We left Zion National Park and Utah and drove into Arizona to the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. The North Rim is not as popular and receives less visitors then the South Rim of the Park but is worth the visit.

While there we attended  Ranger programs, learned about the Canyons early inhabitants the Ancestral Puebloans and saw the ruins of several of their homes and villages. During the Winter they lived  on the Canyon floor where it is considerably warmer. In the Summer they lived on the North Rim and hunted and planted crops. Yes, despite what we have been led to believe, Native Americans did farm before the Europeans came. In fact some of their crops like Corn and Potatoes have earned (not for them) far more then the gold that the Europeans were seeking.

From the Rim you can see the Colorado River it is believed that over time several villages were built on the delta below.

One night an amateur astronomer was outside the lodge with a large telescope which we were allowed to look through. The sky and stars look incredible when there is no light pollution and the North Rim has little if any. Sorry no pictures

There are several ways to get to the bottom of the Canyon, walking, riding a donkey and  helicopter. Helicopter is amazingly expensive and I don't trust the donkeys even though they haven't lost any riders yet, so we didn't go to the bottom. We did however walk down two miles on the North Kabib Trail. There are of course two draw backs to going down in the Canyon. What goes down must come up and you get to share the trail with the donkeys. We didn't pass any donkeys on our walk but their business was all over the path.

It doesn't smell nice either.

We left the North Rim several days before the Park closed for the Winter and headed for the South Rim which is always open. The drive between Rims takes about five hours.

Home | The Big Trip