Corona Chronicles: National Parks to Open Soon

May 13–The coronavirus pandemic has closed iconic tourist sites across the country for nearly two months. Now that states are slowly starting to reopen, some of those landmarks are about to open up to visitors, too.

a canyon with a mountain in the background: The Grand Canyon in Arizona is one of the nation's 58 National Parks.


Not all national parks will open at the same time; most are consulting with federal, state and local health authorities to determine the right time and way to reopen.

Parks in states that have a high infection rate or are still under stay-at-home orders may open later than ones in states that weren’t as affected or have already begun reopening.

When a park reopens, not everything will be back to normal right away. Some sites are only partially reopening to start, and others will limit their capacity to comply with social distancing guidelines. Indoor venues may require visitors to wear face coverings. Hand sanitizer and increased frequency of cleaning will be common.

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

The Grand Canyon will open its South Rim entrance on Friday, May 15.

The park, which has been closed since March 24, will open to incoming traffic from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., though officials recommend arriving no later than 9:30 a.m. Once you enter the park, you’ll be allowed to stay for the day but overnight accommodations are not available. If you visit, plan on being self-sufficient. That means you should bring enough food and water for your trip.

Restroom facilities will be available by the South Entrance Grand Canyon National Park sign, picnic area east of Yaki Road, Shoshone Point and Buggeln picnic area. If you plan to use them, bring hand sanitizer.