With summer season around the corner for Grand Canyon National Park, planning ahead will be necessary to make the most of your trip.
Visitors stopping by the South Rim on June 1 are invited to participate in Wildlife Day activities from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Grand Canyon Visitor Center plaza.
The Grand Canyon Conservancy, AZ Desert Bighorn Sheep Society, Heritage Park Zoo, International Falconry Center and AZ Wilderness Center will all be a part of the wildlife activities.
Director Scott Saunders will also be premiering The Nature Makers, a film about the relocation of the Humpback Chub on the Colorado River
Trip Planning Tips
With Your Pass Now, visitors can spend $70 for a Grand Canyon annual pass, $35 for a vehicle pass, $30 for a motorcycle pass or just $20 for a pedestrian pass online to save time before they arrive at the park.
At the park entrance, just show either a printed copy of the pass or and have it saved on their mobile device to enter the park.
For shorter wait times, visitors traveling from Albuquerque or Phoenix should drive to the park’s eastern entrance gate to avoid larger crowds.
Don’t spend time looking for a parking spot within the park, park in Tusayan and ride the shuttle bus in.
Visitors traveling to the Village area that are planning to arrive after 10 a.m. when parking lots are full can maximize their time in the park by riding the Tusayan shuttle bus.
Conditions on the North Rim
While most facilities are open, some scenic areas on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park such as Point Imperial, Cape Royal, and Point Sublime are not yet accessible due to lingering snowpack and waterlogged areas created by melting snow.
These areas might not be accessible until mid-June so check ahead for current conditions.
Water conservation measures including portable toilets in public areas, use of disposable plates and utensils in all dining facilities and the closure of the public laundry and shower are currently in place until repairs to the park’s waterline are completed measures.
Visitors to Grand Canyon National Park, especially those hoping to visit the inner canyon, need to prepare for summer temperatures in the park and on the trails.
Anyone planning to hike into the canyon should take extra precautions to hike smart.
This includes hiking before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m., packing plenty of water, dressing appropriately for the weather and carrying plenty of salty snacks.
In the summer, temperatures on exposed parts of the trail can reach over 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
Hiking in extreme heat can lead to serious health risks including heat exhaustion, heat stroke, hyponatremia and hyperthermia.
Grand Canyon park rangers advise that anyone hiking in heat needs to balance food and water intake, drink when thirsty and get wet to stay cool.
Additional information about hiking smart in the heat is available online at www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/hike-smart.
Follow reporter Terell Wilkins on Twitter, @SpeedyVeritas, call him at 252-367-8463 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.