Thursday, June 18, 2009

South Kaibab Trail, Grand Canyon

Ooh-Aah Point, South Kaibab Trail
Grand Canyon, one of the world's 7 natural wonders, is often described as the greatest geological showcase on Earth. It is said that nowhere else features such a dazzling variety of colorful and artistically sculpted rock layers. Amazing how it was formed by the Colorado River, which had cut deeply through rocks, forming numerous steep-walled canyons.
South Kaibab Trail
The best time to visit Grand Canyon is early fall and late spring, where the temperature is not as scorching hot as in the summer, and the North Rim is still open. I myself have never been to North Rim, since for the two times I went to Grand Canyon, the North Rim is already closed due to icy road conditions on almost 6000 ft deep canyon hills. Nevertheless, visiting the South Rim is so much joy already I am thankful for.
South Kaibab Trail
Most of the visitors of Grand Canyon National Park just drive along park roads and stopping at scenic view points. After a few hours in the park, they are done and off to go exploring somewhere. Those who chose to spend more time at Grand Canyon however, have several options to enjoy the park, such as hiking, river rafting, taking mule trips down the canyon or viewing the canyon from air. Well, for me, the choice is always take a hike. Actually, my fear of heights stop me from taking the mule tour and the helicopter tour. Hiking for me minimizes the fear since I have more control over my steps.
Steep Trail @ South Kaibab
The Grand Canyon has many trails down the canyon, but there are only 4 main trails at the South Rim. These are: Bright Angel Trail, South Kaibab Trail, Hermit's Trail and Grandview Trail. These trails are steep, and most of them have no water along the path. South Kaibab trail follows ridge lines, thus it has an unobstructed spectacular view of the canyon, offering the most scenic route. Though this may be the best in terms of view, but this is also less traveled because of the heat, since most of this trail is exposed directly to sun.

South Kaibab Trail, Dusk, Grand Canyon National Park
The trail head for South Kaibab is South of Yaki Point. Access to the trail head is by the park's shuttle bus.

 For more information on Grand Canyon trails, please visit the Grand Canyon National Park site. For those who plan to simply see Grand Canyon from the rim, coming in the summer is not a problem. However, for those who plan to experience the magnificence of the rocks from the trail, cooler months are advised.
Sunset @ South Kaibab Trail
If you are planning for a Grand Canyon trip, and plan also to see other spectacular landscapes in the Southwest, you may consider the Grand Circle. The Grand Circle is really a beautiful, stunning landscape of the Southwestern United States. The "Hoodoos" at Bryce Canyon National Park would be one of the stops in this destination. 
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  1. With all your adventures and yet you'll say you have fear of heights? Oh my, you must be a daredevil if you don't fear heights. Perhaps you'll go extreme sports like sky jump or rappel through cliffs. =)

    Spectacular view. I'm happy to see it through your blog, I'm not much of a hiker anymore =) used to do it before but I guess this park is just too steep for me +)

  2. Even though I'm an Arizonan, I've never been to the Grand Canyon. I sure enjoyed going on this picture tour with you. The views and colors are awesome!

  3. I have a terrible fear of heights, but I still want to go there. Even more now that I have seen your pictures, they are so beautiful

  4. My experience tells that going up should not be a problem, but descending is a big issue for me in a place like this. Shhh... there is no medicine for fear of heights.

  5. Oh mine, the steep trail makes me holding on to the side of my seat!

    The view is spectacular, and your photos are absolutely magnificent..

  6. This must be what heaven is like! Breathtaking pictures and I cannot wait to visit the Grand Canyon and see myself. Love these pics!

  7. A truly mind-blowing place, isn't it? I'll be heading out here and further east in a few weeks.. can't wait to get back. Excellent pics and article!

  8. Excellent photos, betchai. I so miss scenery like know, when I think back I can capture the exact feeling I had while standing on the canyon's edge, taking in all that beauty... :o)

  9. thanks a lot everyone.

    @ Ayie, you are right, if I do not have fear of heights, I may do para-gliding and hang-gliding.

    @ Diane, I do enjoy your part of Arizona from your posts, I love cactus and the saguaro is really beautiful,a tower of beauty.

    @ Vixen, I hope you'd be able to go there.

    @ Rainfield, yes, it is harder to descend because you are looking down at the drop off. Know what? my medicine to help me deal with my fear of heights is my camera :) to take pictures.

    @ Icy, thanks, the beauty of the place made me forget about the drop-off :)

    @ Heidi, hope you will get to visit Grand Canyon and enjoy it.

    @ Mark, wow, wow, I can't wait for more of your photos over there, I agree, not only Grand Canyon, but that portion of the Southwest is just so mind-blowing for me. I always feel like I am at different world when I am there. I hope you have a fun, safe and productive trip.

    @ earthtoholly, thanks. yes, sometimes, i just think back also of the time i was there and taking in all its magnificence.

  10. All, I can say is WOW, what beautiful scenery in your photo's. I also like the new picture of YOU.

  11. Those are some of the nicest pictures I've seen of the canyon. They actually catch some of the depth. And I like your new profile picture! Very pretty.

  12. I didn't know you had that fear of heights. Your posts did not reflect that. Anyway those views are awesome and for a while I thought you've defied gravity to take those awesome pictures of those trails.

  13. How do you get to do all this wonderful stuff? I want to learn to take pics like you, really. One day I will. You really inspire me.

  14. One of these I wish to travel this Earth with nothing but the back on my clothes and the shows on my feet.

  15. Stunningly beautiful pix! Nice work! I have a terrible fear of heights, but my family and I are going to GC this summer. I love taking pictures, and want to get some pix of one of the most beautiful places on earth. I am determined to do at least some hiking. I'm just hoping I don't end up crawling on my belly because of my fear of heights! I guess I am just the opposite of you. I would RATHER be in the helicopter because I feel like that is SUPPOSED to be up in the air. But, if I slip on a trail I won't! Thanks again.