Photo Saturday: Grand Canyon #3

I'm back with another set of photos from the Grand Canyon... thanks for your indulgence! (If you really like to drool over amazing rocks, the first two episodes are Into the Canyon and The Search for Chevaya Falls. The fourth is Back Out of the Canyon.).

The attempt to see Chevaya Falls was our third day in the Canyon, and we followed it with a second night at Clear Creek. The fourth day, we moved camp to the Bright Angel Campground, next to Phantom Ranch. 

Temperatures were heating up, so I made as early a start as possible, remembering both the 3-400' climb out of Clear Creek canyon and the long, fully exposed traverse back to the North Kaibab.

Already up the big climb before first sun. Camp was down in the bottom where the cottonwoods are.

Morning light.

Collared lizard.

Prickly pear in bloom.

I was back in sight of the trail bridges by mid-morning.

The Kaibab bridge--the Black Bridge--is clearly visible. The Silver Bridge (Bright Angel Trail) is barely discernible if you know what you're looking for.

By lunchtime, I was at Phantom Ranch. It took hours before I made it the rest of the way to camp, having bought a cold drink and some potato chips at the canteen. Once I discovered $1 refills, I wasn't going anywhere. The rest of the group joined me one by one, until at last we went on to our campsite to fix dinner and set up camp.

On the 5th day, a layover at Bright Angel, most of us took a little hike (about 13 miles) up the North Kaibab trail to Rainbow Falls. Another hot day got at least some of us out early.

You can kind of tell the CCC had a hand in building this trail.
The north Kaibab is the route by which water reaches Phantom Ranch and continues to the South Rim (via the Bright Angel trail). It's also the route of the first telephone across the Canyon. In other words, it's an area with a long history of human occupation and interference. There were interesting markers of that presence, besides the lovely trail.

Historic telephone pole. The line has long since been decommissioned.

Not sure if the coils of wire are historic or a remnant from some more recent work.

What does a mule-driver do with only one boot?

The bridge is out, so we had to do a creek crossing. On the way back, I chose to play it safe and simply wade. Rock-hopping in a fast-moving stream is a dodgy proposition at best.

Rocks not quite out of the water--not my favorite kind of crossing.

And then, the falls, dropping in multiple steps onto a 20 or 30-foot high travertine mound. It was still early when we arrived, enough that it was chilly near the falls.
Rainbow Falls. The amount of moss in this desert landscape is testimony to the perennial nature of the falls.

 A trail led up above and behind the mound, providing a good view of the cup atop the tower, and a place to stand behind the falling water.

The main fall landing on the moss-covered travertine mound.

Eventually the sun reached us, and the falls lit up.

The namesake rainbow.

Mimulus--Scarlet Monkey flower--is found in all the wet places throughout the Canyon, and I am always happy to see it.

We were treated by our trip organizer (thanks, Sumi!) to dinner at the Phantom Ranch dining room that night. Sadly, they are still not doing indoor seating, so we had a lot of take-out containers. The waste hurts. It also hurt to have to wait until 6:30 for our dinner!

This was supposed to be a photo of my beef stew and cornbread, but something happened...

Once again I have too many photos for my post--so it looks like we'll take another week to get back up to the South Rim! Stay tuned...

©Rebecca M. Douglass, 2022
 As always, please ask permission to use any photos or text. Link-backs appreciated.
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