County, state parks OK after big storms

[Source: John Stanley, The Arizona Republic]

Anyone headed out to enjoy county or state parks or hike the Grand Canyon this weekend should encounter few, if any, problems from this week’s violent storms.

Storms dumped plenty of rain and hail, but there were no reports of significant damage in Maricopa County and Arizona State parks, officials said.

“It was pretty violent,” said John Gunn, supervisor at Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area, north of Cave Creek. “In the nine years I’ve been here at Spur Cross, I’ve never seen it rain that hard. It was unbelievable, nearly whiteout conditions.”

Although hail at the park “pounded the trees pretty good,” he said, the storm did no other damage.

None of the trails is closed at the 2,154-acre park.

None of the other members of the park system reported any damage, according to Maricopa County Parks spokeswoman Dawna Taylor.

The Los Alamos Day Use Area at Dead Horse Ranch State Park in Cottonwood was closed temporarily due to flooding, but is now open, according to Ellen Bilbrey, spokeswoman for the state park system. The park itself was never closed.

The Verde River Greenway Complex, temporarily inaccessible due to high water, is also open again.

There were no other reports of damage to state park trails or properties, Bilbrey said.

At the Grand Canyon, a little hail was reported at Desert View, at the east end of the park, but the weather wasn’t bad at the South Rim, Grand Canyon National Park spokeswoman Maureen Oltrogge said.

All trails in the Canyon are open, as are all facilities.

The lodge on the North Rim lost electrical power Tuesday afternoon. Power has been restored, said Shannon Marcak, also a spokeswoman for the park. The North Rim will close for the season next Saturday.

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