Fifty-plus inches. That is the amount of snow that blanketed northern Arizona during the third week of January, and Grand Canyon National Park was by no means spared. After watching the weather-related destruction in California, park residents braced for the worst—and it arrived in the form of a multi-day pile up that will be talked about for years.
The storm resulted in a virtual shutdown of the region. Roads were closed, businesses shuttered, tourists stranded. When it was all over the views were as glorious as they were unsettling. The trade-off for scenic splendor was leaky roofs and bewildered critters, often up to their necks in wet heavy snow. In sixteen years in the park I’ve never seen anything like it.
Note: If you’re traveling to the park any time soon, expect heavy snow on all trails, and limited access to unpaved thoroughfares.