Grand Canyon, North Rim - going down into the canyon

With the cold chill arriving - daytime temps struggling to reach 40 and into the low teens at night, I decided to make an effort to get a permit to hike down into the canyon, where lower altitude would warm things. I had tried to get such a permit reservation before the trip, but they are in great demand. Fortunately there is also a walk-in process that they save a last few permits for.

The ideal plan is to hike 4000 feet down to Cottonwood Campground. That's half way in miles and two thirds of the altitude drop. Spend two nights there and dayhike to the Colorado River on the in-between day. Unfortunately I was only able to get one night, so I would go down one day, and back up the next, and not visit the Colorado River. But it was back to short sleeves and short pants for one day.

A coconino sandstone tower on the way down.

This is the canyon the trail goes down. You can see it on the right.

Closeup of the trail still up high.

More coconino cliffs.

Lower down, the supai sandstone layer.

The trail goes through the Supai Tunnel.

Switchbacking trail.

Closeup of a steep area.

Note the hikers crossing a sandy slope on the trail.

Lower cliffs.


Roaring Spring - all of the North Rim facilities are supplied by this spring - it's pumped three thousand feet up.

Bright Angel Creek.

A small snake, probably a garter, on the trail.


Cactus flower.

Cottonwood Campground.

Sunrise from Cottonwood.

4000 feet back up - took four and a half hours..

On the drive back to my flight in Las Vegas, I stopped by in the Virgin River Gorge

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