Grand Canyon Journals

Lure of the Canyon

Best of IgoUgo

A May 2006 trip to Grand Canyon by btwood2

Bright Angel Trail Photo, Grand Canyon, Arizona More Photos
Quote: Ride with us through five life zones and two billion years of earth’s development, as surefooted mules take us from the South Rim into the Canyon.

Lure of the Canyon

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

Grand Canyon Mule Rides Photo, Grand Canyon, Arizona
Quote:
Though I’ve been here before, returning to the South Rim is a visceral shock. Sharp intake of breath, words fail, eyes rivet to the almost incomprehensible, mesmerizing vastness just beyond my feet… so big, so wide, so far down. Standing on the edge makes me feel like a tiny insignificant speck of humanity in the presence of something very large, deep, and old. How large? The Canyon is 277 miles long. How deep? Six thousand feet at its deepest. How old? Though this has become a point of contention lately between scientists and some creationists, NPS consensus reveals its age to be 5-6 million years. Some of the rocks though, such as ancient Vishnu schist ...Read More

Ten-X Forest Service Campground

Best Of IgoUgo

Hotel

Ten-X Forest Service Campground Photo, Grand Canyon, Arizona
Quote:
Campgrounds inside Grand Canyon National Park were either too costly, or our 38 foot motor home was too big for their spaces, so we stayed instead at this delightful and perfectly satisfactory campground in Kaibab National Forest, less than 10 miles from the South Rim. Nightly fee was only $5, thanks to Bob’s Golden Age pass, which allows us to camp for half-price at most federal campgrounds (but not Grand Canyon’s Trailer Village, concessionaire operated by Xanterra). At Ten-X, in a mixed forest of ponderosa and piñon pine, juniper, and Gambel oak, 70 spacious sites are spread out among three loops, with plenty of room between sites. Aggressive thinning had recently been car...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 3, 2007

Ten-X Forest Service Campground
Hwy 180, Highway 64
Grand Canyon, Arizona
(928) 638-2443

Grand Canyon South Rim

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "South Rim Trail I: Trailview to Powell Point"

Grand Canyon South Rim Photo, Grand Canyon, Arizona
Quote:
Distance: 12 miles total; Trailview to Powell Point 2 miles; Elevation change: fairly level; Open to foot travel only, bicycles not permitted. Paved portions wheelchair accessible.The beauty of the South Rim Trail is that it’s so versatile, so spectacular, and its views change constantly with season, weather, and time of day. You can take a short hike or a long one, or anywhere in between. The major disadvantage can be the crowds, and this is especially true in summer and on holidays. Every time the shuttle stops at an overlook, here come at least a handful of tourists. But they don’t stay long, because they don’t want to miss the next shuttle. The South Rim Trail can be...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 3, 2007

Grand Canyon South Rim

Grand Canyon, Arizona

Grand Canyon South Rim

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "South Rim Trail II: Hermit’s Rest to Hopi Point"

· Hermits Rest Photo, Grand Canyon, Arizona
Quote:
Distance: 12 miles total; Hermits Rest to Hopi Point 6 miles; Elevation change: fairly level; Open to foot travel only, bicycles not permitted. Surface: dirt.Hermit’s Rest, on the eastern end of South Rim Trail, is architect Mary Colter’s whimsical fantasy in rock, built as a rest stop for tourists, to resemble a hermit’s hovel. Hermit Trailhead, one of the three main trails down into the canyon, begins immediately west of the Rest. From Pima Point, a mile east, you get good views of Hermit Trail, built in 1912 by Santa Fe Railroad as an alternative to Bright Angel Trail, which was then a toll-trail. Far below, the blue-green Colorado River ribbons its way past Granite Rapids...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 3, 2007

Grand Canyon South Rim

Grand Canyon, Arizona

Grand Canyon South Rim

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "South Rim Trail III: Canyon Village to Pipe Creek Vista"

Grand Canyon South Rim Photo, Grand Canyon, Arizona
Quote:
Distance: 12 miles total; Canyon Village to Pipe Creek Vista: 4 miles; Elevation change: fairly level; Open to foot travel only, bicycles not permitted. Surface: paved. On the east edge of Canyon Village, Verkamp’s Curios is celebrating its 100th anniversary. John Verkamp opened the first curio shop at the Grand Canyon, and his family still runs the 1906-built store, though they no longer live on the second floor. Dignitaries, rangers on horseback, and camera-toting publicity crews are milling around the just-completed celebration and ceremonies. Leaving the hubbub of Canyon Village behind, relative solitude awaits on this wide paved portion of the South Rim Trail. My co...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 3, 2007

Grand Canyon South Rim

Grand Canyon, Arizona

Grand Canyon National Park

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Revolutionary Mary: Hopi House and Other Wonders"

Grand Canyon National Park Photo, Grand Canyon, Arizona
Quote:
The Grand Canyon is where many of this ground-breaking architect’s work can be found. Not only was Mary Jane Colter one of the first female architects in a male-dominated profession, but the structures she created were truly revolutionary. For 46 years she was the chief architect and decorator for Fred Harvey Company. Rather than imitate European styles of architecture, she sought inspiration from nature and local indigenous peoples. Red stone and adobe Hopi House was designed by Colter after she’d visited pueblo-style dwellings in Old Oraibi. It was constructed mainly by Hopi Indians themselves. Indian arts and crafts were sold on the ground floor, and the Hopi artists, craf...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 3, 2007

Grand Canyon National Park
P.o. Box 129
Grand Canyon, Arizona 86023
(928) 638-7888

Bright Angel Trail

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Bright Angel Trail Photo, Grand Canyon, Arizona
Quote:
9 miles round trip, elevation change 3060 feet descent and ascent. Easy down, difficult up.Bright Angel Trail has an interesting history. The trail itself is an old one, used for centuries by Havasupai Indians to reach their gardens. It was named Bright Angel after the creek and canyon named by intrepid Colorado River runner John Wesley Powell. In the 1890s miner Ralph Cameron improved the trail, gained control of it, changed its name to Cameron Trail and began charging $1 toll. Alternate trails such as Kaibab Trail (east) and Hermit’s Trail (west) were developed to avoid the toll. After lengthy legal battles, the trail was wrested from Cameron by Coconino County in 1928. It wa...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 3, 2007

Bright Angel Trail
Begins near the main Visitor Center complex
Grand Canyon, Arizona 86023
(928) 638-7888

Grand Canyon Mule Rides

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Mule Ride I: The Stone Corral "

Grand Canyon Mule Rides Photo, Grand Canyon, Arizona
Quote:
"Any of you expect this to be an easy ride?" wrangler Marilyn asks our group of about 40. We’re gathered around the corral where mules are being readied for day rides to Plateau Point and overnight rides to Phantom Ranch. There are negative murmurings from the crowd. Apparently not enough of a response for Marilyn. "Any of you expect this to be easy?" she queries a bit more insistently. From beside me the voice of my husband, ever the tease, "Yeah, I expect this to be real easy". "No… no-no-NO!" Marilyn is reeling us in. "It’s not an easy ride. You’ll be sore and tired. This is NOT an easy way to see the Canyon; this is hard. We want you to understand there’s nothin’ easy abo...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 3, 2007

Grand Canyon Mule Rides
Grand Canyon Tourist Center, South Rim
Grand Canyon, Arizona 86023

Grand Canyon Mule Rides

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Mule Ride II: South Rim to Indian Gardens"

Grand Canyon Mule Rides Photo, Grand Canyon, Arizona
Quote:
In the brisk invigorating early morning air at the edge of the South Rim, we watch as a slew of wranglers are efficiently readying upwards of 40 mules and supplies. Anticipation builds in the hustle and dust of the corral next to Bright Angel Trailhead. How lucky we are to be taking the day ride down into the Canyon, through Indian Gardens to Plateau Point, and back. Thank goodness for last-minute cancellations. Another’s misfortune becomes our good fortune. Soon it’s time to match riders with mules and wranglers. J.P. and Johnny, our wranglers, pair Bob with big brown Sleepy. I’m assigned to Cracker, white with unusual light-colored eyes. We’re assisted up onto our mules, slickers and can...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 3, 2007

Grand Canyon Mule Rides
Grand Canyon Tourist Center, South Rim
Grand Canyon, Arizona 86023

Grand Canyon Mule Rides

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Mule Ride III: Indian Gardens to Plateau Point "

Grand Canyon Mule Rides Photo, Grand Canyon, Arizona
Quote:
We’ve descended 4 ½ miles and 3,000 feet by mule from the South Rim of the Canyon to Indian Gardens, in a lush grove of cottonwoods where the Havasupai Indians used to grow corn, beans, and squash. Now it’s a campground and rest stop for hikers, riders, and mules. After discovering we can still walk, though stiffly, it dawns on us that it’s quite warm here (102 degrees F in the shade of cottonwoods). Wrangler J.P proceeds to hose us down one by one, with a convenient garden hose. The ride from Indian Gardens out to Plateau Point is smoother, since we’re now on the fairly level Tonto Plateau, and cooler, since we’re wet. Our group gets to Plateau Point around 11:30am, and J.P. and Jo...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 3, 2007

Grand Canyon Mule Rides
Grand Canyon Tourist Center, South Rim
Grand Canyon, Arizona 86023

Pizzaholism in Tusayan

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

· Spaghetti Western Photo,
Quote:
For some strange reason, both times we ate out during our most recent Grand Canyon visit, we ate pizza in Tusayan, the small community 10 miles south of the Rim. The first time, the evening after our all-day mule ride, we ate at the Spaghetti Western place, duped by the name and the ridiculously cheap $6.95 pizza sign. We should’ve known better. We were sore from the ride, dusty and thirsty, and really in the mood for a BIG pitcher of beer, but unfortunately, they only had bottles. Had we known, we would have gotten up and gone to that other pizza place, plainly named We Cook Pizza and Pasta, where we later found nice big pitchers. But the prospect of getting up from t...Read More