Aug 28, 2014 3:15 PM by Associated Press
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) - The Grand Canyon is imposing new restrictions on visitors who are turning up in larger numbers to complete grueling rim-to-rim excursions.
Starting September 15, hikers and runners who are part of an organized group will have to get a permit that costs $175.
The permit applies to groups that have advertised the trips publicly. The group size is limited to 30 people.
Grand Canyon spokeswoman Maureen Oltrogge says requiring permits will help park officials educate runners and hikers on proper trail etiquette.
She says visitors in the canyon have abandoned gear on the trails, littered and crowded restrooms. Park rangers also have seen an increase in injuries.
Going rim to rim means traveling 21 miles on steep, rocky, winding trails, with elevation changes of a few thousand feet.