If you're headed for the North Rim at Grand Canyon National Park in August, you need to be aware of some upcoming closures of key roads due to construction work. Here's the current schedule to help you plan your trip.
Like many parks at higher elevations and/or northern locations, Grand Canyon is faced with an unwelcome reality—the time of year when the weather allows road construction to occur coincides with the main visitor season.
Park officials try to minimize the inconvenience to motorists by use of alternating lanes of traffic and even work at night when possible, but sometimes it's deemed necessary to close stretches of road altogether. That will be the case for several days in August on the North Rim.
Access into or out of the North Rim (Highway 67) will not be affected by these closures, and visitors will still be able to reach the campground, lodge and other key facilities in the park. The closures will involve the North Rim Scenic Drive. Here's the rundown:
Cape Royal Road (the portion of the Scenic Drive beyond its junction with the Point Imperial Road) will be closed Monday – Wednesday, August 9 – 11 and again Monday – Wednesday, August 16 – 18.
The entire Scenic Drive from its junction with Highway 67 (including Cape Royal Road) will be closed on Wednesday, August 11 and again on Wednesday, August 18.
You can download maps from the park website to help you locate the areas involved.
The park notes that "while these planned closure dates are 'firm,' they are also weather dependent. North Rim visitors, community members and park partners are encouraged to check the park’s on-line construction page for the latest updates and any changes."
A park spokesman also offered an explanation for the need for the closures, and acknowledged the potential inconvenience.
Chip sealing and fog sealing require the use of large pieces of equipment approximately ten feet in width. Due to the narrow width of the Cape Royal and Point Imperial access roads (the Scenic Drive), concerns arose that public and contractor safety could not be adequately protected if traffic were allowed on the Scenic Drive during these activities.
The National Park Service, Federal Highway Administration, contractors and subcontractors are all committed to minimizing impacts to visitors and community members. We apologize for any inconvenience this project may have on our visitors and community members.
With a bit of advance planning, it's hoped most visitors can schedule their activities to minimize any disruptions in their trips.