Grand Canyon Update Amid COVID-19
In light of the spread of COVID-19, trying to find out what is open and closed in our national parks is a moving target these days. The National Park Service is coordinating with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), state and local public health authorities and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to make its decisions on what to keep open or to close on a daily basis.
As of April 1, Grand Canyon National Park has completely closed until further notice.
Last month on March 20, 2020, all Xanterra operated services within Grand Canyon National Park including lodges, restaurants and tours suspended until May 21, 2020. As of March 22, 2020, the Yavapai Lodge, operated by Delaware North, closed until May 1, 2020.
All restaurants within the park are closed until further notice. In addition, the park has temporarily suspended collecting entrance fees at the Desert View and South Entrance Stations to help limit exposure of park staff and visitors to COVID-19. Digital entrance pass options are not available at this time. Please do not attempt to purchase.
Furthermore, the Grand Canyon Shuttle Bus Service is suspended, including the Hiker Express Shuttle. All shuttle bus service on the South Rim is suspended until further notice. This includes Hiker Express Shuttle, Tusayan Shuttle (Purple Route), Village Route (Blue Route), Kaibab Rim (Orange Route) and Hermit Road (Red Route). Hermit Road will remain closed to private vehicles.
The following visitor stations on the South Rim are closed until further notice because of safety and health concerns: South Rim Visitor Center, Yavapai Geology Museum, Verkamps Visitor Center, Kolb Studio, Desert View Watchtower and Tusayan Museum. Grand Canyon Conservancy's Park Store (shop.grandcanyon.org), across the plaza from the Visitor Center, is closed.
Interpretive park ranger programs are cancelled. Park film showings in the Visitor Center Theater are cancelled until further notice. Desert View Watchtower Cultural Demonstrations have been suspended for the month of March.
On March 18, 2020, the South Rim Backcountry Information Center (BIC) transitioned to issuing backcountry permits via phone and email only. There is no in-person service. The building will be open for visitors to enter, use the bathrooms and to submit "same day" backcountry permit requests. Instructions for submitting "same day" requests are provided inside the BIC.
Not related to COVID-19, water is off at Bright Angel Campground. A break in the transcanyon pipeline is being repaired. There is no way to wash hands. Camping is not recommended.
To follow additional closures or changes with the status of the park, visit the Grand Canyon news site at www.nps.gov/grca/learn/news/
For camping reservations, alerts and closures at Mather Campground or the North Rim Campground, visit Recreation.gov here: www.recreation.gov/camping/gateways/2733
Follow the park on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GrandCanyonNationalPark/
Grand Canyon West COVID-19 Management
As of March 18, 2002, Grand Canyon West, a non-national park site on the west side of the Grand Canyon, is closed. Owned and run by the Hualapai tribe, it’s known for its Skywalk. The closure will be effective Wednesday, March 18 and is expected to be in effect for two weeks, after which time the tribe will evaluate the situation.
To get up-to-date news on Grand Canyon West, go to grandcanyonwest.com/covid-19/.
Follow Grand Canyon West on Facebook at www.facebook.com/grandcanyonwest
Death Valley National Park Amid COVID-19
As of March 18, 2020, all visitor centers are closed, ranger led programs cancelled, and the following campgrounds closed March 18 and 19: Emigrant, Mesquite Springs, Texas Springs, Furnace Creek, Sunset and Stovepipe Wells.
Visitors can continue to enjoy Death Valley National Park online through videos, including the series “Death Valley Explorer.” These can be found at the park website at www.nps.gov/deva/learn/photosmultimedia/.
Get Death Valley’s most up-to-date alerts at www.nps.gov/deva/learn/news/.
Follow the park on Facebook here: www.facebook.com/DeathValleyNPS
Only Furnace Creek Campground takes advanced campground reservations. Find out updates at www.recreation.gov/camping/campgrounds/232496.
Other National Parks and National Park Sites
The National Park Service has been updating its COVID-19 page daily with information about individual parks. You can visit it here: www.nps.gov/aboutus/news/public-health-update.htm
Updates about nationwide NPS operations will be posted on www.nps.gov/coronavirus.
National Park Service to Temporarily Suspend Park Entrance Fees: www.nps.gov/orgs/1207/national-park-service-to-temporarily-suspend-park-entrance-fees.htm
National Park Service Is Modifying Operations to Implement Latest Health Guidance www.nps.gov/orgs/1207/statmentonparkopscovid19.htm