First RV Trip Montana, Idaho, Utah, Arkansas travel blog

Odd it doesn't say so...

...but this is the North Rim.


Eric, Lavonne, & kids campsite at Grand Canyon (not me)

First view of the canyon from the lodge.

The lodge from lookouts below.

Eric & Lavonne

In the lodge, not sure why, but cute.

Bright Angel Point, North Rim

It's sort of THE famous lookout point for the GC.



Funny little thing sticking out...

...down there.

Glenda, Lavonne, & Eric

People all over the place.

Waiting our turn on the point.





Out on the point


How did he get UP there?



All 4 of us.



Scary to be there, but it's a trail I guess.

These little guys...

...are not shy at all.


On the porch of the lodge.

Look at that little tit...

...on the edge of....

...that ridge..

View of Angels Window way out at the end of Cape Royal...

There's a trail up there, Eric said he walked it.

You can see the river below through the hole.

Trail out to another lookout point.


Looks like you could fall right through there.



View of the river in the bottom of the canyon.

Contrast of light and dark.

That's another viewpoint over there.



Looks like snow almost.

Glenda didn't want to walk down, watching me.




It's raining down there.


Interesting formation lower right...



Another observation point over there...

...see the people?


The rain is on the plain...

...check out the rainbow..

...up close.

Another view of Angels Window

Light & dark...

...more contrast.


Hi up there.


Really red cliffs.


Hey look at me on the edge of the cliff.


It's REALLY storming down there now.

There's an interesting point...

...for me to show off on.

Glenda wants to go before it rains.

We're at the very end of the ridge, as high as we...

...exactly 100 miles from Kanab.

Looks like two saddles...

...closer look, parallel saddles.

Uh-oh, what's this white stuff... the sides of the road.

Sleet, ice,...HAIL... the middle of July!

That was quite a storm, hope there isn't a landslide...

...well, there WAS a landslide...

...but they cleared it quick and got us off the mountain.

Leaving GC National Park through the meadows of the National Forest.

July 30, 2017

Today we drove from Kanab, Utah, to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, Arizona, which is about 79 miles. There are a few places to stay closer to the Canyon, including some campgrounds without full hookups IN the park, but we didn’t want to drive the motorhome UP the mountain. It’s bad enough that gas out here in the mountains is about $2.79 a gallon most places (we did find $2.59 here in town), so driving the Jeep up there made a lot more sense. Plus we figured out today that the altitude difference between the North Rim and Kanab is 4000 feet! Here we’re at about 4500 ft. and most of the National Park up there is on a plateau at just over 8000 feet, then the end of the road lookout was a few hundred more. All I can say about “up there” is “What a view.” (See pictures, sorry there are so many, I didn't know what else to leave out).

The drive up there before the GC National Park is through the Kebab National forest, which is mostly a beautiful drive past mountaintop meadows, once you get past the flats coming out of Utah which is miles and miles of nothing but sagebrush. We entered the park for free with our senior pass (saving a $30 per car entry fee for the second time this week), then went straight to the campground to find our friends from Florida, Eric and Lavonne and their two kids, who were all camping there in a tent. About 5 years ago, we found them in Banff, in the Canadian Rockies when we were riding out there on our motorcycles, this time we went to another remote spot about as far from Florida as possible to look for them, and found them again. Both times the meet was a challenge, because there was no cell service in those remote locations.

We all went together to the main Grand Canyon Lodge, which is where the best known lookout points are, for the North Rim, at “Bright Angel Point,” then you can get a beer and sit in an Adirondack chair on the porch and just stare at the canyon. We did all that, then after socializing for an hour or so, they went back to the campground and we went back down the road to the turn that takes you up the mountain to several other lookout points. It’s about a 20 mile winding drive up and out on the end of the plateau, to the two farthest points, called Cape Royal and Angels Window.

I have to apologize for the pictures though…I think there is a dark cloud that follows me around…or at least Glenda says there is, because every time we go to a place where we want to take beautiful photos, it is cloudy or rainy. It was this time, as usual, but at least we weren’t on motorcycles. In fact, this was a real adventure, because just as we got to the top some thunderstorms started to move in. A lot of the rain was actually BELOW us, we got some sprinkles and saw some lightning and rain off to the side of us, but most of it didn’t get US. Glenda kept saying we need to get back down the mountain and I kept saying, it might be raining more back down the road than up here. These things were so localized that it just depended where you are. So, as we started back down the winding mountain road, the 20 miles or so to the main part of the Park, we started seeing white sleet at the side of the road…then we started to see stuff washed out onto the road, then we started to see ROCKS and debris washed out in the road (which was completely clean an hour before when we came up).

Glenda and I were just talking about what if a landslide or a tree blocked the road, would the rangers know we were up there and how long would it take to get us off the mountain when, sure enough, we came upon a backup of cars that couldn’t get by a slide. The word was passed up the line that it might be a couple of hours to get it cleared, some 4-wheel drive people could get through, but most couldn’t. I would have tried with the Jeep, but didn’t want to jump the line, so we stood around for about a half hour and finally a ranger drove up by us and said we were good to go.

As we went by, they had a front-end loader sitting there that had just cleared the road. I don’t know where they keep that thing, but they got there quick…from the time we went up the mountain, to the time we got backed up then got by the place they cleared, was no more than an hour and a half. I shit you not…clear going up, storm with hail in July, landslide, clear the landslide, get off the mountain, all in less than two hours, and we didn’t even see most of the storm because we were above it. Those ranger guys must just know when a storm comes through and leap into action. (See the pictures of the road debris.)

The rest of the ride down, through the Kebab National Forest, was interesting because it was late in the day when the deer were coming out. There were signs warning, at one place or another for 5 or 10 miles of deer, buffalo, or cows in the road. We saw free range cows and deer, but unfortunately, no buffalo (a sign up top said they are properly called “American Bison”). Glenda can spot a deer by the road or out in the field a half mile away…sometimes I see them and sometimes I don’t, so she is very good to have on board as a spotter. Maybe it’s the ¼ Cherokee Indian in her. Besides quite a few out in the field, we saw one young spike buck right next to the road, then later we saw two with giant racks cross ahead of us…we concluded while we watched them walk into the woods that they must have been elk, because the racks were too big to be deer. We covered just under 200 miles in the Jeep and had a good day at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, in spite of iffy weather. Tomorrow, Zion National Park

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