Through a coworker, Lloyd – yet again, we had the chance to go for a quick hike in the Grand Canyon, this time from the north rim.
Not many people visit the North Rim as its a bit of a drag to get to.
It took us 9 hours to drive there (vs 5 to get to the South Rim).
Something like 16 million visit the south, only a few hundred thousand visit the north. Fewer still hike in from the north.
Just like a lot of mountain ranges, one side gets more rain and so has more vegetation than the other side, so the north rim gets more of everything and so tends to be more woodsy than the south rim.
The fun part is that its also at 7000 feet, not 4000, so rain tends to be snow.
When we arrived Thursday afternoon, this is what greeted us;
Snow. Feet of it!
And a howling subzero wind just for good measure.
At this point we three (Lloyd, Terry and myself) seriously considered calling it a bust and going home…. But after talking to the ranger who assured us that the weather in the canyon itself was beautiful, we figured we could survive the first mile or two and go from there.
Next day, we parked the car in the snow and black ice, shouldered our packs and tried to find the trail.
Thankfully it was the opening weekend and so the rim to rim (to rim) runners had beaten down the trail and it was very clear where we had to go.
It was just a matter of watching out for ice. The top of each step was slick. The snow was Okay, but the steps, of which there are many many many of, were really a trap that had to be avoided.
As hopped, the views were amazing.
The trees and snow made for some really quiet and peaceful hiking.
We spread out and just got lost in our own worlds for a good hour or so.
Before long, snow to turned to mud and slush and then to damp earth and then to the usual dry trail.
Sure enough, it was a beautiful day for hiking in the canyon.
Terry in the famous tunnel.
Lloyd crossing the bridge about half way down.
Terry and I got to the camp site first.
Did not take us too long to get a bit settled and the hunger hit.
So we heated up some freeze dried food and tucked into lunch.
Unfortunately Terry’s meal sort of exploded and stuck to his hand causing a pretty nasty burn. We had a full first aid kit and so were able to dress it, but it took a little of the shine off his day.
We went for a walk after lunch, but there was still plenty of down time.
Terry took his Kindle to read a novel, Lloyd also brought some reading material and I slept.
Before you know, dinner rolls around and after dinner, desert!
Terry had cheese cake, but Lloyd and I both had apple cobbler.
The instructions for ours were rather complicated, and I was not in the mood to mess about, so I just put hot water in mine and called it done, we ended up with this really bad textured apple custard weird hybrid mix…. It looked bad, but tasted pretty good.
Lloyd was a stickler and so followed the instructions, here is the bit where it has to simmer in a pan with a lid for 10 minutes.
No star photos, too cold for me to get out of the sleeping bag!
Next morning, up and out.
The snow had largely melted and it was another beautiful day.
8 miles in and 8 miles out. (25ish kms)
Fun little hike.