Special Use Permits from the National Park Service at the Grand Canyon will now be required for all organized, rim-to-rim, non-commercial groups, as well as extended day hiking and running. The NPS cites the increased useage of the trail systems, and hopes to reduce trail conflicts. An estimated 800 hikers per day are on the trails during peaks weekend days in spring and fall in the Park. Groups that will need permits include non-profits and clubs, and hikers and runners on extended day trips. Commercial rim-to-rim day trips will not be authorized.
“With rim-to-rim and extended day hiking and running increasing in popularity," says Park Superintendent Dave Uberuaga, "we needed to find an interim solution that would give us the tool to educate hikers and runners on best practices until we have a longer-term solution in place.”
Currently an Environmental Impact Statement is being prepared, that will aid in the revision of the 1988 Backcountry Management Plan. A draft plan should be available this fall for comment and review. An application is available from Grand Canyon National Park's website at: http://www.nps.gov/grca/parkmgmt/sup.htm