Grand Canyon News

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Grand Canyon to change backpacker permit system

The Grand Canyon National Park is changing the system for getting backcountry permits.

Starting Feb. 1, 2010, the park will consider only written requests for backcountry permits four months in advance of trips.

The requests can be sent in by fax, by mail or hand-delivered, but all requests received each day by 5 p.m. will then be randomly ordered by computer for consideration for permits.

The park said on its website that the procedural change means applicants "will no longer be able to walk in and have their requests receive immediate consideration."

The old system was perceived as giving locals and those with the means to travel to the park to submit their requests an advantage over those trying to fax requests in.

The earliest you can get a backcountry permit for the canyon is four months in advance of a trip, so under the new system, the first day a request can be submitted in writing for a trip taking place in June would be Feb. 1, according to the park website.

The Arizona Daily Sun reported that one out of every two people who seeks permission to camp most places below the rim is denied because space is limited and there are many applications.

Eventually the park plans to move to an online reservation system. Also, the Park Service is not allowing any more individuals to establish commercial backpacking businesses until the agency sorts out a larger plan for the backcountry. New exhibit slated to open at Kolb Studio Nov. 13

GRAND CANYON, Ariz. - The work of artist Sally Hall will make it's way to Grand Canyon soon thanks to a new Kolb Studio Exhibit sponsored by the Grand Canyon Association and the Grand Canyon National Park. The exhibit will begin Nov. 13 and run through Feb. 17. An opening reception will be held Dec. 1 from 7-9 p.m. at Kolb Studio, located on the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park.

Hall's paintings draw from a rich southwestern history and utilize lines and patterns, reminiscent of ancient ceramics, in their depictions of the world.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

GRAND CANYON, Ariz. - The National Park Service (NPS) recently authorized its concessioner, Xanterra South Rim, L.L.C. (Xanterra), a temporary opportunity to conduct mule rides from the South Rim Village to the Abyss on the West Rim of Grand Canyon National Park.

This temporary opportunity was developed to accommodate some of the commercial mule traffic that was diverted from the park's popular South Kaibab Trail while the trail is undergoing reconstruction.

Xanterra's overnight mule trips to Phantom Ranch, private stock use, and pack mules used by both Xanterra and the NPS will continue to utilize the Bright Angel Trail during reconstruction efforts on the South Kaibab Trail.

Prior to the start of the South Kaibab reconstruction project, all of Xanterra's overnight mule trips to Phantom Ranch departed on the Bright Angel Trail and returned on the South Kaibab Trail. Currently those trips are departing and returning on the Bright Angel Trail. Grand Canyon National Park's 1995 General Management Plan allows Xanterra 60 mule passes (not including guide mules) on the Bright Angel Trail and 20 mule passes on the South Kaibab Trail each day. The temporary rim ride will allow Xanterra to continue their overnight mule trips to Phantom Ranch without exceeding their daily limit on the Bright Angel Trail.

The NPS is currently in the process of completing an environmental assessment for all stock use including concessioner operated mule rides within Grand Canyon National Park. The environmental assessment and associated decision document will be the basis for future mule and stock use within the park.

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