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21 by photographer avatarddgrunning
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Rim to RimNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 21 2018
Hiking27.60 Miles 5,900 AEG
Hiking27.60 Miles   12 Hrs   52 Mns   2.15 mph
5,900 ft AEG
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Enjoyed another September Rim to Rim with some family and close friends. This one was extra special, as I was joined by my 19-year-old daughter who is preparing to leave for 18 months on a church mission to Washington D.C. Nothing like 13-distraction-free hours together in the Grand Canyon as a farewell/send-off. :y:

We arrived on the North Rim to the most pleasant weather I've ever experienced there at this time of year. Shorts and t-shirt were quite comfortable, even after sundown. Cabin windows were open until just before shut-eye.

They have changed the menu in the dining lodge. It's still a bit pricey, but no more bread filled with garlic cloves :sk: , and there are now a few items that actually taste good. Yay! :DANCE: I had the chicken alfredo and ate the whole thing.

The moon was nearly full, and we wandered out to Bright Angel Point to watch the last vestiges of the sunset and peer across the divide to the south rim lights, marking the following day's destination.

Hit the hay around 9:30 p.m. and slept fairly well. Wake up call was at 4:40; headed for the North Kaibab TH shortly after 5 and plunged into the darkness at 5:38 a.m. The temps were very comfortable at the lodge, though a little cooler and windy at the TH. Still, shorts and a t-shirt were quite comfortable after the first 20 minutes on the trail.

Unlike last year, there were relatively few on the trail this morning. Headlamp was only needed for the first 15-20 minutes, but they are important minutes, as the upper portion of the trail has many ankle-busting opportunities. And then there is the dust! Those first couple of miles down to Supai Tunnel are like tromping through fine flour. My bandana-clad face protected the airways a bit, but this portion of the trail always initiates you with a full coat of GC pixie dust from the get go.

Passing through Supai Tunnel the vista down to Redwall Bridge and beyond opens up, with the South Rim in view and a distant Humphreys Peak perfectly framed between the Canyon walls.

My daughter and I took the side trip to Upper Ribbon Falls on the way down. I didn't notice the ruins last year, but took some time to carefully explore them this time around. Talk about your prime location--the views and nearby waterfall surely made this the Beverly Hills of the Canyon back in the day. On our way back, we veered off to take a peek at Ribbon Falls from above. It's a pretty spectacular vantage point, allowing you to see the falls above the falls, which are not visible from below.

Back on the trail, we made our way down to Phantom Ranch. The side trip slowed us down and we realized it would be late in the day before we topped out. We embraced it and enjoyed some time soaking our feet in the creek in the shade by Bright Angel Campground, and donned fresh pair of socks for the climb out.

Temps were pushing 90, but by the time we hit the Devil's Corkscrew, we were already enjoying significant chunks of afternoon shade.

At the top of the Corkscrew, we took a short side trip to the jacuzzi tubs along Garden Creek, cooling off and relaxing before making our way into Indian Gardens. Still fresh from the jacuzzis, we spent very little time in IG, and began the final ascent.

By the time we hit Jacob's Ladder, the canyon was fully shaded and temps were very pleasant. As the sun set, we enjoyed a spectacular display of colors, splashed across the canyon temples, points and layers. As an added bonus, our late afternoon ascent resulted in some relative solitude over the last couple of miles, which are typically swamped with crowds of tourists tipping their toes below the rim.

Topped out at 6:30 pm; hit the showers at the campground; fueled up at Wendy's in Tusayan; and arrived back in the valley around 1:30 a.m., exhausted but supremely satisfied.
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