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1997 Grand Canyon Photos

In April of 1997, my friend Dennis, his son Matt, and I spent 4 days and 3 nights backpacking across the Grand Canyon ... and back. While I'd been to the rim of the Canyon at least 4 times, this was their first trip. We were all excited about the hike. We had been unable to get advance overnight permits, so we had to wait an extra day for a spot to open for us. That allowed us to sightsee along the South rim for a day.

We headed into the Canyon early on Tuesday morning. We hiked from the South rim, down the South Kaibob trail, across the Colorado River, and up the North Kaibob trail to Cottonwood campground ... a 14 mile hike. We were tired! The temperature was in the low 60's (°F). It started to rain. The sleeping bag felt good.

The next morning we could see snow on the upper surfaces of the pagodas above. We'd only had rain below. We day-hiked to the North rim to find 15+" of snow. Back at camp, it was only damp. The campground was almost deserted. We heard later that Flagstaff had 23" of snow ... a record this late in the season.

The following day we hiked to Phantom Ranch and spent the day relaxing.

On Friday morning, we hiked out the Bright Angel trail. That afternoon we climbed into a raging blizzard on the South rim. The temperature was in the upper 20's (°F). Friday night about 6" more snow fell. What a great four days we had!

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South Kaibob trail View of the river from South Kaibob trail Matt above the switchbacks
The South Kaibob trail about 1/3 of the way from the rim. This area is called "Cedar Ridge". The view from Cedar Ridge, looking Northwest down to the Colorado River. Matt along the South Kaibob trail, just above the switchbacks down to the river.

Dennis on the East bridge Along the North Kaibob trail Snow up top
Dennis on the South Kaibob trail bridge over the Colorado River ... East of the Phantom Ranch. Matt takes a rest stop along the North Kaibob trail, past Phantom Ranch, in the narrows along Bright Angel Creek. Dennis waits patiently for us, as he did most of the trip. View of the previous night's snowfall up top. Only rain fell on the canyon floor. Flagstaff had 23" of snow.

Looking toward the North Rim Matt on the North Kaibob trail Gary on the North Kaibob trail
View up toward the North Rim from along the North Kaibob trail. This was taken from just below Roaring Spring, the water source for the South Rim facilities. The Spring is just visible on the right, above the large tree. Matt catches up to Gary on the North Kaibob trail, heading up to the North Rim. About halfway to the top. Gary rests on the North Kaibob trail. Shortly after this photo, Matt takes off to catch Dennis, well ahead.

View to Cottonwood Campground Along North Kaibob trail Bright Angel campground
View looking South down the North Kaibob trail toward Cottonwood campground, in the distance. Mule corrals can be seen on left. Heading South into the narrows section of the North Kaibob trail, several miles above Phantom Ranch. Matt is on the trail at the right. View of Bright Angel campground, along Bright Angel Creek. The campground is between Phantom Ranch and the Colorado River.

Colorado River Back on the South Rim
Trip !!!
The Colorado River, as seen from the suspension bridge on the Bright Angel Trail. This bridge is West of the Phantom Ranch. Gary, Dennis, and Matt on the South Rim, lookin North. This photo was taken the next morning, after we left the inner Canyon.

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