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North Rim opens May 15

North Rim visitors take in the views at the lodge. Photo/WGCN

North Rim visitors take in the views at the lodge. Photo/WGCN

GRAND CANYON, Ariz. - After the Arizona Department of Transportation opens Highway 67 to the North Rim on May 15 by 8 a.m., the Grand Canyon Lodge North Rim and Grand Canyon Trail Rides will start their 2014 seasonal operations.

Grand Canyon Lodge North Rim operations include lodging, groceries, camper services, food services and a service station. All concessioner facilities will open at 10 a.m. with the exception of the dining room that will open at 11:30 a.m. for lunch. Lodge check-in will begin at 4 p.m.

All services provided by the National Park Service, including the Visitor Center, Backcountry Information Center, and campground, as well as the Grand Canyon Association bookstore will be available on May 15 at 8 a.m. Visitors should be aware that the North Rim Entrance Station and campground no longer accept cash and only accept credit cards for entrance and camping fees.

The first scheduled ranger program, Grand Canyon Geology, will be on the back porch of the Grand Canyon Lodge at 3 p.m. The first evening program will be on May 15 at 8 p.m. in the Lodge auditorium. All ranger programs are listed in "The Guide," a free publication distributed at the North Entrance Station, the North Rim Visitor Center, other contact stations in the park and online www.go.nps.gov/hpeku7.

The last day for most concessioner services will be Oct. 15. The National Park Service will continue its operations including the North Rim Visitor Center and Bookstore, as well as the Backcountry Information Center through Oct. 31. The last regularly scheduled ranger-led programs will be Oct. 15. From Nov. 1 through Dec. 1, the North Rim will be open for day use (no overnight parking) unless snow closes Highway 67 prior to that date. From Nov. 1 through Dec. 1 pay-at-the-pump gas and diesel will be the only service available. Visitors will continue to have access to front country access points such as Point Imperial and Bright Angel viewpoints and the North Kaibab Trailhead. Overnight parking is allowed with a backcountry permit. Remote backcountry access points such as Widforss Trailhead, Point Sublime and North Bass will be accessible weather permitting and with a valid permit. Access to Cape Royal and Cape Final will be restricted. The North Rim campground will be closed to car camping but a few sites remain available to backcountry travelers with a valid backcountry permit. The Backcountry Information Center can offer more information. Last minute permit inquiries are available at Pipe Spring National Monument located in Fredonia, Arizona.

The North Rim lies at the southern end of the Kaibab Plateau at approximately 8,500 feet in elevation, and offers spectacular canyon views. It is approximately a 215-mile drive from the South Rim. Points of interest include Point Imperial, Cape Royal, Point Sublime, North Kaibab Trail, and Bright Angel Point.

Advance overnight lodging reservations for North Rim facilities may be made by contacting Forever Resorts at (877) 386-4383 or by visiting their website at www.grandcanyonforever.com. Advance reservations from outside of the United States, are available by calling (480) 998-1981. Advance reservations for the North Rim Campground must be made by calling (877) 444-6777 or online at www.recreation.gov. More information on Grand Canyon Trail Rides is available by calling (435) 679-8665 or by visiting their website at www.canyonrides.com.

Copies of the park's Trip Planner or "The Guide" for the North Rim, are available by visiting www.go.nps.gov/hpeku7.

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