National parks, monuments and other popular attractions in Arizona are showing signs of life after most were shut down due to the new coronavirus pandemic.
Sites are opening in fits and starts. The South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park, for example, was open in a limited capacity leading up to Memorial Day weekend, but is now open for daily visits.
The North Rim, which normally opens for the season on May 15, started a phased reopening June 5 but had to close again a few days later due to the Mangum Fire. As of July 6, the North Rim is once again open.
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Marinas and other amenities are reopening at Lake Mead National Recreation Area, but what’s open varies depending on whether it’s on the Arizona or Nevada side.
And, of course, all of this is subject change depending upon health-related conditions. Park officials are discouraging people from gathering in large groups and reminding visitors to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines such as washing hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, covering a sneeze or cough with a tissue and staying home if someone in your group is sick.
The best advice for those looking to head out is to check your destination’s website for the latest information before leaving home.
What’s closed, what’s open at Arizona national parks
Visit nps.gov/state/az for updated information on national parks, monuments and other recreation areas in Arizona.
Canyon de Chelly National Monument: The Navajo Reservation is under a stay-at-home order. Operations at the park are suspended until further notice.
Casa Grande Ruins National Monument: The Compound A picnic area is now open 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. This area includes the Great House and visible ruins. The visitor center remains closed, and the monument is closed Sundays and Mondays. Check for updates at nps.gov/cagr.
Chiricahua National Monument: Hiking trails are open. The Scenic Drive is closed for paving work. Limited restroom facilities are available. Visitor centers are closed, but trail guides, maps and safety information are available outside them. Some picnic sites are available.
Coronado National Memorial: Limited restroom facilities are available. Visitor centers are closed, but trail guides, maps and safety information are available outside them. Some picnic sites are available. The Cave Trail is closed.
Fort Bowie National Historic Site: Hiking continues and park maps and other information are available online and outside the visitor center, which is closed. Limited restroom facilities are available. Some picnic sites are also available. No guided activities or group events will be held.
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area: Some boat launch ramps are open, including the main ramps at Bullfrog and Wahweap. RV parks are reopening. Check with Lake Powell Resorts, Antelope Point Marina and Hite Outpost for updates on those facilities. Hiking, shoreline fishing and some concessions are available. Campgrounds and marinas are also reopening.
Check the park’s website for a complete list of open amenities and dates.
Park officials are collecting fees at stations (manned and automated) throughout the recreation area. Self-service stations that take cash only are being deployed in dispersed areas.
Several facilities remain closed including park headquarters and visitors centers, Antelope Point Marina, Lees Ferry Campground and Navajo Bridge Interpretive Center.
See complete details and updates at nps.gov/glca.
Grand Canyon National Park: The South Rim south entrance (near Tusayan) is open 24 hours a day. Pay by machine at the gate or buy a pass online in advance. Some hotels and restaurants have opened. Mather Campground is open for people with reservations. The east entrance at Desert View and the Desert View Watchtower are closed. Some museums are closed, and the shuttle service is not running.
These services and amenities are open:
- Grand Conservancy Park Store (8 a.m.-7 p.m.)
- Grand Canyon Railway (a train to the South Rim from Williams)
- Verkamps Visitor Center (11:30 a.m.-5 p.m.)
- Yavapai Lodge
- Bright Angel Lodge
- Mule rides
- Yavapai Geology Museum (9 a.m.-5 p.m.)
After being closed due to the Mangum Fire, the North Rim has reopened. The general store is open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily, fuel is available 24 hours and take-out food is available from The Saloon from 5:30 a.m.-8 p.m. The Grand Canyon Lodge opened for overnight guests but the campground is still closed indefinitely.
Tuweep and Tuweep campground in Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument open.
Check the park’s website for complete details. For questions about backcountry reservations, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site: Closed until further notice.
Lake Mead National Recreation Area: Limited access is being granted to annual pass holders. Passes are not sold on-site so if you plan to visit you must purchase a pass in advance.
In Arizona the Willow Beach, Temple Bar and Katherine Landing entrance stations are open. Some beaches are open for swimming, including Boulder Beach, Cottonwood Cove, Cabinsite Cove, Princess Cove and North and South Arizona Telephone coves. Visitors are asked to maintain 10 feet between parties and limit groups to 10 people.
The Temple Bar, Katherine Landing and Willow Beach campgrounds in Arizona are open. White Rock Canyon, Arizona Hot Spring, Liberty Bell Arch and Lone Palm Trail remain closed.
Visitors looking for information about private businesses and tours should contact those businesses directly. Go to nps.gov/lake for complete information.
Montezuma Castle National Monument: Trails, picnic tables and other outdoor spaces have opened. Restrooms and the museum and visitor center are closed. Montezuma Well remains closed. For the latest information visit www.nps.gov/moca
Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument: All campgrounds are closed and backcountry camping is suspended. The visitor center is closed. Restrooms at Pinkley Peak, Alamo Canyon and Estes are open for day use but soap and water are not provided. Visitors are encouraged to bring hand sanitizer.
Petrified Forest National Park: The park road, trails and wilderness areas are open for day use. Wilderness camping permits are not being issued. Entrance fees ($25 per vehicle, valid for seven days) are being collected by credit card only.
The Painted Desert Visitor Center is open, but the Painted Desert Inn remains closed. Check the park’s website for updates.
Pipe Spring National Monument: A phased reopening began July 1. The parking lot and restrooms are open, as are the monument grounds and hiking trail. The visitor center and museum, Zion Forever bookstore and interior of Winsor Castle remain closed.
Saguaro National Park: Roads, trails and picnic-area comfort stations are open. Visitor center patios and restrooms are open 8 a.m.-noon daily, but the visitor centers are closed and public programs are suspended. Park information is available outside each visitor center.
Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument: The park is open with limited access. All trails and restrooms are open. The The bookstore is open curbside with a limited selection Fridays through Tuesdays. Visitor center and museum remain closed.
Tonto National Monument: The monument has reopened after a short closure due to the Bush Fire. Hours and access are limited due to ongoing concerns about COVID-19, however.
There will be a partial opening 8 a.m.-5 p.m. each day. The entrance road will be open and there will be viewing areas in the parking lot. Entry fees will be waived.
Visitors will be able to see the Lower Cliff Dwelling and Roosevelt Lake. Park staff will be available to answer questions and provide brochures and Junior Ranger books. The Upper Cliff Dwelling Scenic Overlook off State Route 188 also is open.
Still closed: The visitor center, restrooms, picnic area, Lower Cliff Dwelling and Lower Cliff Dwelling Trail. The Upper Cliff Dwelling Trail is also closed, as is typically the case from May through October.
Tumacácori National Historical Park: The visitor center and museum are closed. The mission and church grounds are open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and the Anza Trail is available 24 hours a day. Restrooms and a water fountain are available.
Tuzigoot National Monument: Closed until further notice.
Walnut Canyon National Monument: The Rim Trail and public restrooms are open but the Island Trail and visitor center remain closed. Hours are 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. daily. Visitors must leave by closing time.
Wupatki National Monument: The monument is open with limited services. All trails and restrooms are open but the visitor center remains closed.
Arizona State Parks and Trails
Arizona State Parks require masks to be worn in ranger stations, restrooms and historic buildings.
Some historic parks and gift shops are closed. Jerome, Fort Verde State, Yuma Territorial Prison and Colorado River state historic parks have reopened.
Kartchner Caverns cave tours have resumed in a limited capacity. Tours are by reservation only (no walk-ins) and limited to parties of six. Call 877-697-2757 if you have a larger party. Those taking tours must wear face coverings and be age 7 or older.
The following facilities are closed:
- Alamo Lake State Park camping loops C, D and E.
- Dead Horse Ranch State Park group camping areas.
- Fool Hollow Lake Recreation Area’s double campsites are limited to one side.
- McFarland State Historic Park.
- Riordan Mansion State Historic Park.
- Tonto Natural Bridge State Park’s trails to the bridge and reservations at Goodfellow Lodge.
The following are open: Trails and open spaces, campgrounds, cabins, restroom and shower buildings, contact stations and stores selling camping provisions.
Monument Valley/Navajo Tribal Parks
The Navajo Nation is under a stay-at-home order and all Navajo Tribal Parks are closed. That includes Monument Valley Tribal Park, Four Corners Monument, Lake Powell Navajo Tribal Park (which encompasses upper and lower Antelope Canyon) and the Tseyi Heritage Center at Canyon de Chelly. The tribe’s Twin Arrows Casino Resort east of Flagstaff remains closed.
More: Grand Falls 2020 update: Don’t go this year
The Bureau of Reclamation has temporarily closed Hoover Dam — including the visitor center and all tours — until further notice. Check usbr.gov/lc/hooverdam or call 702-494-2515 for updates and information on what to do if you have already purchased tour tickets.
Meteor Crater, off Interstate 40 near Winslow, reopened May 21. Hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and tours will be offered. The RV park reopened May 16.
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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Arizona parks and coronavirus: Here’s what’s open and closed