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The Grand Canyon will reopen this summer. Here's how it will go

Christopher Reynolds and Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Travel News

Grand Canyon National Park, which reopened for Memorial Day and then closed, will reopen Friday as rangers put plans for the summer in place. The park's hotels will soon follow.

The move comes amid many business and public-land reopenings in the West, despite pandemic cases and deaths.

The park, which was busy over Memorial Day, closed Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Beginning Friday, the park's popular South Rim's south entrance will be open from 4 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily, officials said in a statement.

Beginning June 5, that entrance will be open daily, all hours, and the South Rim's Mather campground will be open for campers with reservations.

The park's remote North Rim opens June 5 for day use. Its campground is expected to open July 1.

Beginning June 14, the park will phase in commercial and noncommercial Colorado River trips.

 

Xanterra, one of the park's concessionaires, said Thursday that it would reopen Grand Canyon lodgings in steps: First, Maswik Lodge on June 5. Then, El Tovar Hotel and Kachina Lodge on June 10. Bright Angel Lodge and Thunderbird Lodge will follow on June 15.

Many park features will remain closed, including the east entrance on the South Rim, Desert View Watchtower area and Desert View campground. Rangers have compiled a list of openings and closures on the park's website.

"We've been open for two four-day weekends and the idea was to assess how the weekends worked and what our operations will be going forward," said park spokeswoman Lily Daniels.

The park closed April 1 as pandemic measures forced shuttering of businesses nationwide. In a statement Tuesday, officials said the park has had two confirmed coronavirus cases, reported April 24. Besides consulting with local and state health authorities, park officials said they are "coordinating with neighboring tribes and communities" on how to gradually reopen while minimizing risk to the approximately 2,500 park residents. The phased reopening began May 15.

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