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  Topic Name: Possible changes to bike access in Grand Canyon Backcountry Plan - Pls Comment on: January 13, 2016, 11:45:31 PM
evdog


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« on: January 13, 2016, 11:45:31 PM »

It was always my understanding that the AZT on the North Rim was open to bikes.  According to the GC Backcountry management plan update bikes are not officially allowed on this segment.  So I guess that means we are unofficially allowed.  The No Action Alternative A continues this policy.  All three of the Action Alternatives B, C, and D change the policy to officially allow bikes on the North Rim segment of AZT.  

I don't see any other major impacts except that Boundary Road on the South Rim would be officially open to bikes in Alternative B whereas it is currently classified as an unmaintained hiking trail.  I presume that means bikes are currently not allowed.  

There are a number of changes to backcountry use policies that may affect hikers, camping and guides.  Take a look if you are interested.  

See the management plan project pages.  The executive summary has pretty good info, look at Arizona Tr, Bicycle Access and Trails and Routes  
http://parkplanning.nps.gov/document.cfm?parkID=65&projectID=22633&documentID=69426

Please take a moment to comment in support of bike access.  The Exec Summary in the link is easy to scan, and there is a good map on Page 35 of the full EIS document.  Access for comments is on the left hand side when you follow the link.

Comments are due March 4, 2016

Thanks
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  Topic Name: Possible changes to bike access in Grand Canyon Backcountry Plan - Pls Comment Reply #1 on: January 14, 2016, 08:15:41 AM
ScottM
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« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2016, 08:15:41 AM »

Thanks evdog.  I do think we need some letters in support of continued bike access.

I also noticed that about the north rim.  It's not even singletrack in the park (old crappy powerline road, mostly) and is not signed 'no bikes', so you are right, it's unofficially allowed.  Good that they are making it official, as well as opening a few other roads up.

The other issue of possible importance is the new 'extended day hike' rules.  Basically in all the alternatives they are proposing requiring a permit for hiking more than 5 miles from any corridor trailhead.  That means people time trialing the AZT would be required to get a permit, even if they are not camping in the park.

I believe the plan also calls for increased accommodation for AZT thru-hikers (and riders!) as far as permits for camping go.  They are also considering allowing camping at the S. Kaibab trailhead for thru-hikers.  These are good.

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  Topic Name: Possible changes to bike access in Grand Canyon Backcountry Plan - Pls Comment Reply #2 on: February 22, 2016, 01:03:03 PM
Rooster Cogburn


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« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2016, 01:03:03 PM »

Excuse the cross-posting but this is kind of important for those who love the AZT.

It looks like we have 11 more days to submit comments on the decision making process.  I would encourage others to submit their input using this site: (http://parkplanning.nps.gov/document.cfm?parkID=65&projectID=22633&documentID=69426.

After reading the EIS here is my take on the situation:

Currently, backcountry bicycle use is limited to park roads open to motorized vehicles which means the Arizona Trail North Rim segment is off limits to bicycles, as are the other trails in the park.  No day use permit is currently needed to walk from rim to rim.  These current practices are designated as Alternative A in the EIS.

Under the other three Alternatives (Alternative B is the Park Service's preferred alternative), bicycles would be allowed on the Arizona Trail North Rim segment, the Basin Road (Point Sublime), Kanabownits, and Swamp and Fire Point Roads would remain open to use by cyclists, however a permit would be required for rim-to-rim hikers.  If it is anything like getting a backcountry permit for overnight hiking in the canyon, the process is cumbersome.  For through-bikers and those (unofficially!) racing the AZT this would be a big deal, especially if the rim-to-rim runners have already snatched up all the permits allocated for the day.   

The EIS make no mention of the current practice of the Park Service allowing a bicycle to be carried on your back through the canyon.  Maybe it is better not to bring up this topic during this process.
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  Topic Name: Possible changes to bike access in Grand Canyon Backcountry Plan - Pls Comment Reply #3 on: February 23, 2016, 11:33:22 AM
Robzilla_Killa


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« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2016, 11:33:22 AM »

I submitted a nice letter

well see what happens
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  Topic Name: Possible changes to bike access in Grand Canyon Backcountry Plan - Pls Comment Reply #4 on: February 23, 2016, 04:01:30 PM
geekonabike


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« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2016, 04:01:30 PM »

Done, hope it helps

Sent from my SM-T350 using Tapatalk
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  Topic Name: Possible changes to bike access in Grand Canyon Backcountry Plan - Pls Comment Reply #5 on: February 23, 2016, 07:21:22 PM
ScottM
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« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2016, 07:21:22 PM »

Good work folks.

I guess the 'no action' alternative would say that bikes technically remain prohibited on the north rim, so it is worth commenting in support of that.

Looks like the deadline for comment has been extended to April 4th.
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