We were at Grand Canyon - North Rim Oct. 10th, 2016
Robin and Kyle Harder, our daughter and son in law, asked to join us for a week or so on our WNP trail this year. They are home builders and had a remodeled home entered in the "Parade of Homes", an annual event displaying builders new homes. Our congratulations to them as they won a First Place Award on this years home. This show delayed them from joining us until after October.
We wanted to tour the North Rim, and all the essential Guest Services closed on October 15th; but we were determined, it was to be the North Rim and so off we were from Page,. We had a leisurely drive down by the Vermilion Cliffs to Jacob Lake for the night. This put us 40 or so miles from the North Rim.
Here is the view of the Vermilion Cliffs at Lee's Ferry. We recommend that you download the photographs to see their detail. Too after downloading, if you click your mouse, they'll enlarge to full screen. The return arrow will bring you back to this web page.
This photo was taken from the bluff on US 89 south of Page and the Big Arroyo, and about center is the start of the Grand Canyon
Vermillion Cliffs above Lee's Ferry National Monument
National Parks Website
What a peaceful and quite place at the foot of the Vermilions. Here you are looking up the Colorado River toward Glen Canyon Dam which is about 7.5 miles upstream. Lee's Ferry served as a gateway for the expansion of settlers from Utah south into Arizona, New Mexico and Old Mexico. It is the only place in 260 miles (420 km,) where the Colorado is not hemmed in by sheer canyon walls. Most of the early settlers were Mormons, who were looking for additional land. Although the river at Lee's Ferry is too deep to ford for most of the year, its relatively calm current presented an attractive site for crossing by boat and was successfully crossed here in 1864. Now when the ferry was operating, this river was NOT the nice deep blue water you see now. Before the completion of the dam in 1966; the Colorado River was a muddy muddy silt laden river.
"To thick to drink and to thin to plow"
You note the rafts loading for a tour of the Grand Canyon on the famous raft trips. There are some 25,000 visitors making these 7 to 25 day raft trips a year. The 25 day trip floats its way, 277 miles, to Lake Mead Marina.
These wind carved 'Toad Stools" are Huge approaching 25' foot in height.
Now let's go to the Grand Canyon
And where might you think it begins? Right here at the Navajo Bridge over the Colorado River just downstream from Lee's Ferry. This is only the beginning impression; but hey, we all have to start somewhere. And the Ole Colorado has been carving these walls for thousands of years, and it's just beginning. This is the 'arroyo,' I pointed out in the first picture.
Lee's Ferry and the crossing is unique in its geography. It was the only place in hundreds of miles from which one can easily access the Colorado River from both sides. John Lee began operating the ferry in 1870 and continued for the next 58 years. The Navajo Bridge completed in 1928 changed transportation over the Colorado.
Why the North Rim?
You can see from this cross sectional map of the Canyon, that the South Rim is much steeper and is 1.2 miles from the river; whereas on the North Rim it is 3.5 miles to the river. The South Rim offers a paved highway with frequent view points, and you're looking into the deep canyon but really seeing the slopes of the North Rim. The South is easier to get to from the Interstate, and quicker to view. And it handles 90% of the people visiting the Grand Canyon National Park.
The North Rim provides majestic canyons leading to the Colorado River. It is farther away from traffic and the crowds; and that is why when we think of the Grand Canyon, it's the North Rim. It is a pristine adventure and away we go.
The forty mile drive into the park from Jacob Lake was absolutely beautiful. Our first trip here was in 1995; but since then there has been a large forest fire, and now it is beautiful in another sense as nature reclaims its self.
The Lodge closed on October 15th, so we were only able to look and see; but previously we have enjoyed a beautiful evening dinning in the Lodge, while star gazing over the Canyon. This Lodge as well as the South Rim Lodge were Fred Harvey operations in the early 1920's. One of our fond memories of that evening in the Lodge was visiting with some young women (ave. age 35?) who had hiked that day from the South Rim down to the river and up to the North Rim or some 17 - 18 miles of difficult hiking. They were resting; as come daylight, they were off on their return trip. WOW how impressive they were to have been in that great shape, also very intimidating!
Dottie's Aunt Murial was a Harvey Girl hostess on the Santa Fe Grand Canyon Express running from Winslow 60 miles to the South Rim. This was in the 1920's. Their dress style as hostesses was typical Navajo dress. She left to Dottie several of her Navajo necklaces strings from 'Harvey Girl Days'. They are Dottie's ancestral treasures.
Robin is resting after the 2 mile Rim walk at the entrance of the Lodge.
Dottie is puppy sitting with Sammy, as dogs are not allowed on many of the trails which is very understandable. Now Sammy doesn't agree, but until we get him registered to Vote he'll have to live with it.
The accommodations at this National Park are outstanding, and OH! what a delightful vacation awaits those who are willing to go that extra mile. These are some of the newer cabins.
For the more rustic experience one can stay in the older cabins which are still absolutely prime accommodations.
Now let's drive the Rim to Point Imperial. By the way the North Rim is a 1,000' higher in elevation that the South.
My Professional tour Guides are Kyle, Robin and Miss Dottie.
These next three photographs are unique; as you watch the view through La Ventana (window,) and behold what you observe.
Download for the details and what do you discover?
Not much, unless you've that eagle eye, NADA. Let's get you a little closer.
Download again, and this time click your mouse button and look again. Anything unusual? Look through the La Ventana! Too, the hiker on the rim gives one the perspective of the massiveness of this bridge and window.
Come on, you should have found it now; but just in case here is the give away.
Again download to enlarge and now look through the La Ventana.
You Betcha, there is the ole Colorado River lazily moseying down the Canyon.
And here is another view which catches that ole river moving on down the Canyon. In the download you'll see the rapids waiting for the rafts to show up and test their canyon skills.
By Golly Gum Drops these shear canyon walls are not restricted to the South Rim. Here's one for the fool hardy; a challenge for your comfort zone on just how close to the rim do you go for that better view of this tributary to the Colorado.
And we'll close this travel log on the Grand Canyon on the most important part of Life, and that is FAMILY. Thanks Robin and Kyle that you wanted to come and share our wandering with us.
Hey, we had better head on down this old road. You ever been to Canyon de Chelly, home of the oldest Navajo inhabitation on the Navajo Nation. Well, just hitch your gitty up to our wagon and come along!