Winter & Spring 2013 Backpacking Season

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If you would like to make an advance reservation to camp in the Grand Canyon, the Backcountry Information Center will need at least three week’s notice. If your planned hike is less than three weeks, come in person to the Backcountry Information Center and request a walk-in permit. Availability of last-minute permits is dependent on the season. The South Rim Backcountry Information Center is open year-round. The North Rim office is closed until mid-May. Permits for the North Rim and the Arizona Strip are available at Pipe Springs National Monument or the BLM Interagency Visitor Center in St. George, Utah.

January and February: A construction crew is replacing an electrical line at Bright Angel Campground; there will be daytime noise and roughly half the campground is closed off. Permits are still available. Upper portions of trails are now snow-packed and icy. Over-the-shoe traction devices are strongly recommended. Access to South Bass Trailhead may not be possible when snowpack exists, from late December through mid-March. Permits for most areas are available.

March: Bright Angel and Indian Garden Campgrounds are full the last three weeks; some availability between the 1st and 10th. Many sites in threshold and wild use areas are full the last three weeks. Typically spring arrives this month, and the trails tend to shake free from winter’s icy grip.

April: Spring is a delightful time of year for overnight hiking, and consequently most corridor, threshold and wild use areas are at capacity.

May: Corridor campgrounds are full. Hiking outside the Corridor is generally not recommended due to extreme heat, especially later in the month.

June: Submit a written permit request starting February 1st. Hiking outside the Corridor is not recommended due to the extreme heat.

July: Submit a written permit request starting March 1st. Generally, reservations are available after the weekend of the fourth. Hiking outside the Corridor is not recommended. It’s extremely hot!

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