10/05/2011

North Rim, Grand Canyon National Park

So this week we're in a little place called Jacob Lake, in the middle of the Kaibab National Forest, just north of the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.  So, when trying to decide where all to go on this trip, the Grand Canyon was always high on the list...but it's large and we didn't necessarily want to see the same view as everyone else, so we decided to hit the North Rim instead.  According to our ranger, 3 to 4 million visitors go to the South Rim of the Canyon, take their photos and such and leave....but only around 500k make it up to the North Rim.  I can say this, it is beautiful and completely different than what I had envisioned.  Firstly, it's completely forested....huge Ponderosa Pines and Aspen trees are everywhere.  Secondly, it's much cooler (in fact, its actually around 1,500 to 2,000 ft higher than the south rim). Thirdly (which is a huge plus for me, being the social butterfly that I am) it's far less crowded.

The downside, it's cold -- the road to the north rim actually shuts down October 31st, and this side of the canyon get's 15' of snow each year -- in Arizona!  As I'm writing this, we're supposed to start getting snow (not too much though, I hope) and it's been in the 40's during the night and in the 30's at night (Thursday it's supposed to be 26 overnight -- too cold for me).


A view of the South Rim from the North.

Another view of the canyons (I can't actually remember them all)...but I will say that according to our ranger, all of the peaks and valleys have middle-eastern names, because the geologist on the initial expeditions was heavily interested in world religions, and would name the stuff after whatever he was reading about at the time!

Continued...


This is the road into the park on the north side -- look at the beautiful Aspen trees!


This is the original 2 room historic ranger station just north of the park -- built in 1910, it is still in use today, and is on the National Register of Historic Places!


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