National Park Officials Consider Imposing Limits on Grand Canyon Visitors

Excerpt from Arizona Republic

Dec 27, 2013 10:30 am

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A boom in athletes and adventure tourists delving deep below the Grand Canyon’s rim has resulted in overcrowding and unreliable safety standards. Changes to the visitor policy might make the park safer, but also deter last-minute visitors and the take away from the current ease of access.

— Samantha Shankman

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Robert Raines  / Flickr

A man leads a rafting trip in the Grand Canyon National Park. Robert Raines / Flickr

Pack rafting and canyoneering were hardly known the last time Grand Canyon National Park updated its plan for managing recreation below the crowded rims.

These activities have exploded in popularity over the past 25 years and especially in the past five. The surge of people going to less-visited parts of the Canyon and using the trails and Colorado River in new ways has the National Park Service rewriting its backcountry-management plan.

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