Tuesday, July 08, 2008
Route replaces Hermit run
Construction crews continue work on the rehabilitation of Grand Canyon's historic Hermit Road. The project started in February, with the road west of Hopi Point closing on April 1.
As of Monday, the entire length of Hermit Road was closed and will remain closed until late November, when the project is expected to be completed. On Monday, shuttle service also started from Canyon View Information Plaza to Desert View with stops at Grandview Point, the Tusayan Ruin and Museum, Moran Point and Desert View.
Buses run at 20-minute intervals with the first bus leaving CVIP at 7 a.m. and the last run at 5 p.m. The first Desert View bus leaves at 8:10 a.m. and the last departure from Desert View is 6:10 p.m. Service stops before sunset.
The Rim Trail is now closed from the first Trailview Overlook west to Hermits Rest. Construction may force temporary closures of the trail between Hermit Road intersection and first Trailview Overlook.
Hermit Trail will be closed to day hikers until construction activities have been completed. Backcountry permits for hikes entering on the Hermit Trail and exiting elsewhere will only be issued from September-November. A morning shuttle will be provided for permit holders.
Visitors with an overnight backcountry permit for areas accessible from the Hermit Trail from the park's Backcountry Information Center (BIC), for backcountry use areas reached by the Hermit Trail, will only be allowed access to the trailhead during the months of September, October and November. No access will be permitted to the trailhead during the months of June, July and August. During the months that Hermit Trail is accessible, backcountry permit holders will only be allowed to hike down Hermit Trail; an alternate trail must be used to hike out.
Hermit Road includes nine overlooks, access to the historic Hermits Rest and Hermit Trailhead, seven miles of improved and unimproved rim trails and many popular spots for viewing sunset. Normally it is open only to shuttle riders, pedestrians, bicycles and handicapped drivers from March through November.
The project includes widening the road to 24 feet, improving bus stops and developing up to five miles of pedestrian trail including a three-mile, multi-use greenway trail for pedestrians and bicyclists.
For more information about guided bus tours on the South Rim, contact Xanterra at 928-638-2631
Hermit Trail: All backcountry permit holders hiking into the canyon via the Hermit Trail are required to use an alternate trail to complete their hike. Hikers will not be allowed to hike out via the Hermit Trail. Access to Hermit Trailhead will be limited to free early morning shuttle buses (drop off only).
June, July, and August: No access by foot or vehicle.
September, October, and November: park shuttle bus will take hikers to the Hermit Trailhead at following times (no pick-up).
September: shuttle buses will leave the Backcountry Information Center at 4:30 a.m. and 5:30 a.m.
October: shuttle buses will leave the Backcountry Information Center at 5:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m.
November: shuttle buses will leave the Backcountry Information Center at 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m.
Note: Restrooms are available near the Hermit Trailhead.
Alternate Trails: During construction, access will be limited to the Hermit Basin. Visitors wishing to obtain backcountry permits are encouraged to use alternate trails and safe backcountry itineraries. Please refer to the Backcountry Trip Planner and talk with a park ranger at the Backcountry Information Center or at the visitor center at Canyon View Information Plaza for additional guidance and information.
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