SR 67 set to open for North Rim seasonal visitors

By Peter Corbett / ADOT Communications

SR 67 through the Kaibab National Forest on the way to the north rim of the Grand Canyon.

The annual migration of adventurous tourists and rim-to-rim hikers begins next week when State Route 67 and the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park reopen for the season.

The 43-mile highway from US 89A at Jacob Lake opens on Tuesday, May15.

Lookout point on the north rim of the Grand Canyon

The North Rim, at an elevation of 8,200 feet and isolated in far northern Arizona, receives a fraction of the national park’s 6.25 million annual visitors. Plus, its visitor season is only about half the year. SR 64 to the South Rim is open year-round.

The North Rim is 220 miles from the South Rim and 350 miles from Phoenix. Cross-canyon hikers traverse 21 miles from the North to South Rim and an elevation change of more than 10,000 feet or roughly a mile down and a mile up.

SR 67 is typically open from May 15 to Dec. 1 but closes earlier if there’s heavy snowfall. North Rim lodges and most facilities close in mid-October.

With the park closed each winter, the Arizona Department of Transportation does not plow snow from SR 67. The North Rim averages about 9 feet of snow annually.

SR 67 is a scenic route through the Kaibab National Forest. The highway was paved in 1940 and is known as the Kaibab Plateau North Rim Parkway.

In 1985, the highway was designated a National Forest Scenic Byway and a National Scenic Byway in 1998.