Saturday, September 13, 2014

The North Rim of Grand Canyon

We started at the Jacob Lake Inn. When I got up and looked out the window on the balcony (yes, the room had a balcony!!), I saw a deer and a fawn about fifty yards from the building. Of course, by the time I got my camera, they were gone! After breakfast in the dining room, we rolled south on State Highway 67 to Grand Canyon National Park.

The Colorodo River, which runs through the bottom of Grand Canyon, splits the park into two major areas: the south rim and the north rim. Most people only visit the south rim, with its easy access by road or by the Grand Canyon Railway. The north rim, which is only accessible via State Highway 67, is much less visited.

After passing the gatehouse, we did the obvious and headed for the visitors center. In most national parks, the visitors center is right after the gatehouse. Here you had to drive right to the rim area. This is also the site of the historic http://www.grandcanyonlodgenorth.com/. The ranger station has its own maps for the north rim.

The Bright Angel Point Trail

From the ranger station, we walked along the rim to the Bright Angel Point Trail. This starts from the south end of the lodge's parking lot. It is an easy, paved trail with a few short sets of steps. The photographs below show vistas from the trail.

This photo shows a section of the trail in the foregrund.

On the way back from Brught Angel Point, we took the a fork in the trail. Instead of leading us to the parking lot, it took us to the Grand Canyon Lodge. This picture shows a staircase that leads to an observation area below the main lounge of the Lodge.

Vista Encantada

After we got back into the car, we headed down the road toward Point Imperial and Cape Royal. When we reached the fork in the road, we decided to take the trail to Cape Royal first. Along the way, there are a number of scentic overlooks. Vista Encantada is the first one.

Roosevelt Point

Roosevelt Point, of course, is named after President Rooseveldt. No, not the rich socialist, Franklyn Delano. It is named after the naturalist and individualist, Theodore Roosevelt! It was Throdore who created the national parks system that we are enjoying today! The other Rooseveldt could not see beyond the next election and the politics of Europe.

Indian Ruins Parking

According the the plaque here, the native americnas placed their summer homes up here on the rim because it was cooler. Down in the valley in the center of this photo are their farm plots and winter homes.

If you look at just right of and below the center of the photograph, you will see a patch of blue. This is "Angel's Window" in the distance.

The Cape Royal Trail

At the end of the road is a large, unpaved parking lot that serves as the trail head for the Cape Royal Trail and the Wedding Chappel Trail. The latter leads to a glade that overlooks the canyon and has been the site of numerous weddings.

Angel's Window

This is a viewing point on the Cape Royal Trail. It gives a closer veiw of the same hole in the rock, called "Angel's Window," as the previous photograph.

Later, along the Cape Royal Trail, there a a branch off to the right that will take you to the top os the "Angel's Window" outcrop.

Cape Royal

Cape Royal is at the end of the trail. There is a great panaramic view that I do not have the equipment to photograph.

Point Imperial

Back on the road again, we headed toward the turnoff to Point Imperial. Once we got there, we looked at the time and realized that Point Imperial would have to wait for our next trip to the North Rim. Our time here had run out.

Time to Go

As our time had run out, we got back on State Highway 67 and headed for the entrance gate. At Jacob Lake, we turned off of State Highway 67 and onto US 89A. We crossed the Colorado River at Najavo Bridge. The plan - at end of 89A, take 89 north to Page, AZ and spend the night there. Unfortunately, the road was closed, supposedly due to a landslide. We had to take 89 south toward Falgstaff, AZ.

Heading south on US 89, there were no motels until we got near Flagstaff. Those we found all had their "No Vacency" signs lit. We talked to a few front desk clerks and the reply was always the same: it's summer and weekends book out quick.

We rolled east on Interstate 40 and tried Winslow, AZ. We found a room at the same Econo Lodge we stayed in on the outbound leg over a week earlier!. They remembered us and even gave us a "manager's frequent guest" discount.

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