Fall Hiking Trip to North Rim of the Grand Canyon
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 attached for a day-by-day itinerary. It is important to make your reservations at the Jacob Lake Inn asap (I was told within the next two weeks), as early October dates fill up rapidly due to hunting season on the North Kaibab Plateau.
The Inn has hotel, motel, and cabin rooms. The motel rooms are already booked up! The cabins are more economical than the hotel rooms, but most cabins just have one bed. They told me that currently there are 2 cabins with a king bed, 6 cabins with a queen bed, and 6 cabins with a full bed (priced accordingly). Online it looks like there might still be a cabin or two with either 2 queens or 2 fulls. Cabins run $96 to $124 depending on bed size/qty.
If you’re sharing a room with friend, but not looking to share a bed :-), there are currently still 10 hotel rooms with 2 queen beds each. There are also a few hotel rooms left with one king bed. Hotel rooms run about $165/night. Hotel rooms have A/C, cabins do not, but shouldn’t be an issue in early October at 8000 feet elevation.
They require a first-night deposit (you’ll be charged for one night upon making your reservation), but you get it back minus a $10 admin fee if you cancel at least 48 hours before arrival time (i.e. by Sept 29). Unfortunately they don’t offer group rates.
Their number is 928-643-7232. Their website is www.jacoblake.com. Their website wasn’t working too well when I tried it, but they were friendly and helpful on the phone. The website’s “Check Availability” page does let you see the room descriptions.
Please let me know when you’ve made your reservations, and write or call if you have any questions or concerns. Once we have a “firm” list of who’s going, I’ll limit the emails with detailed trip planning to the smaller group. Of course we welcome any late arrivals or new members interested in going, but it will be dependent on room availability at that time.
Day 1 (Tue): Drive to Jacob Lake. Lunch stop in Cameron, or lunch on our own? Nearing Jacob Lake, the Orderville TH is 2 miles east of the Jacob Lake Inn, and is the north terminus of AZT Passage 41. A short hike south on the AZT here could be a good way to stretch our legs before continuing on to the Inn (or after checking in, before happy hour?). We could also check out the Jacob Lake Lookout Tower a mile south of the Inn, and climb the multiple flights of stairs to its 80 foot high viewpoint. We should be able to get from Phx to Jacob Lake in 5 hrs, longer if we stop in Cameron or along the way. Leave at 8:00, could be at Jacob Lake by 1:00 or 1:30, 2:30 with stop in Cameron. Happy hour and dinner at Jacob Lake Inn.
Day 2 (Wed): Leave Jacob Lake by 8:30 and drive to North Rim, arriving by 9:30. Carpool to maximize use of Golden Passports. Once inside the National Park, take Cape Royal Road 23 miles all the way toCape Royal. There’s a 0.8 mile flat paved trail with signs interpreting the area’s natural history andviews 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 steep) 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, stay at the Rim for dinner at the Lodge, then drive back to Jacob Lake.
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, 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 3⁄4 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 eat their lunch when they get back to the trailhead.
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 trailhead, drive down to the Lodge, kick back on the veranda or in the saloon till dinner time (Chuckwagon Buffet, or Lodge Dining Room [reservations recommended]). Folks wanting to get in more hiking before heading to the Lodge for dinner could hike northwest from the North Kaibab trailhead on the Arizona Trail (0.8 mi round-trip to the point where it meets the dirt road leading to the Wildforss Trail parking area), then meet up with the rest at the Lodge.
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!