Summer 2016 – Day 9, North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Our ride today took us south from Tropic UT, through Kanab UT and Fredonia AZ to Jacob Lake and AZ 67, the Grand Canyon Highway to the North Rim. AZ 67 is a wonderful ride in and of itself. Even if the Grand Canyon were not included, the 44 mile ride from Jacob Lake would be a destination ride. It takes you through the Kaibab Plateau, through forest and meadows, the type of smooth undulating road that riders cherish. We were blessed with a clear, dry, nearly cloudless day with comfortable temperatures in the 70s.

How does one even begin to describe the Grand Canyon? I don’t have the words for it. The size and scale are almost unfathomable. We walked through the Lodge to the patio in the back overlooking the canyon. I walked the Bright Angel Point trail to the end, stopping to take photos at every overlook along the way. The Nanny State doesn’t seem to exist out here. Want to walk out on a ledge to take a selfie? Knock yourself out – go for it. There is no railing or fence to get in your way. Several weeks after we were there, we read an article of a woman who fell 400 feet to her death after taking a selfie. I’m not that adventurous.

UT 67, Grand Canyon Highway, heading south to the North Rim from Jacob Lake
What a day!

After that, we hiked Bridle Path trail, an easy and relatively flat trail from the Lodge to North Kaibab Trailhead. It meanders through a beautiful aspen and pine glen before descending to the trailhead. At the trailhead a small group of hikers emerged from the trail, looking weary but happy. “We did it” they proudly shouted, “eleven and a half hours!”.

The temperature dropped on the way back to Kanab where were were spending the next two nights. It was 53° as we descended the Forest heading back to Fredonia and the wind was really blowing. Once again we wished that we had brought our jacket liners! After checking into our hotel, we walked to a wonderful local Mexican restaurant called Escobars for dinner. It was Sunday night and we got there around 9pm and the place was still packed – we had to wait for a table, but it was worth the wait. The men were in the kitchen cooking, the kids waited tables and Momma ran the show.

Walking back I looked up and saw this sign. Now that is something most of us don’t see everyday – Left, Grand Canyon. Right, Zion National Park! It had been another good day.

Kanab UT is a great central location for touring.
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Matthew Dragiff

A Goldwing rider from Jacksonville, FL.