Sunday, December 16, 2018

Grand Canyon - North Rim

The next stop on our journey was to see the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.  After we unhitched and set up, we drove down to the visitor center about 40 minutes away.  Originally, we weren't going to go there until the following day, but we decided to drive around anyway.  It was a freezing cold and windy day - remnants of Hurricane Rosa that had a disturbance in the force for the southern Utah and Arizona areas.
The North Rim is less frequently visited than the South Rim.  Only 10% of the majority of visitors that go to the Grand Canyon see the North Rim!  By the lack of visitors to the North Rim we noticed that.  But, I must say, the North Rim is the most beautiful section of the Grand Canyon and definitely my most favorite spot!  The canyons are a beautiful purple color that just takes your breath away! 

North Rim is pristine and very natural with much wildlife including the Kaibab Squirrel.  We saw two of them on our drive they look like a cross between a squirrel and a skunk.  They are super cute with their spiky hairy ears!
Photo by Zschopau Taler
Temperatures at the North Rim are usually in the mid-80s during the summer but gets cooler after September because of the high elevation of 8,000 feet.  From July to September there are afternoon rains.  The North Rim is in the Grand Circle of canyon, mountains, forests, rivers and lakes in 5 states that include Arizona, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada!  As you may or may not know there are at least 50 national parks and monuments in these states alone!

On day 1 it was windy and cold.  The drive was so pretty with the leaves turning on the trees.
The first thing we did was go to the visitor center after entering the park.
After that, we walked around the shops and lodge and grabbed a bite to eat.
I bought the 3rd flute from the had a beautiful sound.
From here, at the lodge, we ventured outside and took photos of the canyon.  It was super cold, windy, cloudy, rainy and foggy day but simply stunning views.
The North Rim has a good number of cabins to rent.  These are right on the rim!  Can you imagine sitting on your porch with these views?!
Here are a few of or favorite photos of Day 1
We left just in time on the drive home because it started to snow.  Brrrr.
That night, we just hunkered down for a long, cold night, but we were warm and toasty in the rig with the fire going and dogs all cuddled up with us.
On day 2 - it was snowy!  Since we didn't drive around the park the day before, we decided we'd listen to conference and drive along the scenic drives.  Problem was that it was so foggy, there wasn't much to see, but at the same time, the fog really gave me some interesting photos.
Today's excursion was to see the back road of the North Rim.  First, we turned onto a wet, snowy, dirt road and drove 4 miles into the wilderness and went to the Arizona Trail.  Normally, it's pretty spectacular, but today, as you can see, it was nothing but fog and snow.  We did notice that there are back in dry camping sites...could be fun if you're here during the right time.
Secondly, we took the turnoff to Point Imperial and Cape Royal.  Other than the visitor center area, this is the place to go.  We took the left fork and headed to Point Imperial first.  It was super foggy and pretty much a bust for views.  But, there were a few photos of the fog.
Here's the drive after we left Point Imperial.  Isn't the fog beautiful?
As we left and headed now toward Cape Royal, some of the fog started to lift, so I got a little excited thinking just maybe we'd have some views.  The middle photos reminded me of a castle in the clouds!
As we drove along - all of a sudden the fog was just gone!  And, so we were able to do a little hiking around the Walhalla Plateau area.  We stopped off at a few view points and some cute people took our photo.  I forgot my coat, so it was a bit cold for me.
More views of the Walhalla Plateau as we traveled toward Cape Royal.   Aren't the views awesome?!
As we drove along, we could see Angels Window and the big hole in the rock! Soon, we arrived at Cape Royal and parked and started our hike around the area.  What amazing sites!  The crazy thing is that there is NO railings here and you stand on the ledge of cliffs to photograph everything!
Soon, we came to a fork in the road and turned left for Angels Window first.  Here's a video of when we first saw the arch!
Scott took photos of me on top of the cut out.
Once you're on top of Angels Window, holy cow, what amazing views!
Once we left Angels Window, we hiked around a little more.  Scott was a little dare-devil and stood on the edge of the cliffs!  Stinker!
And, then we came to the end of Cape Royal where you see the entire valley!  Such a magnificent place!  God worked overtime on this creation for sure!
After Cape Royal, we returned back to the visitor center for a bit of lunch.
And, then we saw a TON of deer as we left the park heading back to Jacob's Lake.
We so enjoyed our visit to the North Rim.  It's a spectacular place to be!