If you are like me, you dislike large crowds of tourists. I love finding hidden treasures that no one knows about and getting to enjoy them alone, unspoiled by large crowds and paved guided pathways. Sadly the Grand Canyon is not one of those treasures you can hide. It is kind of large after all. But if I can’t enjoy it alone, I at least try to find the inside track and ways to see it that others don’t. And here is where I give you a big insider’s tip: North Rim. Most tourists drive up from Las Vegas to see the Grand Canyon, and naturally stop at the first exit sign. And why wouldn’t they? The South Rim is beautiful with all the amenities you could want or need.
We didn’t drive up from Las Vegas however. We came from the North side and went to the North Rim, a long 5 hour drive away from the South Rim. There will still always be tourists there, but the number was way less, and the view nothing less than spectacular. The North Rim is a noticeable 1,200 feet (365 m) higher than the South Rim and also farther north, so there are winter closure that do happen on this side due to snow or bad weather. So if you want to visit the North Rim, I recommend calling ahead to see if there are any closures. http://www.nps.gov/grca/index.htm
Thankfully our run of bad luck with thunderstorms finally ended with the Grand Canyon and we enjoyed a day of sunshine and hiking along the rim. I had hoped to hike down into the canyon and camp at the bottom, but be warned that there is a lot of red tape and paperwork that comes with that and a lot of permits that require planning months in advance. This whole trip had been a fairly last minute decision, and therefore we didn’t have any permits. So my dream of hiking to the bottom of the canyon didn’t happen. But we weren’t dismayed and instead found our own little hikes to do along the rim, and even found some little off the beaten path gems where there wasn’t another soul around for miles! We sat and ate trail mix for lunch, sun bathed and of course took the required pictures of falling off the edge of the Grand Canyon.
For the first time this trip, we even got to set up our tent in the light of day, and had time in the evening to relax by the campfire. I pulled out my guitar and plucked out a few songs while Cat pulled out her violin to join me. Life is good!
The Medical Diagnosis
Accomodations: Tenting in the North Rim Campground
Things to see: The Grand Canyon!!!!
Have you been to the Grand Canyon? Did you go to the North or South Rim? Did you hike to the bottom of the canyon?