My wife and I were invited on a backpacking trip through some of
the North Rim’s most beautiful trails for the Memorial week. The
trip would take 4 nights and 5 days, covering 27 miles plus side
hikes. Starting at over 7000 ft at the top of the North Rim, then
dropping all the way to the Colorado river, and back again. The
weather would test us as well with temps over 100 degrees at the
bottom of the canyon and not much shade.
We started out on Sunday, May 30th at 7 AM from the Bill Hall
Our Packs were loaded up with an extra gallon of water each for caching at the halfway point. Water is only available at the lower elevations, so this was for the return trip.
Looking down on The Esplanade and the bottom of the first of three descents.
The trail even had a few minor down climbs, minor without a water laden pack on the your back that is.
We hit The Esplanade and got some rest for our weary knees, at least for a few miles. The Esplanade is a land of Red Rock formations and sandstone, extremely beautiful.
Interesting formations J
We cached our water and headed for the next decent into Surprise Valley. They either called it Surprise Valley because they expected to see the Colorado River there or they were surprised by the amount of vegetation. They used to run cattle down these trails for winter grazing - tough cows. The Colorado actually used to run through the valley millions of years ago, then a giant landslide filled in and shifted the river further south.
The beginning of our decent down the Red Wall.