Hiking 2 miles into the Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon Travel Blog› entry 5 of 18 › view all entries
Driving 12 hours yesterday took a toll on George, who was trying to recover from a severe bout of the flu. He decided to stay in bed in our hotel room while I drove Jean and Karine to the Grand Canyon for a day of hiking.
On the way to the North Rim, which is touted to be the less-touristy part of the Grand Canyon, we stopped atop a mountain for a view of the Utah/Arizona desert below. Two Navajo women and one Navajo young guy were selling jewelry and pottery at this stop, and Karine spent a good while browsing their wares. She decided on two necklaces and a bracelet. One of the women spend several minutes adjusting the bracelet for Karine to wear. Karine found that incredibly helpful, although in all honesty we couldn't tell that the vendors were happy. It was very hard to read their faces, and the only time the woman smiled was when Karine offered her a tip for adjusting the bracelet. I'm sure it's very hard for the women to sit at this stop day in and out selling their products and making little money for all their efforts.
We finally arrived at the North Rim and had lunch at a little cafe near the Grand Canyon lodge.
Finally deciding on a trail, we walked 1.5 miles from the parking lot to the trailhead. The North Kaibab Trail is 14 miles from trailhead to the canyon basin. We spent about two hours hiking to the first two landmarks. First Coconino Overlook at 1.5 miles and then Supai Tunnel at 2 miles. Hiking down from Coconino to Supai took the longest time, as we stopped for lots of photos looking up and down in the canyon.
Having visited the South Rim twice before, I was not as impressed with the view at the North Rim. Now that’s probably sacrilege to a lot of folks, but in all honesty, I did expect spectacular colorful views like the South Rim provides (particularly Yavapai Point being my vision). Instead, the North Rim offers its own stunning views of the immensity of the Grand Canyon, as well as diverse wildlife, which the South Rim doesn’t really provide.
I have to admit that hiking back up the razorbacks of this incredibly steep trail was a bit of a trial, but I was really proud of myself when we finally arrived back at the top. It’s nearly hard to believe that we only went a seventh of the way into the canyon, as looking from Supai Tunnel to the top made the trailhead seem very very far away.
We arrived back at the Grand Canyon lodge incredibly dusty and very hungry. (For whatever reason, I had not packed my trail mix and relied instead on one lone apple as fuel. Duh.) We wanted to eat dinner at the lodge, but alas, no table was available until 9, and it was about 7. We wanted to get back to the hotel to provide George with dinner, so stopped back at the café and ordered a delish pizza for dinner.
The drive back to Kanab took about 1.5 hours, with lots of stops for Kaibab mule deer along the way. Clusters of deer grazed along the road, with little fear of passing cars and bright lights. The deer were stunning to behold but also created a long, tiring drive back to town.