For the 50+ Traveler

Winter has arrived at the Grand Canyon, and visitors will discover Grand Canyon National Park has transitioned to winter operations as of today. Among other things, this means the only entrance available to cars is the South entrance near Tusayan, Arizona.

The North Rim is closed to all vehicle traffic and is expected to remain closed until May.

The North Rim campground remains available for winter camping, but it will take quite the effort to get there, as well as a backcountry permit. To reach the campground, visitors can enter from the South Rim and hike, cross-country ski, or snowshoe from Jacob Lake, a distance of some 45 miles.

The more convenient camping option remains Mather Campground, about four miles from the South Rim entrance. But as of today, online reservations for Mather have closed for the winter. Spots are available only on a first-come, first-served basis.

So Can You Still Camp At Mather? (Plus Info About Other Grand Canyon Campgrounds)

Yes, but because of the coronavirus pandemic, the campground remains limited to small groups and is operating at 50 percent capacity. Showers and laundry service are suspended, and restroom locations and availability change daily due to cleaning protocols.

The trailer village, located adjacent to Mather, remains open. It offers paved RV sites with full hookups.

Desert View Campground, located near the East entrance to the park, has closed for the winter.

More information on all the available camping options can be found on the National Park Service website.

Grand Canyon Winter Shuttle System

The Park Service has also made changes to the shuttle bus system that takes visitors to different viewing locations throughout the park. Visitors are advised to check hours of operation when planning their trip.

Visitors contemplating a trip to the Grand Canyon in the winter should be prepared for cold weather. Daytime temperatures at the South Rim are normally in the mid-40s but drop into the teens during the evening. It also snows up to 60 inches throughout the course of the season. For more inspiration, see all our Grand Canyon content here.

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