Grand Canyon, AZ – Grand Canyon National Park has closed the yurt located at CC Hill on the North Rim effective September 21, 2017 for safety concerns. The yurt is scheduled for demolition later this fall. A park superintendent has the authority to “designate areas for a specific use or activity, or impose conditions or restrictions on a use or activity” as outlined in 36 CFR 1.5(a)(1).
The closure and demolition of the yurt is a proactive measure taken to protect park visitors and employees from conditions conducive to rodent exposure and the accompanying risk of medical infections, such as hantavirus. There is no diagnosis or indication of infectious disease relating to rodent exposure from the yurt. These actions are precautionary and are being taken with emphasis of visitor and employee safety.
Hikers and backpackers should be aware that the yurt is no longer available for backcountry use. Individuals who plan on recreating on the North Rim over the winter need to consider alternative options prior to obtaining a backcountry permit. After November 1 the North Rim Campground reverts to primitive use with walk-in only sites and no running water.
Backcountry reservations from the Backcountry Information Center are required. To obtain a permit call 928-638-7875 or email e-mail us.
Visitors and employees are reminded that although rare, hantavirus and other zoonotic diseases are found in the southwest including the Grand Canyon region. Hantavirus is transmitted to humans through rodent droppings, urine, and saliva particularly in indoor, poorly ventilated areas. Visit the park’s website for additional information on zoonotic diseases and how to protect yourself.