Grand Canyon’s North Rim may get longer visiting season

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — With snowfall dwindling at the Grand Canyon’s North Rim, tourism promoters see an opportunity to stretch out the visiting season at the less popular side of the canyon so more people experience it and spend money in the region.

The canyon’s North Rim is fully open less than half of the year and isn’t as easy to get to as the South Rim, which attracts 90 percent of the canyon’s annual 6.25 million visitors. The North Rim has equally stunning views but is more serene, with cooler temperatures and far fewer tour buses.

The North Rim lodge and its infrastructure weren’t meant to handle harsh winters, and most employees are hired seasonally because of the historically heavy snow. Last season, however, saw just a fraction of the area’s average, and the snow didn’t come until January and February.

Overnight lodging at the North Rim shuts down Oct. 15, as do ranger-led programs and most concession services. The rim is open for visitor day trips until the highway closes Dec. 1 — or with the first significant snowfall — and then the entire area reopens in mid-May.

Advocates of lengthening the visiting season, some blaming or thanking climate change, envision adding a couple of weeks for now to both ends of the tourist season when the highway has little to no snow. They’d like to expand the season even more than that later.

“The end game for us is to get it open year-round or most of the year so we can promote ourselves as a four-season destination,” said Camille Johnson, tourism director for Kane County, Utah, in Kanab, the closest major city in Utah to the North Rim.

Snowfall at North Rim

The 30-year average for snowfall at the North Rim is more than 11 feet yearly, but the average over the past decade has fallen by more than 3 feet annually, according to the National Weather Service.

The season-to-season amounts can fluctuate greatly. About 3 feet fell between last October and May, indicative of a drier weather pattern in the Southwest. More than four times that amount fell in the same period the previous season, making a weather-based decision to extend the visitor season more difficult.

Readjusting the North Rim season makes sense from a climate change perspective, said Jonathan Overpeck, a climate scientist at the University of Michigan

“There’s some caution warranted because we will still get the big snow storms and the big snow years that they want to protect the visitors from,” he said Tuesday.

‘Problem is solvable’

The North Rim sits at more than 8,000 feet and is bordered by national forest land where a herd of bison roam. It has few amenities — a 1930s lodge that’s a national historic landmark, a gas station and a campground.

A drive from the Utah-Arizona border takes three hours roundtrip, so adding services and hiring people to provide them would be key to attracting visitors beyond the May-October period, said Dirk Clayson, chairman of the Kane County Board of Commissioners.

“The problem is solvable,” Clayson said. “Whatever we can do to influence, raise funds or lobby back in D.C. for additional staffing, we’re willing to do.”

A meeting is planned next month to chart out immediate and long-term proposals, but Johnson said she would not expect major changes for five to 10 years.

To provide services beyond the season, the park would have to hire the workers beyond their six-month stints, upgrade its water system because pipes buried just inches below the ground are susceptible to freezing, weatherize cabins and provide more resources for snowplowing, said park spokeswoman Kirby-Lynn Shedlowski.

She said the park hasn’t committed to anything but participating in meetings and letting people know when the park shuts down services in October that it’s still open for day use until the highway closes.

“That’s a low-lying fruit we can tackle this year,” Shedlowski said. “Longer-term stuff is going to be understanding what is the true capacity of the North Rim.”

Remote and rugged

Those who visit the North Rim typically aren’t seeing the Grand Canyon for the first time and are looking for a quieter experience than the South Rim, Shedlowski said.

Some make the North Rim trip as part of the Grand Circle — a collection of national park sites in the Southwest U.S. that includes Zion in Utah, Mesa Verde in Colorado, the Great Basin in Nevada and Chaco Culture National Historic Park in New Mexico.

One remote and rugged part of the North Rim stays open year-round but has no services and requires high-clearance vehicles.

Will James, the owner of Dreamland Safari Tours in Kanab, Utah, guides visitors to the scenic Toroweap outlook with views of the Colorado River that’s lower in elevation and doesn’t get much snow.

He wonders if extending hours at the rest of the North Rim is necessary and if the economics would work out like tourism promoters think.

ad-high_impact_4
News
Memorial service for former RJ lawyer Mark Hinueber
Mark Hinueber, the Review-Journal's former lawyer and defender of the First Amendment, died in Las Vegas on Aug. 23. Hinueber, who was 66, worked at the RJ and other newspapers for 42 years. On Saturday, his friends and family gathered for a memorial service.
Army veteran honored in Henderson event
Army Sgt. Adam Poppenhouse was honored by fellow veterans in an event hosted by a One Hero at a Time at the Henderson Events Center.
Nevada Task Force One Cheers Golden Knights
Nevada Task Force One Cheers Golden Knights
1 dead, 1 wounded in North Las Vegas standoff
A woman was hospitalized with serious injuries on Thursday morning after being shot inside a North Las Vegas house. Police responded about 11 p.m. to a shooting at a home on the 5600 block of Tropic Breeze Street, near Ann Road and Bruce Street. The wounded woman, police believe, was shot by a man, who later barricaded himself inside the house. SWAT was called to assist, and when officers entered the house, they discovered the man dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Las Vegas Teen Makes Clothing Resale His Side Hustle
Las Vegas resident Reanu Elises, 18, started buying and selling streetwear online when he was a high school junior. Like many other young adults, the world of online resale applications like Depop and Mercari have made selling clothing online for a profit easy. Now, Elises spends his free time at thrift shops looking for rare and vintage clothing he can list on his on his shop. Now in his freshman year at UNLV as a business marketing major, Elises hopes to open a shop of his own one day and start his own clothing brand. He estimates that he's made about $1000 from just thrifted finds in the past year, which he'll use to buy more thrift clothing and help pay for expenses in college. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal) @MadelynGReese
Fruition Vineyards Encourages Young Entrepreneurs to "Buy, Flip, Dream"
Once a month, young adults gather at Fruition Vineyards on South Maryland Parkway near UNLV to dig through a stack of rare, vintage and designer clothing that's marked down well below it's resale value. Shop founder Valerie Julian began the vent, dubbed "Fruition Vineyards" in August after running her streetwear shop since 2005. The event gives young entrepreneurs the opportunity to "buy, flip, dream" according to Jean. Meaning that they're encouraged to buy the clothing for sale and find a way to resell it for a profit, then reinvest that into whatever dream they pursue: college, a hobby or their own resale business. Shoppers lined up starting an hour before noon on the last Saturday in April for the opportunity and spoke about what they hoped to do with their finds and profits. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @MadelynGReese
Local man goes under cover searching for answers to homelessness
Licensed mental health therapist Sheldon Jacobs spent 48 hours under cover posing as a homeless man in an attempt to gain perspective on the complex issue.
Social Work UNLV Lecturer's Calling
Ivet Aldaba-Valera was the first person in her family to graduate from both high school and college. The 33-year-old UNLV lecturer is now pursuing her Ph. D in public policy at the school and has used her degree in social work to engage with the young Latino and Latina community of Las Vegas. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @MadelynGReese
The world's longest racetrack could be coming to Pahrump
Spring Mountain Motor Resort and Country Club in Pahrump might be the first racetrack in the world longer than 16 miles long once the expansion is complete. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Gold Point townsperson talks about why he choose to live in a ghost town
Gold Point townsperson Walt Kremin talks about the ghost town in Nevada he calls home. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Search for missing 3-year-old boy at Sunset Park
Las Vegas police and Red Rock Search and Rescue team search for a missing child at Sunset Park in southeast Las Vegas on Sunday, Sept.2, 2018. (Chitose Suzuki/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai speaks at Las Vegas tech conference
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, who was shot by the Taliban on her way home from school in Pakistan after advocating for girls' education, spoke at VMworld 2018 at Mandalay Bay. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren addresses Oct. 1 lawsuits
MGM Resorts International Chairman and CEO Jim Murren addresses criticism his company has received for filing a lawsuit against the survivors of the Oct. 1 shooting. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Father recalls the night his 14-year-old son died jumping into moving traffic
From the Clark County Detention Center, Ezequiel Anorve Serrano talks about the night his 14-year-old son, Silas Anorve, died jumping into moving traffic on U.S. 95. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Palace Station unveils new sports book
Palace Station talks about the new sports book Thursday, August 23, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
One of world's longest racetracks planned in Pahrump by 2020
The racetrack will be 16 miles long by the year 2020 according to Spring Mountain Motor Resort and Country Club owner John Morris. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Henderson police bodycam footage of officer-involved shooting
Henderson police released body-worn camera footage of an officer-involved shooting in a grocery store parking lot at 2667 Windmill Parkway on Aug. 12, 2018. (Henderson Police Department)
Robotics takes off at Las Vegas Academy
Las Vegas Academy’s robotics team made it all the way to the world competition last year, the first year the team competed. Zackary Perry describes how they programmed their robot to compete. The team is an example of what Tesla wants to have in every school in the state. (Meghin Delaney/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bicyclist suffers major head trauma in hit-and-run
A bicyclist was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries after a Thursday morning hit-and-run crash near the school formerly known as Agassi Prep. Police said the bicyclist was hit by a white SUV, which fled the scene. The injured man suffered multiple injuries including major head trauma. As of 9 a.m., Lake Mead remained closed between Martin Luther King and Revere Street while police investigate.
Las Vegas artist Dave Dave dies at 42
Dave Dave talks about his art and his life in 2016. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dave Dave, whose dad set him on fire in 1983, dies
Dave Dave, a respected Las Vegas artist who was badly scarred as a boy when his father tried to burn him to death in Southern California, died at Sunrise Hospital on July 15. He was 42. When he was 6, Dave's father tried to kill him by setting him on fire. He was given a sleeping pill and his bed at a Buena Park, California, motel was doused with kerosene. “I remembered being in a lot of pain,” Dave told the Review-Journal in 2016. “When stuff happens to you at that young of an age, you tend to block it out, but I remember the pain was excruciating.” Dave, who was born David Rothenberg, became close friends with Michael Jackson, who met him after the attack, which burned more than 90 percent of his body. “I wanted to meet him, and he wanted to meet me, and that just turned into a lifelong relationship that never ended,” Dave said. “It was amazing being friends with Michael Jackson. He was an amazing person.” Dave attended ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, California, and collaborated with various artists around Las Vegas, eventually selling his art to private collectors. Despite his challenges, he continued to live, thrive and create. Dave Dave
Homicide detectives investigate woman's death
Las Vegas police were called to Tahiti Village Resort early Wednesday after calls that someone had been shot. Police found a woman’s body between a parking garage and boiler room on the resort's property. A guest first reported hearing gunfire. There are no witnesses, but police will examine surveillance videos and look for clues. The woman was not identified, but a purse was found near the body. She did not appear to be a guest at the resort.
LVMPD Discusses Ross Dress for Less Shooting
LVMPD Assistant Sheriff Charles Hank discussed the 15th officer-involved shooting of the year at a press conference at Metro headquarters on Tuesday, Aug. 14. The active-shooter incident took place at the Ross Dress for Less store at the 4000 block Blue Diamond Road in the south Las Vegas Valley. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Metro Asst. Sheriff Brett Zimmerman on Aug. 8 officer-involved shooting
Metropolitan Police Department Assistant Sheriff Brett Zimmerman met with media Monday to discuss the details of the 14th officer-involved shooting of the year. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Clark County School Board president Deanna Wright on travel expenses
Clark County School Board President Deanna Wright says she followed proper expense protocol in trip to Florida last year.
Matt Kelly Elementary School hosted its third annual Back-to-School Red Carpet Program
Matt Kelly Elementary School hosted its third annual Back-to-School Red Carpet Program where community and business leaders joined to welcome students back with an inspirational welcome. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Shooting leaves 1 dead in southeast valley
A man was found fatally shot in the doorway of a squatter apartment after an argument ended in gunfire on Sunday night. Officers responded about 10:30 p.m. to the Silver Pines apartments and discovered the man in a breezeway in one of the buildings. The wounded man died at the scene, despite the efforts of another person, who tried to administer medical aid. Witnesses saw a man and a woman flee the scene, but were unable to give police a clear description.
North Las Vegas unveils new school crosswalk
North Las Vegas councilman Isaac Barron talks about the new school crosswalk in front of CP Squires Elementary School Monday, August 6, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
LVMPD Briefing on OIS #13
Assistant Sheriff Tim Kelly held a press conference to discuss details of the 13th officer-involved-shoot for the department in 2018. Video shows the moments before the suspect was shot. The shooting, which has been edited out, occurred as the suspect lunged at an officer outside the apartment. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sedan and semitrailer collide in south Las Vegas
An early Wednesday morning crash has left one person in critical condition. A sedan and semitrailer collided around 4 a.m. at the corner of Spencer Street and Serene Avenue. Police do not believe impairment is a factor in the crash. Spencer has been blocked off north of Serene while police continue their investigation.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like