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2:12 AM Sun, Sept. 23rd

Group trips across Grand Canyon will need permit

This Sept. 27, 2010, file photo shows hikers on the South Kaibab Trail in Grand Canyon National Park, Ariz. The Grand Canyon is imposing new restrictions on hikers who are turning up in larger numbers to complete grueling "rim to rim" excursions from one end of the canyon to the other. The popularity of the hikes have created problems with litter and safety as people need to be rescued. (The Associated Press/file photo)

This Sept. 27, 2010, file photo shows hikers on the South Kaibab Trail in Grand Canyon National Park, Ariz. The Grand Canyon is imposing new restrictions on hikers who are turning up in larger numbers to complete grueling "rim to rim" excursions from one end of the canyon to the other. The popularity of the hikes have created problems with litter and safety as people need to be rescued. (The Associated Press/file photo)

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) - Officials say groups of hikers and runners who want to do grueling excursions across the Grand Canyon will soon need a permit.

The new rule goes into effect on Sept. 15, with permits costing $175.

The permit applies to groups that have advertised the trips publicly. The size of each group is limited to 30 people.

Going rim to rim means traveling 21 miles on steep, rocky, winding trails, with elevation changes of a few thousand feet.

Grand Canyon spokeswoman Maureen Oltrogge says requiring a permit will help park officials educate visitors about trail etiquette.

She says people have abandoned gear and littered on trails. An increase in injuries also has been seen.