We spent the last part of September and the first part of October on a rafting / hiking trip on the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon (Lees Ferry to Diamond Creek). Needless to say it was an utterly amazing / awesome trip of a lifetime and I’m not going to even try to put it into words. There was, of course, rafting and lots of big water rapids. But one reason we chose to do a longer trip was to have time for some hiking. Most of our hikes were up slot canyons only accessible from the river. However two of them, Tapeats Creek and Deer Creek (Thunder River), are accessible to backpackers (or stunningly fit day hikers) from the North Rim during the summer.
I’d made more than a few trips over the years to the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park but never one to the Canyon’s much, much less crowded North Rim. So when Wayne and Diane proposed a friends and family outing to the north side of the park, we went for it. We could only manage a week free of the corporate leash (i.e., paycheck) so we flew to Las Vegas and drove 4 hours from there to the Rim via Jacobs Lake. Weather conditions were unsettled due to the onset of summer rains but that made for some amazing sunlight, cloud, and lightning effects. Despite some high clouds and an occasional thunderstorm, conditions on the Rim – at around 8,000 feet – were great for hiking, with high temperatures only into the high 70ºF to low 80ºF range (as opposed to 100ºF+ along the Colorado River some 6,000 feet below). Our visit also coincided with a “supermoon” event, which was great for us but not so much so for the astronomy buffs who’d come for the supposed light-free skies.