‘One of the most isolated places’ in Grand Canyon-Parashant closed to motorized winter travel

This undated file photo shows a vehicle stuck in the mud on Kelly Point Road, Grand Canyon, Ariz. | Photo courtesy of the National Park Service, St. George News

ST GEORGE — Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument officials recently announced that the winter closure of Kelly Point Road to motorized vehicles took effect Wednesday.

Acting Superintendent Mark Wimmer said in a press release that the road, also designated NPS1203, remains open to nonmotorized travel, and permits for motorized access may be available depending on conditions.

In winter, the roadbed is normally saturated by melting ice and snow. The road is currently impassible due to recent storms.

This seasonal closure will protect the road and nearby vegetation. In the past, the road was damaged as motorists drove off road onto meadows to avoid deep mud and standing water. This changed natural drainage patterns, destroyed vegetation and affected cultural resources.

“The road to Kelly Point is very rough and one of the most isolated places in the monument,” Wimmer said in the press release. “Due to the clay roadbed and fragile features there, a seasonal motorized closure is the best way to protect the road, park resources, and public safety.”

Permits may be available from the chief ranger for winter motorized access to Kelly Point if conditions dry out. See the National Park Service’s Parashant web page for more information and to download the permit request form. Click on the “Alert” link on the home page to reach the Kelly Point motorized vehicle permit page.

The seasonal road closure during the winter months was implemented in accordance with the general management plan record of decision approved in 2008. The gate to Kelly Point Road is expected to reopen in March when warm and dry weather returns.

For more information, contact Chief Ranger Marty Sims at 435-688-3280.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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