OldWestNewWest.com: History & Travel Magazine

Feb 21st
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size
Home National & State Parks Grand Canyon Grand Canyon's Kaibab Trail Repairs completed, Restrictions Lifted

North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon's Kaibab Trail Repairs completed, Restrictions Lifted

Hits smaller text tool iconmedium text tool iconlarger text tool icon
Temporary repairs to the North Kaibab trail on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park are now completed and all restrictions have been lifted.

Permanent repairs to the third bridge north of Phantom Ranch, the National Park Service said, will take place this winter when flows in Bright Angel Creek are at their lowest and most stable.
Problems surfaced when on Jan. 10, 2008, the National Park Service (NPS) received a report of trail damage on the North Kaibab Trail. A trail assessment by NPS trail crew members determined that a 20-foot section of the trail had been damaged by normally occurring freeze-thaw conditions. Due to the narrow trail conditions, the trail was closed to private, cross-canyon stock use until trail repairs could be completed.

Before the repairs could be completed, on Feb. 23 trail crew members reported that a rock fall had occurred damaging the third bridge north of Phantom Ranch on the North Kaibab Trail. The rock fall had damaged 80- to 90 feet of railing, damaged girders and fractured the bridge's center supporting abutment. As a result, the restriction on private, cross-canyon stock use was extended indefinitely.

In early April, trail crew members traveled to the North Rim to begin preparations for the seasonal opening of the North Rim. At that time, they discovered that during the winter, 15 retaining walls, totaling over 1,000 square feet, had been damaged or destroyed by rock falls and slides in between Supai Tunnel and Roaring Springs on the North Kaibab Trail.

As a result, North Kaibab stock traffic originating on the North Rim, including concession-run mule rides, could not travel beyond Supai tunnel.

On June 2, Trail Crew members completed temporary repairs to the third bridge north of Phantom Ranch, installing handrails and braces sufficient to support a moderate level of stock use. The following day Trail Crew members completed reconstruction of the last of the retaining walls below Supai tunnel.

All restrictions on the North Kaibab Trail were lifted June 4; and the entire North Kaibab Trail was opened to stock use for the first time since mid-January.

Concession-managed mule rides on the North Rim are now back to full operations, including full-day mule rides down to Roaring Springs.

For additional information regarding backcountry trip planning and the North Kaibab Trail, contact the Grand Canyon Backcountry Office at (928) 638-7875.

For general trip planning information, please call (928) 638-7888 or visit
our web site at

National & State Parks