From our hotel in Jacob Lake it is about 65 km to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Of course we wanted to be in time to see the sunrise, so we had a very early start today. After sunrise and breakfast we then had a half-day mule ride into the canyon. The afternoon we first hiked for 3 hours the trail to Uncle Jim Point. After that we still had time to drive to some other vista points (Point Imperial, Vista Encantada and Angels Window). We ended the day with another spectacular sunset at Cape Royal.
Just before sunrise we reach the canyon, which is still in the dark while the sky is getting bright orange.
The first sunlight hits the highest rocks.
As the sun gets higher we get our first clear views of the Grand Canyon.
We have booked a half-day mule ride into the canyon.
No experience is needed because an experienced “cowboy” is our guide, and the mules know the way.
We follow the North Kaibab trail down into the canyon.
This trail is used by hikers to reach the river far below from where they can proceed to the South Rim. But that is a two-days hike.
Along the trail we see rocks of different colors, white, pink and red.
Pink rocks near the trail.
The forest on the slopes of Grand Canyon has a variety of trees. It’s autumn so many trees show bright yellow and red colors.
Our “cowboy” guide stops regularly to give explanations about the canyon. We learn a lot of unexpected things: “This rock hanging over the trail is called the Hanging Rock”.
Some rocks are bright red.
Far below the trail continues. We are already planning to come back one day to hike all the way down.
Beautiful views of the cliffs as our mules turn around and take us back to the top.
After lunch we started on foot to walk the Uncle Jim Trail. This is a hike through the forest toward the Uncle Jim Point with another view of the canyon. The hike took about three hours (roundtrip).
The Uncle Jim Trail leads through a forest with white trees.
The trees are shedding bright yellow leaves.
Yellow autumn leaves
Yellow leaves pine cones
These trees have eyes.
There is a lot to see along the trail.
The trail takes us to the Uncle Jim Point with new panoramas to enjoy.
From here we can also look back and down to the Kaibab trail where we had our mule ride earlier today.
The canyon is 1800 meter deep, but we never see the bottom. The river is always hidden between the steep walls of the canyon.
I love it here.
Grand Canyon landscape with a few clouds.
Every view is different.
After our hike we took the car to visit some other points with views over the canyon. The road first took us through this burnt forest area.
Different views as we follow the Cape Royal Road over the Walhalla Plateau.
Nature has here created a window in the rocks: Angels Window.
The sun is getting lower and the rocks show their best colors at the end of the day.
No photo can express the beauty and capture the size of the canyon. But sticking three photos together can help a bit.
At Cape Royal we wait for the sunset.
The sun plays games with the rock walls in the canyon.
The last sunlight.
One more minute.
The end of a Grand Day.
With the sun down it is quickly getting colder and we drive back to the same hotel in Jacob Lake. Tomorrow will take us back to Las Vegas, but on the way we will again spend some more time in the beautiful Zion National Park. Goto Day 13.