Park operation updates can be found on the Grand Canyon National Park Operations Update webpage.
Average temperatures, weather information and road conditions can be found on the Weather Conditions page.
Backcountry Status Updates (listed by date posted):
(Confused about RSS and how to use it? Visit the Grand Canyon RSS Information page.)
Drinking Water in the Cross-Canyon Corridor
Grand Canyon's water supply comes from Roaring Springs, a natural spring located approximately 3,500 feet below the North Rim. Water is delivered via an aging pipeline that suffers multiple breaks a year. When the pipeline breaks, water stops flowing to the North and South Rims and sites along the way. Although large storage tanks provide ample water to rim locations, while the pipeline is being repaired water may or may not be available below the rim in the cross-canyon Corridor.
When hiking below the rim a method to treat water must ALWAYS be part of your hiking gear. Information on how to treat water at www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/safe-water.htm
The list below shows if water is on or off
Seasonal water stations are usually turned off for the winter sometime between Oct 10th and 30th dependent on location and associated temperatures.
Water available (year-round) on the South Rim at the Backcountry Information Center in the lobby. Water available (year-round) on the North Rim outside the Backcountry Information Center. Additional water bottle filling stations can be found on the Go "Green" and Refill Your Water Bottles web page.
Plan Ahead and Prepare: A backup method to treat water must always be included as part of your hiking gear. Backcountry hikers should always carry extra water.
Transcanyon Waterline Construction-Related Closures
Transcanyon Waterline construction-related closures to Grand Canyon National Park trail and campground areas.
The construction areas and schedule are subject to change, check the Grand Canyon National Park Operations Update webpage for current operational status. Intermittent trail delays of up to 30 minutes in the vicinity of construction work may occur as necessary throughout the project.
Visitors will be able to use an upper portion of the Bright Angel Trail from the Trailhead to nearly 1/2 mile down the trail during the Dec 1, 2023 - Apr 14, 2024 closure period. The South Kaibab Trail will remain open for private river exchanges during Bright Angel Trail closures. Due to some of the Bright Angel Trail closures, mule rides will be suspended Dec 1, 2023 - Apr 14, 2024.
No hikers or other trail users will be allowed to pass through closure areas under any circumstances. The National Park Service emphasizes the importance of always staying on designated trails, and visitors should not attempt to go over or around a closure. Trail users should pay attention to directions from park rangers, volunteers, construction flaggers, and signs placed along the trail.
Camping reservation dates during the expected closures for Havasupai Gardens and Bright Angel Campgrounds are unavailable to reserve on Rec.gov. Visitors can contact the Backcountry Information Center at firstname.lastname@example.org for more camping and hiking information. Commercial use authorization (CUA) permit holders can contact the permits office for questions related to their CUA permit at email@example.com.
More information about the construction closures and the Transcanyon Waterline project are available on the Transcanyon Waterline project webpage.
Backcountry Status and Trail Conditions
CAUTION - After a record-breaking snow year, rockfall and slides have been reported on multiple trails. All hikers should be aware of the increased likelihood of rockfall within the inner canyon.
Colorado River water flow. On September 11th, Glen Canyon Dam confirmed an immediate decrease in river flows. Hourly releases will fluctuate from a low of approximately 5,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) during the early morning hours to a high of 8,000 cfs during the afternoon and evening hours. Glen Canyon Dam may further adjust flows with little more than 24 hours notification. Water flow information available at https://grcariverpermits.nps.gov/waterFlow.cfm
If a creek looks turbulent, is muddy, or looks unsafe, then DO NOT CROSS. Turn around! Increased flash flood risk in all drainages during rain events. Elevated sediment should be expected in Colorado River water. Hikers must know how to treat and settle water. Read Safe Drinking Water information at www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/safe-water.htm
Weather and road conditions information available at www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/weather-condition.htm
Ribbon Falls Bridge has been removed due to damage. Until the bridge is replaced, visitors will be asked to stay on the North Kaibab Trail and travel safely in this area. The park intends to replace the bridge so 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.
Hiking the Corridor? Be sure to visit the Trail Courtesy Practices That Leave No Trace webpage.
Organized Group Rim-to-Rim and Extended Day Hike/Run: Any organized, non-commercial group of 12-30 participants, or not-for-profit group conducting rim-to-rim, rim-to-rim-to-rim, rim-to-river-to-rim, and/or extended day hikes in the inner canyon must obtain a Special Use Permit (SUP). The inner canyon is defined as the area below the Tonto Platform from the South Rim and below Manzanita Resthouse from the North Rim. Groups may not break into smaller groups on different permits to accommodate group size. Commercial operations are not authorized under this SUP. For more information visit www.nps.gov/grca/parkmgmt/sup.htm
Backcountry Permits Move to Recreation.gov for Start Dates in 2024
Grand Canyon National Park has moved its overnight backcountry reservation system to Recreation.gov for all calendar year 2024 and later permits. This move will help streamline the backcountry permitting process by allowing around 80% of backcountry permits to be directly reserved and paid for online. The new system will provide applicants with greater control and add additional transparency. Applicants will no longer need to submit applications by fax and wait up to a month for the thousands of requests to be considered manually by park staff.
News release available at www.nps.gov/grca/learn/news/backcountry-permits-move-online.htm
Grand Canyon backcountry permits and Recreation.gov FAQs available at www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/backcountry-permit-questions.htm
Summer Heat Warning
The National Park Service urges SPECIAL CAUTION for all hikers during the summer months. Individual days can reach a high of 115°F (46°C) or higher. These temperatures are beyond unpleasant or uncomfortable-they are, in fact, dangerous and if you fail to factor the heat into your plans the results could be tragic.
It's hot down there! Manage the heat for a safe hike.
Grand Canyon National Park Recreational Forecast at https://www.weather.gov/fgz/recreation?location=GrandCanyon
Report from the North Rim
Grand Canyon National Park’s North Rim is open for the season. North Rim visitor services, lodging, restaurants, and campground, are open through October 15, 2023. For information on visiting the North Rim during the 2023 season, please visit: www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/north-rim.htm.
Road Conditions for Remote Trailheads
Havasupai tribal boundary at junction with Forest Service Road 328 closed until further notice. Visitors heading out to South Bass should contact the Backcountry Information Center prior to departure. For specific information about Havasupai land, contact Havasupai Tribe, PO Box 10, Supai, Arizona 86435. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 928-433-8130
Driving Muddy Roads Prohibited. Operating a motor vehicle on muddy roads, or in a manner that damages roads or park resources, is prohibited.
After heavy summer rain (July and August) or winter snow (December through March), expect impassable backcountry roads. If clear skies abound after the rain or snow, then it is often just a matter of days until the sun dries everything out. Sometimes, heavy rain or melting snow can lead to flooding, which can cause erosion of the roadbed and can delay access.
Other considerations for visitors travelling on remote backcountry roads include high clearance, such as may be needed on Forest Road 328 to South Bass Trailhead (limestone ledges) and on the final approach to Toroweap overlook (sandstone knobs and ledges).
Finally, consider elevation of the road that you will be travelling on, especially during the winter months. Roads in the 6,500 to 8,000 foot range may be impassable due to a snowpack, where lower elevations roads (below 6,000 feet) will see deteriorated road conditions due to rain.
Always check road conditions with the Backcountry Information Center before heading out to remote trailheads, tell someone where you are going and when you will be back, and be adaptable and prepared for the worst. High clearance, four-wheel drive is usually recommended for roads to remote trailheads.
It is not uncommon for trees to fall and block access to remote trailheads. When you encounter a road blocked by fallen trees, what should you do?
Be Aware of Lightning Danger
Summer storms in the southwest are often accompanied by potentially deadly lightning. Visitors walking and hiking in the park are reminded that if they can hear thunder, they should consider ending outdoor activities. If the sound of thunder follows a lightning flash within 30 seconds, seek shelter inside a building or vehicle. If this is not possible, move well away from high points such as ridges and the edge of the canyon. Do not seek shelter beneath tall trees.
More information can be found on the Lightning Danger web page (www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/lightning-danger.htm).
Visitors to Tuweep, including all park areas within Toroweap Valley and on the Kanab Plateau, must have (1) a Park Pass with Photo ID and (2) a Day Permit or Backcountry Permit. These are not available on site and must be purchased prior to trip. A backcountry permit is required for Tuweep Campground (TCG).
Driving Muddy Roads Prohibited. Plan visit for dry Tuweep conditions! Operating a motor vehicle on muddy roads, or in a manner that damages roads or park resources, is prohibited.
For Tuweeep info visit https://go.nps.gov/tuweep
Tuweep Day Permits available at Recreation.gov https://www.recreation.gov/timed-entry/10089462
Park entrance pass info at www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/fees.htm
South Kaibab Trailhead Access
NOTE: There is ***NO PARKING ALLOWED*** at the South Kaibab Trailhead. Hikers must park their vehicles elsewhere. DO NOT PARK at the South Kaibab trailhead. If you drive beyond the "Do Not Enter" signs, and park at the trailhead, you WILL get a ticket.
You can either walk to the South Kaibab Trailhead or take a park shuttle bus. Two park bus routes stop at the trailhead.
The Hikers' Express bus starts at the Bright Angel Lodge, then travels to the Backcountry Office, the Visitor Center, and the South Kaibab trailhead. The bus runs daily.
The Kaibab Rim Route (Orange Route) eastbound operates daily. Hikers can park at the Grand Canyon Visitor Center and access the South Kaibab Trailhead via the Kaibab Rim Route (Orange Route).
Visit the Shuttle Buses page for schedules and more info.
Hermit Trailhead Access
From Mar 1 to Nov 30, Hermit Road is closed to private vehicles. A numerical code is required to open the gate giving access to Hermit Road. Hikers with a valid backcountry permit who are beginning or ending their hike via the Hermit Trail will be permitted to park at the Hermit trailhead. The Backcountry Information Center will provide the gate access code when the backcountry permit is issued.
The Hermit Road shuttle between South Rim Village and Hermit Rest and the Hermit trailhead is operational Mar 1 to Nov 30. The Hermit Road Shuttle is free. Visit the Shuttle Buses page for schedules and more info.
Weather dependent, Hermit Road is open to all private vehicles Dec 1 to Feb 28. Be aware that in wintertime inclement weather can cause Hermit Road to close with little notice as storms move through the area. Always check with the Backcountry Information Center regarding the wintertime status of Hermit Road or call 928-638-7496 for updated road conditions.
Drinking Water outside the Cross-Canyon Corridor
Hikers should make every effort to obtain recent confirmation of water availability and become familiar with routes to the river before starting any hike. Contact the Backcountry Information Center for recent water reports.
Water available (year-round) on the South Rim at the Backcountry Information Center and at Hermits Rest (near the other public amenities). Water available (year-round) on the North Rim outside the Backcountry Information Center.
Additional water bottle filling stations can be found on the Go "Green" and Refill Your Water Bottles web page.
How to contact the Backcountry Information Center
The South Rim Backcountry Information Center is open daily from 8 am to noon and 1-5 pm Mountain Standard Time. The North Rim Backcountry Information Center is open daily mid-May to October 31 from 8 am to noon and 1-5 pm Mountain Standard Time.
Backcountry Information Center staff answer information telephone inquiries at 928-638-7875 between 8 am and 5 pm Monday through Friday, except on federal holidays.
Email the Backcountry Information Center
FAX number for permits is 928-638-2125
Trip Planner (2mb PDF file): The information in this newspaper can assist you in obtaining a backcountry use permit.
Video: Hiking Grand Canyon, Prepare for Backpacking. This video is designed to help you plan for and enjoy your hike into the canyon's harsh, yet fragile, environment.
Video: Leave No Trace. All Grand Canyon backcountry users are asked to follow Leave No Trace principles. The goal is to have minimum human impact on the canyon as a result of your trip.
Last updated: September 22, 2023