information Center before heading out to remote trailheads, tell someone where you are going and when you will be back, and be adaptable and prepared for the worst. High clearance, four-wheel drive is usually recommended for roads to remote trailheads.

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It is not uncommon for trees to fall and block access to remote trailheads. When you encounter a road blocked by fallen trees, what should you do?
  • Report the location and diameter of the tree to Grand Canyon park dispatch (928-638-7805) as soon as possible. The park will assign staff to clear the road.
  • If an appropriate (not blocking the road and not damaging vegetation) place to park is available, park your vehicle and continue to the trailhead on foot.
  • Do not drive off-road attempting to bypass the obstacle, doing so can cause resource damage.

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