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mini location map2014-03-08
46 by photographer avatarBiFrost
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Rim to RimNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Backpack avatar Mar 08 2014
Backpack54.95 Miles 15,735 AEG
Backpack54.95 Miles4 Days         
15,735 ft AEG
Great long weekend in the Grand Canyon. We planned to hike over to the Yurt on the North Rim and stay there two nights with a stop over at Phantom Ranch first day to make it more manageable with full backpacks. We stayed in one of the Phantom Ranch cabins and was cool way to enjoy the ranch. Next morning headed out towards the North Rim and the Yurt.

After making our way through the Box we stopped by Ribbon Falls for a break. It was fairly early so no one was there and we had the place to ourselves during the break. Continuing on we passed through Cottonwood Camp and only saw one person camped there....this guy from the Yukon in Canada who last minute decided to hike the canyon. Onward we made the pump house by 1pm. Took good break there and tanked up on water before the long push to the top. The last 5.7 miles of North Kaibab is 3800 feet and really awesome. Only saw 5 people on 14 miles of North Kaibab and nobody after Cottonwood Camp.

We also checked out the Roaring Springs trail on the way to the top which is short side hike. The final push of the trail is relentless but is definitely the coolest section of North Kaibab. The drop offs and terraces below Supai Tunnel keep it interesting the whole time. Once we reached the Supai Tunnel it feels like you should be at the top but there is still over 1500 feet to go. Finally made the North Kaibab TH about 6pm. From there it's only about 1/4 mile to the Yurt on top. Have to say the Yurt is a nice destination when the temps drop on the North Rim. Wood burning stove and shelter from the elements makes the stay a luxury for a backpack.

Next day we decided to take it easy and hike the Widforss Trail on the rim. Sweet views of the rim and The Transept Canyon below. Some snow on the rim but not bad considering what could be post hole conditions for this time of year. After the day hike headed back to the Yurt for another night enjoying the accommodations. Since the North Rim is closed it's really special to have the whole place with no one around. Despite that we ran into the park ranger and chatted with him for about 30 mins. Was interesting to talk with him about various topics of the canyon. We learned that 90% of all canyon rescues are trail runners doing R3. Ran into 2 trail runners after our day hike resting in the North Kaibab parking lot at 3pm that still needed to head back to South Rim. The ranger on his patrol drove by and stopped to check on them giving them a ride to get water at the Backcountry Office and back to the TH. Also learned that the Buffalo up there are really Beefalo cross bred with cows and that they are smart enough to know when hunting season starts and cross over into the park frustrating the hunters.

Next morning we awoke early as we had a big day. Had to hike all the way across the GC from North Rim and up South Kaibab trail. Started at first light 6am and head down North Kaibab. Fortunately we took our time on the trip over so didn't have to stop at any points of interest on the way back. We did stop at the pump house for a snack and tank up on water. Then we pushed it to Phantom Ranch and stopped for lunch...the Tecate went down really smooth :)

From there it was up South Kaibab to the finish. This is a tough trail with a full backpack but still not North Kaibab tough. After spending 2 days on the North Rim side it took some adjustment getting used to seeing all the tourists again near the top of South Rim. Great feeling to look back across the canyon and know that you hiked it in one day :sweat:
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