ALL HIKERS

DAY 1 - NORTH RIM TO COTTONWOOD CAMP

    

     After getting up this morning, we take a peek out the door of our cabin.  Yikes!!  It really did snow a lot last night.

 

 

 
 

Jacob Lake cabin
10-12-2021 @ 7:18

 

     It is only a hundred yards or so over to the Jacob Lake Inn restaurant, but with the temperature at 23 degrees and snow still falling, we decide to drive over so we won't get quite so cold.  After breakfast, we go back to our cabin to pack our stuff.  Normally, you try to begin your hike early, so you can get one of the better camping spots.  That is not necessary on this hike as the Park Service is only issuing permits for one-half each campground's normal capacity.  Anyway, the forecast is for the snow to continue until around 11:00, so no need to start much before then.

     The drive to the North Kaibab parking lot is a little challenging due to the deep snow and ruts in the road.  We fishtail several times on the way.  It takes us over an hour to get there.  When we arrive at the parking lot, I am very surprised that it is just as packed with cars as it was yesterday.  We are very lucky to find one empty spot.  We put on our packs and walk down to the trailhead.  Our timing is perfect as a Park Ranger is just getting there at the same time.  We have her take our picture and then she's off down the trail, never to be see again.  It continues to snow heavily.

North Kaibab Trail parking lot
10-12-2021 @ 10:56

North Kaibab trailhead
10-12-2021 @ 11:01

     The going is a little slow on the snow covered trail.  Fortunately, it is not too slick, but still requires some care when walking.

   
 

A snowy North Kaibab trail
10-12-2021 @ 11:08

 

     In no time at all, we reach the Coconino Overlook.  Normally, the views from here looking down Roaring Springs Canyon are spectacular.  However, the low clouds and fog make for very limited visibility today.

The Coconino Overlook
10-12-2021 @ 11:26

The Coconino Overlook
10-12-2021 @ 11:26

The Coconino Overlook
10-12-2021 @ 11:26

     The snow remains deep as we trudge along and make our way down Canyon.

Richard on the trail
10-12-2021 @ 11:35
Curt on the trail
10-12-2021 @ 11:45
Richard on the trail
10-12-2021 @ 11:48

     In about one more hour, we reach the Supai Tunnel.  I was hoping the snow would be gone at this elevation, but it is still quite deep here.

Drinking fountain at the Supai Tunnel
10-12-2021 @ 12:16

Mule hitching rail at the Supai Tunnel
10-12-2021 @ 12:17

Bathroom at the Supai Tunnel
10-12-2021 @ 12:17

     The only semi-dry spot we can find is inside the Tunnel, so we sit down there and have lunch.

Leaving the Supai Tunnel
10-12-2021 @ 1:10
Curt and Richard at the Supai Tunnel
10-12-2021 @ 1:01
Leaving the Supai Tunnel
10-12-2021 @ 1:12

     Then it's on down the trail.  We finally reach the first bridge, which is completely snow covered.

Roaring Springs Canyon
10-12-2021 @ 1:15
The first bridge
10-12-2021 @ 1:29
A snow covered bridge
10-12-2021 @ 1:31

     The snow is finally beginning to thin out some the closer we get to Roaring Springs.

Much less snow on the trail
10-12-2021 @ 2:18
Looking down Roaring Springs Canyon
10-12-2021 @ 2:18

     I never cease to be amazed at how much water comes out of the hillside at Roaring Springs.  It supplies one hundred percent of the water for the North and South Rims.  Most of the snow is gone now, so the hiking should begin to get easier.

   
  Almost to Roaring Springs
10-12-2021 @ 3:01
 
Roaring Springs
10-12-2021 @ 3:05
Roaring Springs
10-12-2021 @ 3:05
Roaring Springs
10-12-2021 @ 3:12

     The pumping station and helipad soon come into view.

Trail sign
10-12-2021 @ 3:14
Pumping station and helipad
10-12-2021 @ 3:16

     We stop for a break at the Manzanita Rest Stop.  This used to be the home for many years for Bruce Aiken, the pump station caretaker.  He and his wife were famous for bringing out pitchers of lemonade for the hikers.  When he retired and moved away from the Canyon, the Park Service turned his home into a Ranger Station and added benches and a bathroom for the hikers.  While I rest a little more, I suggest to Beth and Curt that they go on and snag one of the better campsites at Cottonwood Camp.

Manzanita Rest Stop
10-12-2021 @ 3:49
Manzanita Rest Stop
10-12-2021 @ 4:01
Manzanita Rest Stop
10-12-2021 @ 4:01
Manzanita Rest Stop
10-12-2021 @ 4:01
Manzanita Rest Stop
10-12-2021 @ 4:02

     Shortly after leaving the Manzanita Rest stop, you come to an old bridge going across Bright Angel Creek.  When you pass that, you know it's not too much farther until you reach camp.

   
  Bridge crossing Bright Angel Creek
10-12-2021 @ 4:06
 

     I finally pull into camp and am completely pooped.  Beth and Curt have set some stuff down at two potential campsites to temporarily reserve them.  We check them both out and move all our stuff to the better spot.

Our Cottonwood campsite
10-12-2021 @ 5:48
Our Cottonwood campsite
10-12-2021 @ 5:49

     After supper, I head to bed early in my new Big Agnes Copper Spur tent.  It is identical to the one I loaned Curt, just newer with a red color fly.  We lost about 4,000 feet of elevation today from the trailhead to our campsite.  Tomorrow should be a much easier day with no snow to contend with and only about 1,600 feet of elevation loss.

 

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