Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Grand Canyon: North Rim

A view from the Lodge dining room!

The North Rim of the Grand Canyon had always been my it's a good thing I started my trip the government shutdown kept me from proceeding to the South Rim..Thus, there will be no blog, the sequel..Grand Canyon South Rim. Can't say it wasn't exciting to be a part of government incompetence..
Of course there were magnificent views, it's the Grand Canyon!
But I am always seeking ecosystems..After driving through the desert and reaching the higher elevations of North Rim, the Boreal and Ponderosa  forests were a cool surprise.. The Ponderosa Forest is found at an elevation of 8,000-7,200 ft, about the elevation of the Lodge..

A brave Ponderosa Pine..they
 can live to be 500 years old

I bark but don't bite..

Wildflowers thrive beneath the Ponderosa Pines..The visitor center listed the wildflowers in bloom in October, and I tried to find an example of each.. However, the visitor center listed only the generic names, so I have done my best to discover their  proper scientific names, but I disclaim  responsibility for strict accuracy :-) Please let me know if I have goofed.

Wooly Aster, Corethrogyne filagnifolia
Sky Rocket, Gilia Aggreegata, var. Arizonica

Quoth the Raven.."I am not a wildflower"

Lupinus argentus

Did I mention beautiful views?

Indian Paintbrush, Castilleja integra

Bitter Weed, Helenium amarum

Wildflower break time! 
Dark Eyed Junco, Junco hyemalis..
Western variation

Bitter Weed and Penstemon cyanocaulis,
Bluestem Beardtongue
Golden Rod..I am a complete failure at further ID..

That view again.. plants cling to life in the most awkward places..

A Yucca case in point..
The trunk of a living tree

Forest fire on the South Rim.

The highest elevation on the North Rim is at  Point Imperial..8, 803 ft. As you climb to this pass through the Boreal Forest, 8,200-9,200 ft. The dominant trees in this forest are the Quaking Aspen and tall pines such as the Engleman Spruce, and Douglas fir..

Quaking Aspens recovering from a forest fire.
Colors of recovery.

Aspen trunks at dusk, at a lower elevation.
Views from Point Imperial

The day I left the North Rim, on my way I had hoped, to the South Rim, a Steller's Jay finally the parking lot. The forest Jays had been uncooperative. Steller's Jays and a Red Headed Woodpecker were life-birds on the North Rim.

The best birds are in the parking lot.. Cyanocitta stelleri
Venus over the Grand Canyon.

One touch of nature makes the whole world kin~ John Muir Our National Parks


  1. Your photos are stunning! I have rafted down the Colorado through the Grand Canyon twice and it is an experience I will never forget. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, and for your kind words..Rafting down the marvelous! Glad to bring back some memories!

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by Luis.. It's a long way from Florida ;-)

  3. Good pic's, I actually found the North rim a little dissapointing as it was very dficult to get a good view of the actual canyon and you see a lot more of the side canyons. Never been to the West but everyone on here says its just a poor mans Grand Canyon.

  4. Viewpoints on the North Rim provide memorable opportunities to look across the expanse of the canyon. Point Imperial and Cape Royal are reached via a winding scenic drive. The trip to both points, with short walks at each and several stops at pullouts along the way, can easily take half a day.

  5. At the Grand Canyon West Rim, you can arrive by Helicopter or vehicle. Helicopter tours will actually land at the west rim so you can walk the Grand Canyon Sky walk.

  6. I just got back from the North Rim and I recognize that that living tree. I think my picture is better, but I could be biased.