South Rim Trail /Trailhead updates

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hikeaz
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South Rim Trail /Trailhead updates

Post by hikeaz »

-No shuttle bus to South Kaibab. But in a puzzling move, no personal vehicles may be parked there in the empty lot or nearby either. Parked vehicles will be towed.
-Day hiking on inner canyon trails is allowed. Existing backcountry permits for hikers camping overnight are being honored. Again puzzling >> No new backcountry permits for start dates in July or August are currently being issued. Grand Canyon National Park is accepting requests for backcountry permits for September and beyond.
-Ribbon Falls Bridge is closed until further notice. The wood and steel bridge is located approximately six miles north of Phantom Ranch on a trail which takes hikers from the North Kaibab Trail to 120-foot Ribbon Falls.
- Hermit Road shuttle is closed. Maybe the MOST puzzling.. >> Hermit Road is also closed to personal vehicles. Access is by foot or bicycle only.
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sam_hikes
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Re: South Rim Trail /Trailhead updates

Post by sam_hikes »

Appears lots of old and new GC news hikers might want to know about...

The Silver Bridge will be closed to hiker use between 8am and 5pm MST, Mon-Fri, from Apr-12-2021 to May-7-2021. During the closure times hikers will need to cross the Colorado River via the Black Bridge instead. Hikers using the Bright Angel Trail can take the River Trail to the Black Bridge, this will add approximately 1.5 miles (2.4 km) to the trip. Arizona Public Service, a local electric utility, is completing an Inner Canyon project requiring access to the Silver Bridge.

GRCA trails staff will close the Cedar Ridge Compost Toilet Facility on the South Kaibab Trail for much needed maintenance, evacuation, and rehabilitation between Sunday April 25 and Monday May 10. The tanks must be completely evacuated to perform the necessary work. If you plan on hiking the South Kaibab trail, know that you should "Go before you go". The toilets at the trailhead will be unaffected.

Demolition of the Ribbon Falls Bridge will begin April 17. From now until the bridge is replaced, visitors will be asked to stay on the North Kaibab Trail and travel safely in this area. The bridge has been closed for over two years due to its deteriorated state. Recently, part of the bridge collapsed into Bright Angel Creek. The park intends to replace the bridge as quickly as possible and is actively seeking funding opportunities so that Ribbon Falls can be safely accessed.

The Cave of the Domes is closed to protect roosting bats and other sensitive cave resources. Bats are particularly sensitive to human disturbance and will abandon roost sites. As a reminder all caves in Grand Canyon National Park are closed to protect sensitive resources.

Organized Group Rim-to-Rim and Extended Day Hike/Run: Any organized, noncommercial, group conducting rim-to-rim and extended day hiking and running, including rim-to-river-to-rim, and rim-to-rim-to-rim in the inner canyon is required to obtain a Special Use Permit from Grand Canyon National Park. The inner canyon is defined as the area below the Tonto Platform (Tipoff and Indian Garden) from the South Rim and below Manzanita Resthouse (Pumphouse Residence) from the North Rim. Any group, regardless of size, which has advertised to the general public, required individuals to sign up prior to participation, or that has an organizer who has been compensated for their services (including subsidized participation in the activity), is required to operate under a Special Use Permit. For more information visit www.nps.gov/grca/parkmgmt/sup.htm

The National Park Service has implemented modifications to operations at Phantom Ranch through the year 2021. The Phantom Ranch Wastewater Treatment Plant (PRWWTP), located at the bottom of Grand Canyon, requires critical rehabilitation due to deferred maintenance and increased visitation levels. In order to reduce water and wastewater demands to the PRWWTP, the National Park Service has limited overnight use and existing visitor facilities at Phantom Ranch. This project is anticipated to last approximately 18-24 months. At Bright Angel Campground, site reservations have been decreased by 50% with a reduction in flush toilet restrooms for both day and overnight users. Phantom Ranch has closed all hiker dormitories and suspended all guest showers. All visitors are encouraged to use the existing compost toilets in the inner canyon corridor, including at Phantom Ranch. Day hikers to the inner canyon are reminded to plan ahead to ensure they can properly contain and dispose of all human waste during their hike.
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SpiderLegs
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Re: South Rim Trail /Trailhead updates

Post by SpiderLegs »

sam_hikes wrote:Organized Group Rim-to-Rim and Extended Day Hike/Run: Any organized, noncommercial, group conducting rim-to-rim and extended day hiking and running, including rim-to-river-to-rim, and rim-to-rim-to-rim in the inner canyon is required to obtain a Special Use Permit from Grand Canyon National Park. The inner canyon is defined as the area below the Tonto Platform (Tipoff and Indian Garden) from the South Rim and below Manzanita Resthouse (Pumphouse Residence) from the North Rim. Any group, regardless of size, which has advertised to the general public, required individuals to sign up prior to participation, or that has an organizer who has been compensated for their services (including subsidized participation in the activity), is required to operate under a Special Use Permit. For more information visit www.nps.gov/grca/parkmgmt/sup.htm
How is this different than what was going on before? I went to the park's website and it looks like if the group is under 10 people you still do not need a permit.
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DixieFlyer
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Re: South Rim Trail /Trailhead updates

Post by DixieFlyer »

@sam_hikes
Do you have a link for these statements?

The one link that you did include contains this statement: "Organized Non-Commercial Groups are defined as any group traveling together, such as scouts, a club, a church, a meet up group, or a family/friend group that has created its own itinerary. Group size - 1-11 people. Permits are required for group sizes of 11. 10 people or less do not require a permit."

I realize that we are talking about the federal government, but what is the rationale for requiring a permit for a group of 11, but not for a group of 1-10? I guess that it is a moot point right now, since group sizes are limited to 10 people due to COVID-19.
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. -- Edward Abbey
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sam_hikes
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Re: South Rim Trail /Trailhead updates

Post by sam_hikes »

https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/ ... MP_2383732

Maybe you think it might be due to the zoo all the organized R2R hikers and runners have created which sure looks like permits will be required next. Now it's most any and all groups.

I've run into many organized groups doing R2R's including an organized non-permitted group of 75 who used to do it twice a year and had a huge dinner party for all at the North Rim campground entrance that was no secret to many.

Now it any and all groups if Any group, regardless of size, which has advertised to the general public, required individuals to sign up prior to participation, or that has an organizer who has been compensated for their services (including subsidized participation in the activity), is required to operate under a Special Use Permit.
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sam_hikes
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Re: South Rim Trail /Trailhead updates

Post by sam_hikes »

@SpiderLegs
appears it has changed as too many people thinking it's cool to bring large groups into the canyon so now you need a permit or risk having NPS show up at your home.

The change due to COVID appears to be no groups larger than 10 are being allowed but SUP is still required for 10 or less if it's an organized event. So you're likely ok if you have a max of 10 people and do it stealthy/follow NPS SUP guidelines if needed.

GC NPS has a female ranger who is assigned to investigate groups & track down plus fine leaders in violation of the SUP as well as other violators. One of the more famous cases from several years ago was the arrest of the R2R mtn biker touring the USA who posted bike footage while riding down NK on youtube. They tracked him down at a bike race in Tucson and hauled him up to Flagstaff for a mandatory visit with a judge. I believe he was banned from all NPS sites for 1 year as well as fined plus was stuck in Flagstaff for a number of days.
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DixieFlyer
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Re: South Rim Trail /Trailhead updates

Post by DixieFlyer »

@sam_hikes
It has become a zoo on the corridor trails, at least at certain times of the year. I can see some sort of permit or lottery system being implemented in the inner corridor at "popular" times of the year
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. -- Edward Abbey
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SpiderLegs
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Re: South Rim Trail /Trailhead updates

Post by SpiderLegs »

sam_hikes wrote:I've run into many organized groups doing R2R's including an organized non-permitted group of 75 who used to do it twice a year and had a huge dinner party for all at the North Rim campground entrance that was no secret to many.
Wasn't this person a former HAZ member? Went on a few runs with someone who got busted and banned for two years. He had three busses full of family members and friends if I recall. Then printed t-shirts for all 150 of them.
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chumley
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Re: South Rim Trail /Trailhead updates

Post by chumley »

7 years worth of reading on this policy:
[ New $175 Permit + $300K Ins: R2R and ... ike/Run ]
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ShatteredArm
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Re: South Rim Trail /Trailhead updates

Post by ShatteredArm »

@DixieFlyer
I'd be OK with a daily lottery for all corridor day hikes past a certain point, with no charge for the permit. Would be much easier to enforce the rules, as everybody down there would then be expected to be able to show a permit if asked. If it's not a busy day, your lottery odds would be 100%.
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chumley
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Re: South Rim Trail /Trailhead updates

Post by chumley »

@ShatteredArm
As discussed previously, that would just push lottery "losers" out of the corridor. Which is a far worse outcome. Shove everybody onto BA SK. The more the merrier.
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DixieFlyer
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Re: South Rim Trail /Trailhead updates

Post by DixieFlyer »

@chumley
yep, the Hermit Trail and Grandview Trail would be swamped. Maybe even the Tanner Trail too -- everyone would want a selfie on Escalante Butte!
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. -- Edward Abbey
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ShatteredArm
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Re: South Rim Trail /Trailhead updates

Post by ShatteredArm »

@chumley
I'm not super convinced that the people who are unable to do r2r or day hike to Phantom Ranch because they weren't able to get an inner canyon permit are going to go explore Hermit Trail. Most of the hikers making last minute plans aren't going to Phantom Ranch anyways, and I don't think there's a ton of overlap between people who think r2r on a crowded May weekend sounds fun, and those who are intrepid enough to venture outside the corridor. Really all it will do is force people to plan ahead, and/or go on a weekday.
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chumley
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Re: South Rim Trail /Trailhead updates

Post by chumley »

@ShatteredArm
So all the people who want to do r2r or phantom plan ahead because they know and they get all the permits. Then the 6 million casual tourists who visit the south rim and have no idea about the permit lottery show up and want to hike to oooooooohhhhhhhh aaaaaahhhhhhhh point but can't because there are no permits. Guess where they decide to go instead? That's the definition of a bad outcome.
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joebartels
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Re: South Rim Trail /Trailhead updates

Post by joebartels »

Add 3.2 miles to the approach for large group permits. Virtually impossible to enforce; like all.
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sam_hikes
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Re: South Rim Trail /Trailhead updates

Post by sam_hikes »

SpiderLegs wrote:Wasn't this person a former HAZ member? Went on a few runs with someone who got busted and banned for two years. He had three busses full of family members and friends if I recall. Then printed t-shirts for all 150 of them.
different group but same GC ranger's investigation as that character arranged for 150 "family members" to arrive at NK via 3 charter buses but he was extra kind and staggered the buses 15-20 minutes apart as if the special t-shirts weren't a dead giveaway. Quite a setup as they came in via Fredonia from what I recall as they had arranged lodging for them all there.

I'm pretty sure the guy who was bringing along 75 and having the big celebration party each time in the NK campground had some ties or members on HAZ and advertised the event on facebook.

Wonder if this year will be even worse than 2020 when NPS once again mentioned in a press release record R2R traffic as bathroom facilities around Phantom can't handle it.

I'm surprised the press release never mentions of any accidents involving FKT collisions between runners/backpackers or mules which can be easily spooked especially by metal tipped poles.

I might of witnessed a runaway mule but there were no injuries and it wasn't intentional.
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ShatteredArm
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Re: South Rim Trail /Trailhead updates

Post by ShatteredArm »

chumley wrote:show up and want to hike to oooooooohhhhhhhh aaaaaahhhhhhhh point but can't because there are no permits.
The lottery would not affect those people. I'm going by the NPS's definition of "inner canyon":
The inner canyon is defined as the area below the Tonto Platform (Tipoff and Indian Garden) from the South Rim and below the Manzanita Rest Area from the North Rim.
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