Tuesday, February 22, 2011

More Grand Canyon Trip Photos

The pictures from the Grand Canyon hike continue with the trail segment where we walked from the tip-off (transition from outer gorge to the inner gorge) to the bottom at the Colorado River. By this time in the hike our legs were like rubber. It is impossible to train in Michigan for 5,000 feet of walking down hill. Along the way we found out what the stimulus dollar sign was up at the trail head. There were several teams of workers improving the trail. For those of you who hiked the South Kaibab trail years ago, you would be amazed how smooth the trail is now. Although it is still steep with lots of switchbacks and steps, there are a whole lot less boulders and rocks in the trail -- which makes it a bit easier.

As you make the final descent down to the Tonto Plateau, if you look up to the left you can see the arch rock. It is quite high above so the telephoto lens on my camera helps us get a better look at the formation.

From the same spot here is the view looking to the right of the trail down on the plateau. The brown building is the public bathroom. The trail descends down into the inner gorge right after the bathroom. The other tents to the right must be where the trail maintenance crew is living.

While we were using the restroom, this Kaibab squirrel visited us.

A little way past the tip-off, there is a nice ledge that is a perfect place for a rest stop. You can look down at the beach that is the entrance path to Phantom Ranch. Although you are right above the river, it still takes an hour or two to complete the hike and finally arrive at Phantom Ranch.

While we were taking our break, this was our first close encounter with a begging raven. It is illegal to feed wildlife in the Grand Canyon, so all we did was take a picture.

Along this section of trail there are several sedimentary slabs with fossilized worm boroughs.

We were getting tired so the last thing we wanted to do was to put our packs back on.

I have always loved this fantastic rock formation. The "rocks" are several hundred feet tall.

This is the view looking toward the north side of the inner gorge. The arrow marks the spot where the next day we hiked up the Cedar Creek trail to hang out in the sun for the afternoon. I'll post pictures from that magnificent spot in my next canyon posting.

We were heading toward the black bridge, which you could see for a long time before you got there. At this point all we wanted to do was to get there. Although it was a relief to finally be down to the bottom, Phantom Ranch is still a half-mile walk up the side canyon.

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