Trekking through the canyons: 3rd & 4th stop, the Grand Canyon

“A powerful and inspiring landscape, the Grand Canyon overwhelms our senses through its immense size.

“Unique combinations of geologic color and erosion forms decorate a canyon that is 277 river miles (446km) long, up to 18 miles (29km) wide, and a mile (1.6km) deep.”

So far, related to the road trip, I have posted about: Hoover Dam – > Las Vegas – > St. George – > Zion National Park, Springdale, UT – > Panguitch – > Bryce Canyon National Park – >Kanab, UT – > Grand Canyon – > Flagstaff, AZ

“The North Rim is located on the “Utah” side of the Grand Canyon and the entrance station is 30 miles south of Jacob Lake on Highway 67. (The actual rim of the Grand Canyon with visitor services is an additional 14 miles south of the entrance station.) There is no airport or rail service to the park. (that means that the North Rim village may only be reached by road).

“The North Rim of the park is more remote and receives 10% of the park’s visitation.”

Click here for detailed driving directions to Northern Rim: Driving directions

“The South Rim has an airport and rail service and is a 90 minute drive from Interstate 40 and the transportation centers of Williams and Flagstaff, Arizona. A larger city with a major airport, Phoenix, Arizona, is also on this side of the canyon, and is approximately a four hour drive.

“The South Rim of the Grand Canyon is open all year and is located on the “Arizona” side of the Canyon. The South Rim receives 90% of the park’s visitation.”

Click here for detailed driving directions to Southern Rim: Driving directions

NOTE: You can access both sides of the grand canyon with the same ticket.

I enjoyed the road trip trekking through the different canyons, and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon was definitely one of my favorite stops on the trip! The side canyons and green forest made me feel as if I was no longer in Arizona, or the desert! The North Rim was a magical experience, to me, especially since it is so quiet, compared to the popular Southern Rim, which has more tourists. The North Rim of the Grand Canyon is definitely worth seeing! I recommend seeing it first, even, before going to the Southern Rim. That way, you get the best of both worlds, literally! You’ll get the green landscape with the red and sand colored rock cliffs on the North Rim’s side canyons, and with the south rim you’ll get an open view of the entire canyon with its red rock and clear views of the Colorado River. Both North and South Rims are worth visiting! Not one is better than the other, because each side is an experience all of its own to enjoy!

Information below will be related to both the North and South Rim of the Grand Canyon. I have split the sections into two parts, starting first with the North Rim. Enjoy!

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Day 1: North Rim (11.13.2014)

“Sitting atop the Kaibab Plateau, 8,000 to 9,000 feet (2,400–2,750 m) above sea level with lush green meadows surrounded by a mixed conifer forest sprinkled with white-barked aspen, the North Rim is an oasis in the desert… Solitude, awe-inspiring views, a slower pace, and the feeling of going back in time are only a few of the many attributes the North Rim has to offer. Discover the uniqueness of Grand Canyon’s North Rim…”

For places to go and things to do on Northern Rim Click the links below:

Places to go

Things to do

Day Hikes

Helpful tips from the Day Hike link:

“Day hiking can be a safer and more enjoyable choice than an overnight trip into a difficult area that is beyond the capabilities of any single member of your group.

WARNING: There are no easy trails into or out of the Grand Canyon!

Plan on bringing a refillable water container, bottled water in individual disposable containers is not for sale within the park.”
Suggested trails for first time hikers of the Grand Canyon who are taking only a day trip to the Northern Rim:

Bright Angel Point Trail

“0.5 mi. / 0.8 km round-trip; 30 minutes approximate round-trip hiking time. A short walk on a paved trail to a spectacular view of the canyon. The trail begins at the log shelter in the parking area by the visitor center or at the corner of the back porch behind the lodge. Self-guiding nature trail pamphlets are available from a box along the trail.”

Transept Trail

“3.0 mi. / 4.8 km round-trip; 1.5 hours approximate round-trip hiking time. Follows the canyon rim from Grand Canyon Lodge to the North Rim Campground.”

North Kaibab Trail

Distance and hiking times vary. This is the only maintained trail into the canyon from the North Rim. Even a short hike to Coconino Overlook (1.5 miles / 2.4 km round-trip) or Supai Tunnel (4 miles / 6.5 km round-trip) can give you an appreciation for the canyon’s rich natural beauty and immense size.”

TIP: there will be signs at crossroads that will suggest to you to turn back if you are day hiking and/or if you are a beginner hiker; there will be signs to let you know when the trail becomes strenuous. Every 1.5 miles there will be a rest point with restrooms. At the first rest point it is suggested to turn back if you are a beginner hiker.

The Day hike on the North Kaibab Trail below is suggested for experienced hikers only:

Roaring Springs trail on North Kaibab Trail

“A hike to Roaring Springs and back is extremely strenuous and takes a full day (7-8 hours) – begin your hike before 7 a.m. Roaring Springs lies 3,050 feet / 930 m below the canyon rim and is 9.4 miles / 15 km round-trip. A day hike beyond Roaring Springs is not recommended. Many years of experience have shown that hikers who proceed beyond this point during the hottest parts of the day have a much greater probability of suffering from heat-related illness, injury, or death. This trail is also used by mules. NOTE: Round trip to the Colorado River is 28 miles / 45 km and trail descends almost 6,000 ft. / 1,800 m. Under no circumstances should you attempt to hike from the rim to the river and back in one day! Do not hike during the hottest part of the day.”

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Trails my friend and I went on during our visit to the North Rim with pictures:

Arriving at North Rim:

P1110652arrivingatnorthrim

1st trail we went on: Bright Angel Point

“Most visitors make a stop at Bright Angel Point, at the southern end of the entrance road. From the parking area it is a short, easy walk to Grand Canyon Lodge and a classic view of the canyon. This facility is wheelchair accessible. A paved, 0.5 mile (0.8 km) round-trip trail leads from the lodge, out the spine of the ridge, to the point. This trail is steep in places, with drop-offs and stairs, but provides dramatic views into Roaring Springs and Bright Angel Canyons.”

Pictures from Bright Angel Point:

Along Bright Angel Point trail:

P1110666BrightangelpointtrailP1110670brightangelpointtrail

From view point… long way down:

P1110684viewpointonbrightangelpointtrail P1110682viewpoint,longwaydownonbrightangelpointtrail

Transept trail [easy trail] is the North Rim trail, another option you can take, located at the beginning of the Bright Angel Point trail:

P1110685trail which starts near the village and goes along the rim,which we didntdo

My partner and I didn’t do the Transept Trail.

2nd trail we did: North Kaibab Trail

Pictures from Trail:

P1110692beginningofkaibabtrail,goingintothecanyon P1110694viewonkaibabtrailP1110714viewfrocococinoviewpoint

Picture of trail, going back up the canyon:

P1110727kaiabetrail

View of trail going into the canyon:

P1110715viewofnorthkiabetrailintothecanyonP1110718viewofsidecanyononkiabtrail

Wildlife seen:

2 Bucks on road side:

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Coyote, it moved too fast for us to get a good pic:

P1110747wolfatnorthrim

Pictures from Coconino Overlook

P1110697P1110734cocopoint P1110732viewfromcocopoint

We walked all the way to the Supai Tunnel and that is where we decided to return (4 miles / 6.5 km round-trip).

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Day 2: South Rim (11.14.2014)

For places to go and things to do on Southern Rim Click the links below:

Places to go

Things to do

Day Hikes

Helpful tips from Day Hike link:

[Pasted here as well as in beginning of post due to its importance]

“Day hiking can be a safer and more enjoyable choice than an overnight trip into a difficult area that is beyond the capabilities of any single member of your group.

WARNING: There are no easy trails into or out of the Grand Canyon!

“Plan on bringing a refillable water container, bottled water in individual disposable containers is not for sale within the park.”

Suggested day hikes for first timers to the Grand Canyon and beginner hikers:

South Rim Trail [easy trail]

“The Rim Trail extends from the village area to Hermits Rest. Begin from any viewpoint in the Village or along Hermit Road. The Rim Trail offers excellent walking for quiet views of the inner canyon and for visitors who desire an easy hike. No water west of Bright Angel Lodge. By using the shuttle buses, you can customize your hike to meet your needs. Part of the trail is paved and accessible.
Trail Condition: Inclines to flat. Well defined. Shade along trail. Most of the trail is paved and some sections are accessible. Excellent walking for quiet views of the inner canyon and for visitors who desire an easy hike with minimal elevation change. In winter surfaces may be slippery or icy when snowy. Beware of lightning during summer thunderstorms. Leashed pets are permitted on the trail but not on park shuttle buses.
Directions to Trailhead: Begin from any viewpoint in Grand Canyon Village or along Hermit Road. Can access the trail from many of the shuttle bus stops.
Trailhead Elevation: 6,820 feet, varies approximately 200 feet.
Note: NO water along trail. Water in Grand Canyon Village area and at Hermits Rest. Parts of the trail are accessible only by shuttle bus.

“The Rim Trail stretches from the South Kaibab Trailhead west to Hermits Rest, a distance of approximately thirteen miles (21 km), most of the trail is paved. Between Pipe Creek Vista and Bright Angel Lodge only a few short sections of the trail have grades that exceed accessibility standards. West of Bright Angel Lodge, the Rim Trail narrows and climbs the Bright Angel Fault to viewpoints along Hermit Road. Between Powell Point and Monument Creek Vista the trail is a three-foot wide dirt trail. The section of the Rim Trail between Monument Creek Vista and Hermits Rest is also known as the Hermit Road Greenway Trail.”

View link on Daily Hikes for more detail: South Rim trail

Bright Angel Trail

Trail Condition: Maintained dirt trail. Steep. Well defined. Some shade on trail, mostly from canyon walls and dependent on time of day. Give uphill hikers the right of way. Upper portion of trail may be extremely icy in winter or early spring.
Directions to Trailhead: Located on the South Rim, trail begins just west of Bright Angel Lodge. Follow path along rim, trail starts by mule corral.
Trailhead Elevation: 6,850 feet.
Services: Randomly patrolled by park rangers. Water available year-round at trailhead and at Indian Garden. Ranger Station at Indian Garden. Water available seasonally along trail.
Note: Seasonal trail water (May – September), subject to pipeline breaks. Check at Visitor Center or Backcountry Information Center for water status. There will be mules on this trail.

“The Bright Angel Trail offers wonderful views all along the trail making it very easy to lose track of how far down you have hiked. Additionally, the steepness of the trail is very misleading on the way down. Plan on taking twice as long to hike up as it took to hike down.”

View link on Daily Hikes for more detail: Bright Angel Trail

South Kaibab Trail

“(Steep) The South Kaibab Trail begins south of Yaki Point on Yaki Point Road. Access to the trailhead is by shuttle bus (Kaibab Trail Route). Offers day hikes that range in distance up to 6 miles (round trip). Best views for a relatively short hike. Steep trail, no water, little shade. Water available seasonally at the trailhead. Upper portion of the trail may be extremely icy in winter or early spring.”
Trail Condition: Maintained dirt trail. Steep. Well defined. Very little shade on trail, mostly from canyon walls and dependent on time of day. Give uphill hikers the right of way. Upper portion of trail may be extremely icy in winter or early spring.
Directions to Trailhead: Located on the South Rim, access to trailhead is by shuttle bus only, NO private vehicles allowed. Trail begins south of Yaki Point on Yaki Point Road.
Trailhead Elevation: 7,260 feet.
Services: Randomly patrolled by rangers. Water available year-round at trailhead.
Note: NO water along trail. There will be mules on this trail.

“The South Kaibab Trail offers wonderful views all along the trail making it very easy to lose track of how far down you have hiked. Additionally, the steepness of the trail is very misleading on the way down. Plan on taking twice as long to hike up as it took to hike down. Cedar Ridge has great views and is an ideal day hike. There are restrooms at Cedar Ridge.”

View link on Daily Hikes for more detail: South Kaibab Trail

The following trails are for advanced hikers and suggested as day hikes:

Hermit Trail

“(Steep) The Hermit Trail offers hikes to Santa Maria Spring, 5 miles (round trip), and Dripping Springs, 7 miles (round trip). Trail conditions are tougher than the Bright Angel and South Kaibab Trails. Unmaintained steep trail requires caution. Begins 500 feet west of Hermits Rest. Water from springs must be treated before drinking. For experienced desert hikers. Hiking boots recommended.”

Grandview Trail

“(Very Steep) The Grandview Trail offers hikes to Coconino Saddle, 2.2 miles (round trip), and Horseshoe Mesa, 6.4 miles (round trip). Trail conditions are tougher than the Bright Angel and South Kaibab Trails. Unmaintained steep trail requires caution. Begins on canyon side of retaining wall at Grandview Point on Desert View Drive (12 miles east of village). For experienced desert hikers. Hiking boots recommended.”

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Trails my friend and I went on during our visit to South Rim with Pictures:

On the South Rim we first went to the Mather Point lookout over the Grand Canyon, located right behind the Visitor Center. Then we continued and did the Bright Angel trail on which we walked down into the canyon about 2 miles and decided to return halfway between 1.5 mile rest house and the 3 mile rest house. After we climbed back from bright angel trail we went to see the lookout at Yavapai Point at the Geology Museum.

Bright Angel trail:

Trailhead at Beginning of Bright Angel Trail

P1110781beginningofangelbrighttrailhead

Pictures from Bright Angel Trail

P1110784brightangeltrail P1110785brightangeltrail

Wildlife seen:

Doe on a cliff, waiting to cross:

10690151_10205452380327685_5817735524886823490_n

Bright Angel Trail South Rim Viewpoint:

SAMSUNGP1110778 P1110772

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Pictures going into canyon:

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Yavapai Point:

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