Kelly Point Road reopens to vehicle use after winter restrictions

Vehicle stuck in the mud on Kelly Point Road, Grand Canyon, Ariz., date unspecified | Photo courtesy of the National Park Service, St. George News

GRAND CANYON-PARASHANT — Winter restrictions on motorized vehicles accessing Kelly Point at National Park Service Road 1203 will be lifted Wednesday.

Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument Superintendent Chad Corey imposed the winter restrictions in accordance with the 2008 general management plan/record of decision.

In winter, the remote Kelly Point Road, at 6,000 feet elevation, is saturated by rain and melting snow.

The restriction on vehicle use protects the road and nearby vegetation from being damaged. Motorized vehicles have sunk into the clay leaving deep ruts and drivers have widened the road by skirting mud puddles. This crushed plants, ripped tree roots, changed natural drainage patterns in fragile meadows and destroyed vegetation and cultural resources.

A permit system is in place each winter for motorized vehicle access if road conditions are dry. The winter restriction is anticipated to resume on or before Dec. 1 this year depending on conditions.

Motorized vehicles must be registered and meet Arizona street-legal, that is on-highway, use requirements, which includes appropriate insurance and mandatory equipment, to drive this road.

For more information contact Jeff Axel at telephone 435-688-3377 or acting Chief Ranger Royce Orme at telephone 435-688-3280.

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