As national parks begin to reopen, visitors will start to see what the new normal could look like. The Grand Canyon in Arizona will be implementing new regulations as of Monday, May 18. For the safety of tourists, new guidelines and limited capacity allowance are being put in place.
The Grand Canyon is set to reopen between May 15 and May 18 partially.
To ensure the safety of visitors, the park is only opening the South Rim's South Entrance, which will be admitting cars from 6 a.m. until 10 a.m.
According to the website, access to the following viewpoints will be permitted for daytime use:
- Pipe Creek Vista
- Twin Overlooks
- Duck on a Rock
- Thor's Hammer
- No Name Point
- Navajo Point along East Desert Drive
Several picnic areas and restrooms will also be available to the public, but cars will be asked to turn around past Navajo Point.
The park will also require visitors to be "self-sufficient" as commercial services will not be open. Visitors are asked to bring water, food, and any other supplies they will need on their trip.
Inner canyon areas, hiking trails, and the Grand Canyon Village will remain closed until further notice.
Entry will be free at this time, as fees are being waived due to the recent changes.
It is recommended that guests arrive before 9:30 a.m. in case there's heavy traffic.
The canyon is open to entrants for the entire day, but there will be no overnight admittance or accommodation.
By keeping some areas closed, the park hopes to reduce the chance of exposure to residents in the area.
The Grand Canyon National Park Superintendent said: "This initial reopening phase will increase access to our public lands in a responsible way...while reducing the potential exposure of COVID-19 to our nearly 2,500 residents."
It may extend its entry hours for Memorial Day, but they are taking reopenings on a day by day platform to ensure the safety of both visitors and employees.
We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.