|View from trail to Bright Angel Point, North Rim, Grand Canyon|
We puttered around for a while looking at the views and figuring out what to do the next day, Scott took his usual hundreds of pictures and then we headed off to find a camping spot for the night. Have you done dispersed camping? Maybe you know it better as freedom camping, wild camping or boondocking. Essentially, it means you pitch your tent outside of a developed campground. The upsides are that you have utter solitude and its free. The downside - no shower/toilet block, picnic table and often no fire ring.
Because we were at the North Rim in November, everything was shut down in the park and outside of the park including the visitor center, restaurants, lodge, campsites etc. You can visit the North Rim during the day, usually through the end of November, or until the first major snowfall when they close the roads for the season. (FYI - the South Rim, which most people visit, stays open all year.) So, unless we wanted to drive a million miles back to "civilization", our options were pretty limited. And that's where dispersed camping comes in.
Did you know that you can camp pretty much anywhere in US Forest Service land as long as you're 100 feet away from a water source and 150 feet away from a roadway. We found a great spot in the Kaibab National Forest, just a few miles away from the entrance to the North Rim, and pitched out tent. Only problem - it was freezing outside! So instead of sleeping in our tent, we put all of the stuff in our vehicle into the tent and slept in the back of our trusty Pathfinder. While we were warm, we weren't all that comfortable. Kind of reminded me of sharing the v-berth back on our sailboat. I just kept reminding myself that it was free and in close proximity to the park.
I drifted off to sleep wondering if the Grand Canyon would lift its game the next day and finally wow me. Stay tuned to see what happened...
|The lodge at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Everything was shut at the lodge while we were there, except the gift shop. Go figure.|
|Trail to Bright Angel Point. It's short - only .25 miles - but they warn you to take it easy if you have heart or respiratory conditions as you climb 200 feet up to the point, which is at an elevation of 8,148 feet. You can read more about the trail and point here.|
|I waited to be impressed by views like this, but for some reason it didn't happen.|
Have you ever been disappointed by a place as iconic as the Grand Canyon?
We visited the North Rim of the Grand Canyon on 8-9 November 2014.