Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Grand Canyon - North Rim

We toured the South Rim several years ago but wanted to visit the North Rim, which offers a different Grand Canyon experience. It is more remote and less developed than the South Rim, and so attracts far fewer tourists. Many people think its viewpoints are more spectacular and offer a better idea of the expanse of the canyon. We agree.  The elevation at the North Rim is approximately 8000 feet, about 1000 feet higher than the South Rim. It is more difficult to access due to road closures during the winter season and the limited campgrounds are typically closed from October to April. There are several viewpoint where we could see the South Rim, approximately 10 miles away.

The weather on our first day was foggy and cloudy which produced a rather spectral appearance - very cool.

The weather on our second day was sunny and bright which gave us a totally different experience. It was great that things worked out the way they did and we were able to see the canyon both ways.

The Grand Canyon is known for its visually overwhelming size and its intricate and colorful landscape. It is 277 miles long, up to 18 miles wide and attains a depth of over a mile. There were several viewpoints where we could see the Colorado River far below.

We had several sightings of the Kaibab Squirrel. It lives in the ponderosa pine forest of the North Rim and the Kaibab Plateau near the town of Jacob Lake, where we stayed. I love the dark body and feathery white tail.

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