The Grand Canyon has released new rules requiring groups of runners to apply for and pay for a permit to run there. Runners and adventure seekers had been awaiting for this news to fall from the National Park Service for several weeks.
From Runner’s World:
As a result, officials announced today that they will take measures to ensure that groups who dare to traverse that single crossing, double crossing or even running from the rim down to the Colorado River and back in one day are aware of the wilderness etiquette and safety precautions that are needed for a successful run or hike. Organized groups planning such endeavors will be required to apply for a $175 special use permit beginning on Sept. 15, 2014.
Runners and hikers alike have been taxing park rangers and resources by getting into serious health trouble while biting off more than they can chew with the canyon’s deceptive heat and stairway to heaven climbs.
“Park rangers are also seeing an increase in unprepared and injured rim-to-rim participants resulting in additional search-and-rescue responses, which then results in an overall delay of all search-and rescue operations,” according to the news release.
Experienced ultrarunner Ian Torrence, who has worked for the National Park Service, agrees with the NPS decision and thinks its been a long time in coming:
“There’s a price for fame and we’ve done that to the Grand Canyon through publicizing fastest-known-times, posting videos and having runs covered in the magazines,” he said. “Now it’s on the park to cover their bases. They’re not stopping us from running there, but they are controlling who is making money off of it and adding a safety component. I think it should have been done a long time ago.”
The permits can be applied for starting on September 15, 2014. Beyond the $175 price tag, there are requirements that come with the permit including:
Oltrogge added that a group of seven will need to have one member who is certified as a wilderness first responder or certified in emergency response, CPR and first aid. A group of more than seven will need two certified people.
It’s an affordable price tag when split amongst a group taking on Rim 2 Rim 2 Rim (R2R2R), single crossing, or going down to Phantom Ranch and back in one day. Some people are just abusers of nature and it’s beauty by littering it and not using common sense for themselves, others, and park rangers.