Well, my plans for the White Moutains over Labor Day have been modified to head north to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Trip Dates are Friday September 2nd through Monday September 5th but people can come up or leave anywhere in between.
This is a good trip for those preparing for the Rim-to-Rim in October as you will get a taste of the North Kaibab Trail.
Unlike the South Rim the North Rim is heavily forested being 1000 feet higher in elevation than the South. The nights are already very cool lending to a nice escape from the Phoenix heat. The drive to the North Rim (only 350 miles or about 6 hours from Phoenix not including stops) takes you through historic Cameron, the Gap, Lee's Ferry, and past the Vermillion Cliffs. The North Rim hosts many more vista Points, some with 270 degree panoramas, than the South making it a great place for photo buffs not to mention the wildlife including deer, bison, and the Canyon squirrel. From the North Rim Lodge patio you can see across Canyon to the Bright Angel Trail switchbacks as hikers make their way to/from the South Rim Lodge. I plan to park myself here at least one night to watch the sunset over the Canyon with a cool beverage in hand.
I am leaving Thursday night to start the journey north and to secure camping. Trip itenerary is below. People can leave to come up at their convenience and we will have signs posted to guide people to camp. I plan to camp outside the Park in the area around the meadows to take advantage of viewing the deer and bison herds. Depending on the number of people signed up we can go to DeMotte Campground next to Kaibab Lodge or just camp at-large off a forest road (the only difference is no table or pit toilet for at-large). Park amenities i.e. showers are close at hand if anyone is interested in them.
Please note on your RSVP when you can leave (day and time) to make the most out of carpool opportunities. Everyone will be responsible for their own food and everyone should contribute wood to the campfire. *If anyone is interested in going in on food with me using the dutch oven please contact me directly. Food is also available at the Kaibab Lodge, North Rim Lodge Dining Room, Bar, and Snack Bar. There is also a General Store for provisions.
Any questions just let me know, Lisa
PS: Links to trail descriptions are below the itenerary.
Trip Itenerary (but people can do what every they wish):
Friday: Set up camp and a partial hike of Nankoweap to the tip-off. If there is time possible the Widforss Trail. Sunset will be on the North Lodge patio.
Saturday: This day is an open day for everyone as the main hiking event is for Sunday. I will be exploring the Old Bright Angel Trail to Roaring Springs which I recommend for very experienced Canyon hikers. The Widforss Trail is an option (10 miles R/T with minimal elevation) and the Uncle Jim and Ken Patrick are also in the immediate area. If there is time I would like to drive to Point Sublim this day for the sunset over Dragon and Scorpion Ridge.
Sunday: The main hike event is the North Kaibab Trail. It is about 6 miles to the Pumphouse and about 7.5 to Cottonwood Camp. Ribbon Falls is about another mile beyond Cottonwood Camp which is my planned destination. I know people who are only planning on going so far as Roaring Springs or the Pumphouse. Sunset will be on the North Lodge patio.
Monday: Pack up and hit Point Imperial, Roosevelt Point, Cape Final, and Cape Royal vistas (all on the same road) for some sight-seeing into side canyons, a natural arch, buttes, a window, and some temples. We can catch Lee's Ferry on the way home if there is time.