Saturday, June 27, 2015

BEST OF THE SOUTHWEST - The Kaibab Forest and the Grand Canyon


Weather – High - 65, Low - 35; Chance of Rain - 30%

Breakfast – Wildcat Willies Ranch Grill and Saloon in Springdale (Pancakes!)

Lunch - Houston’s Trails End in Kanab (Chicken Fried Steak!)

Dinner - Kaibab Lodge (The Special!)

Drive SH 9 to Mt. Carmel Junction. (13 miles) This is one of the best drives in the Southwest, with a 1-mile-long tunnel with windows blasted right through the mountain.  Check out the viewpoints along the way. And keep your eyes on the road and your hands upon the wheel!

Take Highway 89 south toward Kanab, past numerous roadside attractions like the house of pies and the incredibly cheesy Moki Cave. (17 miles)


Highlights – Drive Forest Road 22 just outside the east end of Fredonia on the right and follow the signs to Big Springs and Highway 67. This is a very good dirt road that is suitable for passenger vehicles in all weather. It will give you a rarely seen glimpse of an old growth Ponderosa Pine Forest with beautiful glacial meadows and wildlife galore. It will also save you 70 miles by not taking Highway 89. Check out the waterfall at the CCC-era Big Springs Forest Service Work Camp. There are signs on the right along FR 22 directing you to scenic viewpoints like Timp Point that offer spectacular overlooks above the Western Grand Canyon.

When you come to Highway 67, cross the road onto FR 611 and follow the signs to East Rim Viewpoint for some spectacular views of Eastern Grand Canyon (6 miles RT).

Hike – 4 miles south of Carmel Junction is the turnoff to Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park (24 miles RT) – There is a splendid 1.5-mile RT trail that leaves from the observation deck overlooking the dunes. Check out the friendly garter snake and Sand Exhibit in the Vistor Center. ($8 entrance fee)

Gas, Guns, and Beer – Judd Auto on the east end of Fredonia

                                                 Kaibab Lodge
                                                           C4 Eastview Unit - Cabin C

North Rim Country Store  – Gas, Beer, Wine, Souveniers, and Camping Supplies (right across the highway from the Kaibab Lodge)

* There is a fee campground run by the Forest Service at Demotte Park, next to the Kaibab Lodge, but you are allowed to camp anywhere you like for up to 14 days in any national forest in America for free, unless it is clearly posted that you can't.  It is the same for all Bureau of Land Management Lands.  BUT, not Park Service lands.  You have to always camp in a campground or obtain a backcountry camping permit to camp in a National Park. *


Weather – High - 60, Low - 35; Chance of Rain or Snow - 30%

Breakfast - North Rim Saloon

Lunch - Snacks or the Deli in the Pines

Dinner - North Rim Lodge Grand Dining Room (Make reservations in advance on-line)

* There are no other places on the North Rim other than the Park and the Lodge that provide services. *

Highlights – Drive to Cape Royale, the Walhala Anasazi Indian Ruin, Viewpoint Encantada, (where you can catch a rare view of the Colorado River below the Unkar Delta), Roosevelt Point, and Point Imperial. (45 miles RT)

Check out the star show after dinner from the Veranda of the North Rim Lodge overlooking the Grand Canyon.

HikesTransept Trail – Mostly flat, along the rim, between the Lodge and the Campground. (3 miles RT)

Sunset hike to Bright Angel Point from the North Rim Lodge along a paved trail that has some short, steep sections. (1 mile RT)

         * Remember that you are at about 8,800 feet and the oxygen is thinner, so it is harder to breathe. *

North Rim Campground – There is a full service campground about a mile from the North Rim Lodge, connected by several trails. Fees are $18-$25 per site per night. A maximum of 2 vehicles, 6 people, 3 tents are allowed per site. (A vehicle, which is towing a trailer, pop-up, tent trailer, fifth wheel, or a motor home pulling a vehicle, is considered two vehicles.)

North Rim Lodge
                                                           Western Cabin for 4
                                                 2 Queens

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