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South Kaibab Trail en route to Phantom Ranch

South Kaibab Trail en route to Phantom Ranch.

Those hiking on the South Kaibab Trail in the backcountry of Grand Canyon National Park now have an area to stop and escape the elements.

The park has installed a new shelter at the Tipoff just over four miles down from the South Kaibab Trail head and two miles from the Colorado River, according to a media release.

"We receive a lot of calls from people on the lower half of the South Kaibab Trail who experience fatigue or are over heated," said Grand Canyon National Park Ranger Debbie Brenchley.

The shelter is 12 feet by 24 feet with 4-foot overhangs to provide hikers shade around the exterior. It also has shade screens to provide air flow, six benches inside and a lightning protection system to protect the structure and occupants from lightning strikes.

Along with the shelter, park staff also installed two 125-gallon cisterns to provide non-potable water for visitors to use to potentially cool down.

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"The building site location was selected based off a shade study I conducted on a computer program based off the longitude and latitude of longest day of the year to optimize shade," said Grand Canyon's Historical Architect Craig Chenevert.

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Last week, the shelter was partially assembled at the rim before it was flown down to the Tipoff and finally completed.

Over the past week, a shelter was partially assembled on the South Rim, flown in and completed installation at the Tipoff area.

The Tipoff area previously had restrooms and an emergency phone box. The emergency phone is being relocated within the shelter.

Funding for the shelter was provided by the Grand Canyon Conservancy, the official nonprofit partner of Grand Canyon National Park.

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Adrian Skabelund can be reached at the office at askabelund@azdailysun.com, by phone at (928) 556-2261 or on Twitter @AdrianSkabelund.

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