I end up skipping the short jaunts along the rim as I go through and post my Grand Canyon hikes.
This leaves me with a lot of nice photos and experiences that go unseen.
Each instance of sunset photography doesn’t call for an individual post, so I’ve decided to do an overview for each calendar year.
I have 2 of these posts for 2008. This one features a full day hiking the Rim Trail and exploring the East Rim for the first time.
Hiking the Rim Trail – May 29th
I was eager to get below the rim of the Canyon after first arriving on May 20, 2008. But in true methodical fashion, I thought it would be prudent first to hike the length of the paved Rim Trail.
The east end of Rim Trail was located at Pipe Creek Overlook at the time – the extensions to the South Kaibab Trailhead and Shoshone Point were yet to be constructed.
On the west end, the Hermit Road was undergoing a major reconstruction project, so the Rim Trail was closed to the west beyond Hopi Point.
So on my first day off of the season, my new friend Jamie E accompanied me to hike from Pipe Creek to Hopi Point. Accomplished via the shuttle buses, the total distance for this point-to-point hike is about 6.5 miles.
We started early to experience a Grand Canyon sunrise at Yaki Point, and were soon on way west.
To the west of Grand Canyon Village there’s a big hill – I’d wager the biggest hill on the rim trail. It only climbs 300 feet, but it’s steep and feels like more. Along the way there’s numerous gaps in Kaibab Limestone, like the one pictured above.
One of these gaps is reputedly the site of the “famous” image of the Kolb brothers, seen below:
The site of the old Orphan Mine was closed, but had yet to undergo it’s modern rehabilitation. So here you can see how the old rim trail once continued straight through the site.
The old headframe was still in place, too.
I must admit that the views through here all start to look the same to a rookie’s eye, and I felt as such before the rim trail’s hike was complete. The sensation is akin to a bludgeoning acclimatization, one that precedes a deeper familiarity with the nuances of the landscape.
We completed the hike at Hopi Point, and returned via shuttle bus.
It was a hot and dry day, with few clouds.
see more photos from the Rim Trail:
Continuing the Day: Desert View Drive
Completing the Rim Trail took us less than half the day, thanks to the early sunrise start. With energy to continue, we went to the Desert View Watchtower and explored some sights along the way.
It would be my first time to the east rim, including all its overlooks like Grandview and Moran Point.
We hadn’t even left the Village when we saw this bull elk cross the road near Market Plaza.
views at Lipan Point
As you’ll see below, I took an excessive amount of photos of the artwork within the Desert View Watchtower. The work by Hopi artist Fred Kabotie was intriguing. As a Pennsylvania native I suppose I’d never seen anything quite like it, especially in such a spectacular setting.
This panel (above) tells the story of Tiyo, of Hopi legend.
After exploring the tower, we made our way back to Grand Canyon Village and called it a day. The outing was similar, I imagine, to the experience of many first-time Canyon visitors.
After having completed the Rim Trail, on the very next day I’d go on to take my first hike below the rim.