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Widforss Trail
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mini location map2015-06-17
16 by photographer avatarazbackpackr
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Widforss TrailNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Backpack11.62 Miles 1,328 AEG
Backpack11.62 Miles   4 Hrs   46 Mns   15.16 mph
1,328 ft AEG
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
If you enjoy backpacking in Grand Canyon but hate the heat, why not do a rim backpack? There are a number of options on the North Rim. I hiked out to Widforss Point where there is a nice campsite, complete with picnic table, and spent a lazy afternoon and a lovely evening out there. Slept like a log. Got up the next morning and after looking at "my" view again I hiked back to the car.

Once all the pesky day-hikers have gone home it's likely you'll have this place to yourself!

The night before the hike I car camped in the national forest for free, off of FR 22. Super nice campsite on a tiny two-track deep in the woods. In the early morning I broke camp and drove into the Park. I first went looking for good coffee. The Saloon at Grand Canyon Lodge has an espresso bar so I got myself a mocha. The fellow who made my mocha recommended Widforss Trail over Tiyo Point Trail, which had been my other choice. I then ate huevos rancheros at the Lodge, my table overlooking the Canyon. I was finished eating before 8 a.m. Drove over to the Backcountry Office and waited outside, packing my gear, until Steve Bridgehouse, long-time backcountry ranger, showed up promptly at 8 a.m. Talked to him for a while, trading stories and finding out we know several people in common. He issued me a permit and told me I'd likely have the place to myself overnight.

Widforss Trail is very close to all the other Park facilities. Once again I passed by the trailhead for the North Kaibab, and marveled at how many pudgy-pasty people were milling about, getting ready to hike down into the 115 degree inferno. (The following morning I watched the rescue helicopter heading down into that inferno, with a long line dangling down.)

Meanwhile I had perfect temperatures on the Rim, both day and night. I did have the place all to myself! What could be better? The hike is beautiful right now, with ferns and flowers galore.

At the trailhead there is a sign warning of a very territorial female blue grouse. The ranger also warned me. The area of the trail where she has her nest is corded off with pink tape, and a detour has been put in place there. I wanted to see for myself so I walked past the tape. That grouse came at me, hissing. I scurried over to the detour. She followed a short distance but when I had gotten far enough away she gave up.

On the way back the next morning I saw her again and was able to get a snapshot (not a very good one).

Since I arrived in camp by noon, after taking my sweet time getting there, I had plenty of time to rest, play my ukulele, read a book, write in my notebook, etc. When the stream of dayhikers died down and the sunset was approaching I made my way down the rough trail to the actual Widforss Point, a dizzying rock outcropping overlooking Haunted Canyon, Manu Temple and Buddha Temple. I took my map along with me. Over the past couple of summers I've been a van tour guide at the South Rim. I've been trying to learn the names of everything on the map that can be seen from the rim.

Looking at the view from the North Rim perspective I saw many familiar points: Wotan's Throne, Brahma and Zoroaster Temples, Angel's Gate, Buddha Temple, etc. But I also could see some I was unfamiliar with, such as Oza Butte and Manu Temple.

I carried 6 liters of water and had plenty left when I got back to the car.

This hike would be dicey in a thunderstorm since it follows a ridge where it's evident that many trees have been struck by lightning, so I recommend it only for early summer, in dry weather.

Animals I saw were the cliff chipmunk, Kaibab squirrel, Arizona gray squirrel, mule deer. On the drive out of the park I saw the herd of bison the park personnel have been concerned about.

After the hike I stopped back to visit with Steve at the BCO again. I wanted some recommendations for another overnight backpack out to a point on the Rim. There are many options, although he said many of the trails on my map are overgrown and some can't even be found any more. Walhalla Glade Trail has mostly disappeared, he said. He recommended Cape Final, although it's very short. I could do a day hike first, then walk out there and camp for the night. I'll be going back!
 Flora [ checklist ]
[ checklist ]  Cliff-Rose
 Fauna [ checklist ]
[ checklist ]  Dusky Grouse
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
Lupine, mostly.
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
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