Grand Canyon North Rim, Point Sublime

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While at the Grand Canyon North Rim, we decided to take in Point Sublime, another overlook we had never been to.  The map shows it’s only 17 miles… so we figured it would take maybe an hour to get there.  NOT!!

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We stopped at the Backcountry Office to get our Permit to camp there.  The Ranger told us that we should take the long way for our truck, instead of the shortcut for short wheel base Jeeps.  We had no idea the trek would take almost 4 hours.

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The dirt road is not well marked, and the rough map is difficult to follow.  The drive along the way is lined with aspens and a gorgeous drive.

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The turn at Kanabownits was basically the last sign we saw.  We turned around once, but decided to stick it out.  The road along the way was worth the drive… we were anxious to see the overlook.

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At the end of the long drive we were rewarded with a stunning vantage point.  We set up our camp as we took in the views we had all to ourselves.

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Photos just don’t do it justice.  It was worth the price of admission (free!).

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Grand Canyon North Rim, Bright Angel Point

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Speaking of Grand Canyon North Rim… the most popular, and accessible trail is just outside of the Grand Canyon Lodge:  Bright Angel Point.

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The trail is paved and an easy walk to the point at the end, overlooking the vastness that is the Grand Canyon.  It’s hard not to be awestruck by it’s majestic depth and beauty.

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One takes pause to take it all in.

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I loved the craggy trees along the trail that grew out of moldy rocks filled with character.  These trees have grown and leaned in the wind and heard tales of generations who have walked past.

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Grand Canyon Aspen Fall

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The first signs of fall are in… starting at highest elevation and dropping to lower elevations, it’s beginning to look like Fall Colors.

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We were at Grand Canyon North Rim this past week, and the Aspens are in full Yellows.  Love the golden hue against the deep greens of their neighboring Firs and Ponderosas.

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The colors were made more beautiful by the ferns that adorned the ground in varying shades of green and brown.

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Nature is at her most beautiful and happiest as she smiles upon us all with full color.  Gotta love it.

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Grand Canyon North Rim, Cape Royal

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Admittedly, I have been to the North Rim more in the last couple years than I have in my whole life.   But, oddly, I have never been to the ‘popular’ out of the way overlooks.  In part, I imagine that is so because National Parks are notoriously dog unfriendly.  Thus, we tend to camp outside of the actual park and get awesome views without the crowds.

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But this time, we took the occasion to do Cape Royal (above) and Point Imperial (below).

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What stunning overlooks!  The weather graced us with mostly blue sky with minimal clouds.  But we made due with what we were given and captured some images for the archives.

 

Mary Colter’s Watchtower

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All the sudden I am fascinated with Mary Colter.  While she is a figure from our past (born 1869), I find her a fascinating character.  When her father died at only 53 (who refused her pleas to go to Art School), she struck a deal with her mother that she would use what little money he left to pay for her to go to school.  She would then get her education and become a teacher to provide monies for her mother and young sister.  Her mother agreed, and Mary moved her mother and sister from St Paul, MN to California to go to the California School of Art and Design.  There she got her architecture degree in 1890, and as promised got a job teaching to support the family.

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By 1902 she was hired by Fred Harvey to design a style of architecture that would become known as Rustic National Park, used by most National Parks to follow.  Her association with Fred Harvey lasted for 48 years.  Many of the Fred Harvey buildings she was associated with have been since demolished by the railroads.

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But the Grand Canyon remains the single largest treasure trove of Mary Colter works , including the Lookout Studio, Hopi House, Hermit’s Rest, and the Watchtower, all of which continue to thrive and entertain… albeit, unfortunately as gift shops today.

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One of her last ‘masterpieces’ was the Watchtower at the Grand Canyon-South Rim.  It was built in 1932.  It was modeled after several Indian towers, mostly all already in ruins.  She wanted a tower that could serve as a spectacular vantage point to take in the awesome Grand Canyon vistas.

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But she wanted it to last… so she had it built with a concrete and re-bar support structure on top of which the ‘boys’ had to cull the landscape to find the individual stones from the natural environment to plaster on the exterior.  Individual stones would pop out to cast eclectic shadows, and different styles and designs from different tribes made up the exterior.

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The inside was painted by the then well known Indian painter, Fred Kabotie, based on ancient drawings provided by Colter to assist in the decorations.

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It is a fascinating building, and largely intact from the original tower devised by Mary Colter… though one can no longer go onto the roof, and glass window panes have been added for safety reasons.

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If you find yourself at the Grand Canyon – South Rim, don’t miss the Watchtower, as it is a fascinating piece of living history outside a stunning landscape.

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See more Grand Canyon – South Rim photos … here.

 

 

Toroweap Overlook

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Toroweap Overlook is a viewpoint within the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona, United States.  It is located in a remote area on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, 55 miles west of the North Rim Headquarters.

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Grand Canyon National Parks own brochure says it best:  “At 3,000 vertical feet (880 m) above the Colorado River, the sheer drop from Toroweap Overlook offers a dramatic view.  The volcanic cinder cones and lava flows in this ancestral home of the Southern Paiute people make this area unique. A visit to Tuweep provides an opportunity for an uncrowded, rustic, and remote experience.  Access is challenging and demands skill at negotiating difficult roadways.  Services are non-existent: there is no water, gas, food, lodging, or phone service.”

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Backcountry Permits are required from the Grand Canyon National Park in order to camp at one of their only 8 spots.  We felt lucky to reserve our permit in advance.  It made for a fascinating and stunning overlook for a few days.

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Grand Canyon – North Rim

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We just got back from several days in the Grand Canyon.  Not the popular and tourist heavy South Rim… but the more out of the way North Rim.  More over.. not actually in the National Park itself, technically outside of the park.  We camped in the forest outside the Grand Canyon – North Rim, finding amazing spots that overlooked the back side of the Grand Canyon.

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We didn’t have to fight the crowds, or make reservations at jammed lodges for a year in advance.  We camped on our own, brought and ate our own wonderful meals.  We went for hikes along amazing trails and took in views that took our breath away.

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As I sat one morning, all by myself, waiting for the sun to come up over the canyons, I took pause to feel thankful for this amazing state we live in.  How fortunate I feel to live in a place where we can see this amazing landscape, in the solitude of my own company, feeling quite safe and extremely comfortable.

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As the light shifted and changed over the canyon walls I thought how challenging Arizona photographers have it to photograph these vast ravines and sprawling cliffs.  The shadows and light changing like a curtain being raised slowly over a work of art, waiting to see what moods today will bring about… clouds, blue sky, storms, dust, or haze.

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We camped in several stunning spots, including Jump Up Point, Crazy Jug, and Rainbow’s End Trails.  Each had their own beauty, foreground, and atmosphere.  It was a great peaceful, relaxing trip…. one we’ll have to do again.

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