Packed the night before our hike and I was sure Amy’s pack weighed much more than Jan or mine’s. But they were 24, 25, and 26 pounds. Not too bad. They did seem to get heavier along the way though.
Gaelyn, Amy and Jan
Left about 9:30am and mid 40sF. FabGrandma drove us to the trailhead so we wouldn’t have to leave a car or walk an extra two miles. Thanks Karen!
View into Roaring Springs Canyon from North Kaibab trailhead
The fall colors of Quaking Aspen and Rocky Mountain Maple were still brilliant as we quickly dropped in elevation through the Douglas-fir forest. The ladies were already in awe. They had driven in the night before and hadn’t even looked into the canyon.
North Kaibab trail into Roaring Springs Canyon
Our route began at 8250 feet (2515 meters) and it’s a 3000 foot (930 meters) drop to the intersection of Bright Angel Canyon.
Mule riders on Coconino overlook
It’s .7 miles (1.1 km) to this first great overlook. Many day hikers come this far. The overlook sits at the bottom of the Toroweap limestone deposited some 270 million years ago by an inland sea. The Coconino sandstone was formed by dunes some 275 million years ago.
Fall colors below the Coconino sandstone
Two miles (3.2 km) down it was almost 60F where we removed layers at the Supai Tunnel, blasted into the rock by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) during the 1930s. Also used the services, compost toilet, and topped off water bottles for the 4 miles (6.4 km) to the Roaring Springs Ranger residence where the next water was available. Unfortunately the water spigot at Roaring Springs only 3 miles (4.8 km) away has been broken most of the summer.
Looking down to the Redwall Bridge
The habitat below the tunnel changes to a pinyon-juniper woodland with cliff rose, broadleaf yucca, Utah serviceberry and rabbitbrush. The stair-stepped red rock of the Supai Group formed between 315 and 285 million years ago.
Fossil of possibly a conifer
The Supai reveals a variety of rock reflecting changes in coastal conditions as sea levels fluctuated.
Conglomerate of pebbles