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Grand Canyon’s South Rim transitions to winter operations Dec. 1
Visitors should prepare for winter driving conditions, closures

A winter sunset is captured from the historic district in Grand Canyon Village on the South Rim, Feb. 6. (Photo/NPS)

A winter sunset is captured from the historic district in Grand Canyon Village on the South Rim, Feb. 6. (Photo/NPS)

GRAND CANYON, Ariz. — Starting Dec. 1, visitors to Grand Canyon National Park should prepare for modified changes in operations.

Visitors should also plan ahead and anticipate temporary road closures and poor driving conditions whenever winter storms pass through the area.

Shuttle bus operations

• The Hermit Road will open to private vehicles; the Hermit Road Shuttle (Red) Route will be suspended for the season.

• The Village (Blue) Route and the entire Kaibab (Orange) Route will begin service at 6 a.m. each day and stop every 15-30 minutes at designated shuttle bus stops. The Kaibab (Orange) Route will run until one hour after sunset each day and the Village (Blue) Route will run until 9 p.m. each day.

• The Hikers’ Express Buses will operate at 8 and 9 a.m. The express buses will stop at the Bright Angel Lodge, Backcountry Office, and the Grand Canyon Visitor Center on their way to the South Kaibab Trailhead.

• All shuttle bus services are subject to change and may be suspended on short notice due to public health concerns or inclement weather. Visitors should anticipate alternative means of transportation if traveling to the South Rim during the winter months.

Mather campground

• Beginning Dec. 1, online reservations will no longer be available for the months of December, January, and February. Registration will be on a first-come, first-served basis using the automated fee machine located at the Mather Campground Kiosk at the entrance to the campground.

• During busy holiday periods, Mather Campground is likely to be near or at capacity. The campground kiosk is closed and not staffed during winter, and online reservations through are not available. Visitors wishing to reserve a campsite for 2022 can make a reservation on up to six months in advance.

Winter travel

If traveling to Grand Canyon National Park during the winter months, visitors should always be prepared for winter driving conditions. The National Park Service, Arizona Department of Public Safety, and Coconino County Sheriff’s Office recommend the following winter driving tips:

• Take your time and be patient. Allow extra time to get to your destination.

• For best traction, always slowly accelerate, decelerate, and turn.

• Increase the distance between you and the traffic ahead of you, allowing plenty of time to brake and steer around hazards.

• Slow down. Posted speed limits are set for normal road and driving conditions. Snow and ice are not normal.

• Keep emergency supplies such as blankets, flashlights, and snacks in your vehicle.

For current road and weather information in Grand Canyon National Park, please call 928-638-7496. For road conditions across Arizona, visit or dial 511.

Visitors and residents are encouraged to visit the National Weather Service Flagstaff website for up-to-date weather forecasts and snow fall predictions. For information about Grand Canyon National Park road closures and conditions call 928-638-7496 or visit

For additional information on visiting Grand Canyon National Park during the winter season visit:

Information provided by NPS

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