Sunday, June 10, 2012

On the Road Again - North Rim Grand Canyon (Jacob Lake, Az)

Really BIG, lots of erosion, a massive ditch and really BEAUTIFUL!  Yep, we're at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.

Debbie and I left our home in Green Valley, AZ on June 3rd.  We expect to be gone until the end of October.  We spent the first night somewhere (I really don't know but Debbie will tell me) about 75 miles south of Flagstaff (OK, it was Mayer, AZ). The campground was fine.  Nothing special, other then as I was checking us in 3 police cars rolled up to the office.  I ask the woman at the desk if there was a problem. She said it was an issue of domestic violence at the campground.  The event passed quietly and I later got the impression it was primarily a lot of screaming. Lets have some harmony folks! The next day we drove about 250 miles to Jacob Lake, AZ and set up in the Kaibab Camper Village.

Our site is large with a clear view for our satellite dish but still  nicely wooded.

The weather has been fantastic!  Mostly 70's during the day and maybe 50's at night. We simply settled in the first night and then on day two we headed for the canyon.  It's about 40 miles from our site to the Grand Canyon Lodge situated on the rim.  The drive is mostly very scenic with the exception of some burned areas left behind from a wildfire which occurred sometime in the past 10 years.  During the past couple months Debbie had a medical issue that curtailed her own hiking/walking so we're going to have to break her in easy on the hiking.  So our first day at the rim we stayed in the area of the BEAUTIFUL (and uncrowded) lodge and did some short hikes there.

Grand Canyon Lodge

Rear View of Lodge

Lodge Dining Room

Great indoor seating with large picture window

Duane enjoying the view from the window 

Mules are important here

We totaled about 5.5 miles. Among our destinations were the Tansept Trail and Bright Angle Point and they always included a view of the canyon.

Duane on Tansept Trail
At Bright Angel was very windy! 

Duane always has to climb around to find the best view!

We spent the next day at the canyon driving to outlying areas throughout the park that included drive up overlooks and/or trailheads.

The view from the end of the Cape Final Trail was awesome.

It took no effort to the see the views from Roosevelt Point and Point Imperial.  Basically, just get out of car and be amazed.

One of our favorite hikes that day was to the Cliff Springs which rambled along a steep, forested ravine to a small spring with lush (for this area) vegetation.

It was a wonderful day and we totaled about 7.5 miles of hiking.

We chilled on the fourth day.  I did a great ride of about 22 miles on some local forest service roads.  They were too cool.  Challenging at times but the scenery was pristine.  Not one car passed, no houses, no power lines, no nothing.  Just tall pines, aspen trees and meadows.  Very nice .

We saved the best and most challenging hike for our last day.  We were on the North Kaibab Trail by about 8:30.  The trail steeply descends to the bottom of the canyon and ultimately across it.

Our goal was only to go down two miles to the "tunnel" and return.  Local guidance is that it will take you twice as long to come up then go down. The descent was approximately 1400 feet. Strolling down the trail was a breeze.  The views were majestic.

We shared the trail with the mule riders, but not many other people.

We snacked at the tunnel and Debbie started back up.

Mostly just to enhance my day's work out and to satisfy my curiosity, I jetted down another .7 miles to a bridge,

turned around and hustled back to catch up with Debbie.  That was a huffer and a puffer.  We were well spent by the time we returned to the truck but mighty satisfied!  That evening we simply relaxed while I sat outside taking pictures of the MANY Hummingbirds! 

We arrived yesterday in Torrey, Utah.  More about that next time.



  1. Those photos are absolutely gorgeous!! It has been a few years since we visited the "big gully" as Charley likes to call it and this brought back memories of being there in person.

    Glad to hear that you are back on the road for a while. We were beginning to think you might give it up (not really)!

    Have fun and be safe!!

  2. Wow, not only does the canyon look great, you guys do too!!! Your pictures are GREAT and bring back wonderful memories of our trip last summer. So glad you had a great time and hope your summer is wonderful! Love and miss you!

  3. Beautiful photos - you guys are sure good hikers! You covered a lot of trails in this post.

    How nice to come home to relax and watch the hummers! :)