May 25, 2004

Grand Canyon – North Rim

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 5:00 am by diandy2004

Well, we got lucky again – thanks to each of you who said your prayers that we would get permits and get to hike down into the canyon again. We got our first choice, which was the slow and easy route. First night in Cottonwood Campground, second night in Bright Angel Campground, and third night in Cottonwood again heading back out of the canyon. This schedule kept our hiking to 7 miles per day. Which, with the backpacks, is plenty for us. We met several other hikers who were hiking 14 miles down, camping one night, then hiking 14 miles back out. They were either very gungho or very foolish – depending on their physical shape and preparation. Either way, I can’t imagine that they came out of the canyon with the same peace, contentment, and fun that we had.

Getting Ready!

Getting Ready!

Hiking Down North Kaibab

Hiking Down North Kaibab

Our View from Cottonwood Camp

Hiking North Kaibab

Hiking North Kaibab

Hiking North Kaibab

Our Site at Cottonwood Campground

Our View from Cottonwood Camp

When we weren’t hiking we were reading, playing cards, or napping. But we would also walk around our campground, and put our feet in the 55 degree creek to cool off. One side-trip that we did (twice) was from Cottonwood Campground to Ribbon Falls, which was about 1 1/2 miles from camp. This set of Falls was probably one of the most beautiful and unique falls I’ve ever seen. It wasn’t the height, or the quantity of water, but the rock formation in which the creek cascaded upon. The rock was draped in a bright green moss and there were several holes in the rock creating doors and windows that the water dripped past. There were also falls that fell off the backside of the rock formation, that could only be seen from walking up and behind the main waterfall. Then, by accessing an alcove area down the creek further, you could see the multiple levels of falls that existed before it rained off the cliff. While we sat near the creek below the falls, with our feet cooling off and as we listened to the tree frogs baa-ing like big-horn sheep, we watched the falls dance as if performing a show for us with the changes in the wind. The hiking itself was also enjoyable.

Andy Inside Ribbon Falls

Andy Inside Ribbon Falls

Ribbon Falls

Ribbon Falls

The North Kaibab trail differed from the trails on the South Rim mainly for two reasons – it was more wooded at the top and it had large canyons that you had to hike through towards the bottom. We got to see critters surviving in nature – saw a raven capture and eat a frog; 2 whiptail snakes chasing lizards – but our presence foiled the hunt; and saw birds eating beatles and bats flying after insects.

The only ‘problems’ that we had during our hike were blisters (Diane – old and new; Andy – new ones) and breathing going back up the trail. Usually you can get into a proper breathing rhythm that keeps up your energy, but the mule “pies” where soooo stinky that you couldn’t help but hold your breath in spots (which is not a good thing to do when working out!). Needless to say, we did make it to the top, but a little out of breath. Afterwards we figured that we must’ve been breathing in, not only the dust from the trail, but dried, ground up mule p**p. Yuk!

After the Hike

After the Hike

View on the Noth Rim

View on the North Rim

Sidenote: We listened to two ranger-talks at Bright Angel Campground (one on each of our two trips) which were put on by the same Ranger. Unfortunately, I didn’t note the Ranger’s name. But if you find yourself at Bright Angel Campground with a petite female ranger, I *highly* recommend listening to the talk – whatever the subject may be. She’s THAT entertaining!

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1 Comment »

  1. […] with bridges tht were made from trees laid across the creek.  The falls themselves reminded me of Ribbon Falls in the Grand Canyon.  Along the trail we saw several large Douglas Firs, with the biggest aged at 700 yrs […]


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