Thursday, May 1, 2014

Grand Canyon, South Rim, Part 1

When we tried to get campground sites at Grand Canyon National Park, we found they were full, reserved months in advance. So we are camped at Ten-X National Forest campground just 4 miles south of the park boundary.
This turned out to be a good choice. It's opening day for the season at this campground and there are very few campers here.
 So it is very quiet. This is one of the large pull-through sites.
 A few of the sites are reservable, and that's where the campers seem to be tonight.
After we settled into our sites, we drove the car up to the Visitor Center (8 miles from the campground)
 The map on the wall gives you a good perspective of the size of the canyon. This is my first visit to the South Rim, although I've been to the North Rim twice.
 This large globe shaped ball hanging from the ceiling served as an interesting screen for a film about how the canyon formed.
 A time when all this was under the ocean.
 Layers of ancient rock.
This map shows the small portion of the rim we toured today, starting at Yaki Point which is off the map at the top. You have to take a shuttle to Yaki Point.
View of South Kaibab Trail from Yaki Point. The trail goes all the way to the river, but there are suggested partial trail hikes that are shorter. If you go to the bottom you have to plan on spending the night.
 Hikers on the switchbacks.
 Photo op for Birdie.
 And for me. Yaki Point, with the South Kaibab Trail in the background left of my elbow.
 Do you see the squirrel sitting out on the rock?
 Please feed me...
 Oh never mind, I'll just help myself.
 Lots of Pinon Pine grow along the edge. They have interesting twisted shapes.
 Mountain Chickadee
 Our next stop was the Kaibab Trailhead, where the mule barn is located.

 Sigh. I hope someday someone will be willing to take the mule trip to the bottom with me. Of course it must be reserved months in advance.
View from Kaibab Trailhead
 The start of the trail.
 We saw a lot of Ravens soaring...was hoping for a Condor. Maybe tomorrow.
Many elk live in the park. We came across a group of females browsing along the trail.
 We walked the paved Rim Trail from here to Pipe Creek Vista.
 Views from the Rim Trail.
 Living on the edge.
 You can rent bicycles and ride the Rim Trail.

 The Pink Jeep Tours come here too.
 Down there is Pipe Creek...when it has water in it.
Of course I took too many pictures, all very similar, so this is enough for day 1.
Tomorrow we will walk another portion of the Rim Trail and visit the Geology Museum.

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