Fall Hiking Trip to North Rim of the Grand Canyon
Oct 1-4, 2019
ALL ARRANGEMENTS HAVE BEEN SET AND THOSE SIGNED UP ARE RECEIVING DIRECT COMMUNICATIONS BY EMAIL.
Our Fall 2019 club trip is going to explore the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. We will stay at the Jacob Lake Inn for 3 nights (check-in Tue Oct 1, checkout Fri Oct 4). See below for an updated day-by-day itinerary. Hopefully you got your reservations at the Jacob Lake Inn when this trip was first announced in April, as the early October dates fill up rapidly due to hunting season on the North Kaibab Plateau. Latecomers are still welcome, if you can get a room or find someone to share theirs. The Inn’s number is 928-643-7232. Their website is www.jacoblake.com.
Day 1 (Tue): Drive to Jacob Lake. Leave Phx around 8:00AM, stop for gas and stretching/restroom break in Flagstaff (recommend the Safeway gas station and neighboring McDonalds as you near the Flagstaff Mall, shortly after crossing over from I-40 East to Hwy 89 via Country Club Drive). Arrive in Cameron by 11:15, will have reservations at Cameron Trading Post restaurant for 11:30. After lunch, continue on two more hours to Jacob Lake Inn. Check-in is not allowed till 3:00PM, so will probably have some time to kill before we can get into our rooms. We can hike a nicely wooded 1.25 mile trail to the actual Jacob Lake (2.5 mile roundtrip), and then complete check-in and unpack our cars. Happy hour in the gazebo near the cabins around 4:30 or 5:00, then dinner at the Jacob Lake Inn restaurant at 5:30.
Those interested in attending a presentation on Navajo history and culture, with Navajo rug weavings as the thread tying it all together, can attend Inn owner John Rich Jr’s talk in the hotel meeting room at 7:30PM Tue (confirm). The talk is long (2+ hours) but informative and moving.
Day 2 (Wed): Leave Jacob Lake by 8:00 and drive to North Rim, arriving by 9:00. Carpool to maximize use of Golden Passports. Once inside the National Park, take Cape Royal Road 23 miles all the way to Cape Royal. There’s a 0.8 mile flat paved trail with signs interpreting the area’s natural history and views of the canyon, Angels Window, and the Colorado River. On way back from Cape Royal, drive a couple miles down side road to the Point Imperial viewpoint, where we can hike a short distance along the rim on the Ken Patrick trail and eat our trail lunch. Then back to the North Kaibab TH for our main hike of the day, 2.8 miles total. First just the drivers will take all the cars down to the Visitor Center parking lot, then return in one car to the North Kaibab TH to rejoin the group and start the hike: 0.3 miles on Bridle Path trail, then 2.0 miles on the Transept Trail along the rim of a beautiful side canyon, past the North Rim Campground and the Grand Canyon Lodge, finishing back at the Lodge after the 0.5 mile round-trip paved (but sometimes steep and narrow) hike to Bright Angel Point. Total for the day will be 4 to 5 miles (depending how much hiking we do at Imperial Point). We should have some time to explore around the Lodge and Visitor Center before driving back to the North Kaibab TH to pick up the driver shuttle car and making the one hour trip back to Jacob Lake for happy hour and dinner. Alternatively, do our happy hour thing at the Rim, then drive back to Jacob Lake for dinner, if desired.
Day 3 (Thu): Leave Jacob Lake by 8:30 and drive to North Rim, arriving by 9:30. Carpool to maximize use of Golden Passports. Park at North Kaibab TH and hike down the North Kaibab Trail. This is the trail used by those making the Rim-to-Rim trek to get from the bottom of the Canyon up to the North Rim. From the North Rim end, the trail begins at 8,000 feet in elevation and drops rapidly, so fairly strenuous hiking back out no matter how far we go. At a minimum everyone should be able to hike to the Coconino Overlook. To get to this incredible viewpoint is only ¾ mile each way (600 feet elevation gain coming back up) and provides one of the greatest views to be seen from the North Rim. Hikers turning around here can then opt to hike a mile or two of the relatively level Widforss Trail or the Ken Patrick/Uncle Jim Trail, both starting from near the N Kaibab TH.
For those continuing on the North Kaibab Trail, another 1.3 miles from the Coconino Overlook, 2 miles from the rim, is the Supai Tunnel. This would be the target for the day for all members that are up to the 4 mile, 1200 foot elevation-gain, round-trip. There are toilets here (Supai Tunnel) as well as a water faucet (check availability before counting on water here). This is a good spot to eat lunch you brought. Be very careful leaving packs unattended here as the squirrels can destroy them in seconds looking for food!
After returning to the N Kaibab trailhead, drive down to the Lodge, kick back on the veranda or in the saloon till dinner time. We have dinner reservations at the Main Lodge Dining Room at 4:30pm. This is the first dinner seating, so our tables should be along the windows looking out to the Canyon!
After dinner we have the usual hour drive back to Jacob Lake Inn.
Day 4 (Fri): Open choice per carload. Options include driving straight home to Phoenix (that may be all the driving you care to do in a day). I would recommend driving up to Lee’s Ferry on the way back. It only adds 12 miles to your trip back to Phoenix, but you’ll want to spend a couple hours exploring the historical and scenic points around here, maybe even a short hike down the River Trail along the Colorado.
Past Club Hiking Trips
Silver City NM., Grand Canyon, Chiricahuas, Picacho Peak, Paria Canyon, Page (Horseshoe Bend, Upper & Lower Antelope Canyon, the Mushrooms, Sedona (West Fork/Secret Canyon & others), Flagstaff (Kendrick Peak, Mt. Humphreys, Inner Basin), Lassen Volcanic National Park, Bryce & Zion, Glacier National Park, Death Valley, Joshua Tree National Park, Canyonlands & Natural Bridges,Ut, Las Vegas (Red Rock, Mt Charleston), Aravaipa, Lees Ferry to Diamond Point (float trip), Havasupai, Hualapai Mtn Park (Kingman), Joshua Tree National Park, Muleshoe Conservancy (Wilcox), Buckskin & Hackberry Canyon in southern UT, Paria Canyon, Payson, Ramsey Canyon, Tucson, White Mts. of Eastern AZ, Williams, Cottonwood (Parson’s Springs), Jerome (Yeager Trail), Strawberry (Fossel Springs Trail), Buckskin & Hackberry Canyon, UT, Pinetop – Lakeside, Ramsey Canyon – Sierra Vista, AZ, Page, AZ, Canyon De Chelly, Tubac, AZ., Moab – Arches/Canyon Lands, Monument Valley – AZ and Utah.
THATS A LOT OF HIKING, FRIENDSHIP AND HAPPY HOURS FOLKS!