June 16, 2010
Sorry for the delay in posting, we went a while without internet or much electricity and I got backed up in my editing. I’m splitting the Grand Canyon into a few posts because there’s so much to say and show, so I’m starting here with the lodge at the North Rim.
My dad and I drove to the Grand Canyon from Kanab, UT, so we went to the North Rim first. The drive there was really beautiful. The land would be really flat for miles then all of a sudden be really hilly and bumpy. There have been a lot of forest fires in the area and there are miles on end of burnt trees that make for a very creepy landscape. I felt vaguely like I was driving through an abandoned Tim Burton movie set. The light shining through the burnt black and silver trees was eerily beautiful.
We debated how much time to spend at the North Rim vs. South Rim because while the North was more convenient, the South is more popular. After a little research we realized that the South’s popularity is mostly due to convenience and we in fact loved the North Rim much more than the South. The North Rim is more than 2,000 feet higher in elevation than the South Rim, which you can definitely feel when you’re hiking because you can’t catch your breath. The North is much less developed with just one lodge, the Grand Canyon North Rim Lodge, made up of a big central building and many small wood cabins and a camping ground. This books up really far in advance, but if you call to make a reservation and they tell you it is booked, keep calling every few days, they get a lot of cancellations. That is what we did, the other options are much farther away, and trust me, after a long day of hiking and a nice night on the deck with a cocktail you do not want to drive over an hour back to the motel at Jacob’s Lake.
The main building has a nice dining room, which is easy to get into for lunch, but if you want to eat there for dinner I suggest making reservations in advance- like when you book your room, if you wait till you check-in you will be too late.
The lodge sits right on the rim and there is a beautiful room with many comfy couches and chairs to sit inside and watch the light change on the canyon. There are also outdoor decks on either side of that room where you can sit and have a drink or snack (there are roaming waiters) and watch the sunrise, sunset, the stars in the sky, or just have a relaxing day with a book if hiking is not your thing. You can even spot small wildlife from the deck, we saw many lizards, chipmunks, squirrels, and a bunch of birds. The rangers even said they spotted a condor from the deck once! I highly suggest the signature Grand Canyon Margarita (it’s bright pink!!!) and my dad was quite partial to the Grand Canyon Chardonnay. I suggest ordering the drinks and a cheese plate about an hour before sunset and stake out a seat with your camera and then just sit back and watch all the shades the canyon turns as the sun moves across the sky.
From the decks you can take a short 3 minute walk onto a rock that juts out into the canyon itself for an amazing vista. This was our first little peak into the canyon and it was a wonderful introduction.
The week we were there was the star gazer’s week so the rangers had telescopes set up and were giving lectures on the night sky. The visibility is amazing and anytime you go you will have a great time viewing the stars, but bring a jacket it gets cold!! (You may not have a dad nice enough to go back to the room and get it for you, so bring it out at sunset and just keep it with you)!
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