North Rim 2007

Diary of Steve Biro, Helen Biro, and Roger's trip to North Rim of the Grand Canyon, June 2007

6/10/07 Left at 6:30 a.m. for the Grand Canyon North Rim. After driving about 390 miles, I arrived in Mesquite Nevada about 3:00 p.m. I checked into the Carta Blanca Casino RV Park. The temperature was at 104 F. when I first arrived. The 5th wheel trailer AC worked, thank God, after winter hiatus. Steve and Helen who are joining me for the North Rim part of the trip arrived about 4:00 p.m. They brought in their night clothes etc. I will give them the bedroom for 5 nights and I will sleep on the sofa in the living room. We went to Katherine’s the gourmet restaurant in the casino for dinner. It was excellent. I had bouillabaisse which was outstanding. For desert we split a huge homemade cone stuffed with rich Italian homemade ice cream, topped with crème on glaze, and fresh strawberries & boysenberries. Yum yum.

6/11/07 Got up at 6:00 a.m. and was on the road at 7:15 a.m. It was a curvy mostly uphill180 mile drive to the North Rim. The last 45 miles in the Kaibab NF was lush green and reached a high elevation of 8,700’. We arrived around noon at the North Rim Camp Ground. It was beautifully wooded with Ponderosa Pines. We had site 23 the biggest pull through also on the edge looking out into the Ponderosa Pine Tree forest. For future reference sites 11, 14, & 15 are big and have partial views of the canyon. There are no hook ups, but some water faucet stations. We were lucky to be within 40’ of one, so we could refill our water tank. All of the huge sites and roads were newly paved with asphalt. The North Rim is way more rustic, less commercial, and has more lush green as opposed to the commercial South Rim. We drove a couple of miles to the Rim visitor center and lodge. We walked a short distance out to Angle Point to get some beautiful panoramic views of the canyon. We drove back to our camp site to relax. Helen brought homemade vegetarian lasagna which we heated and enjoyed with a salad and a bottle of wine. At 7:00 p.m. Steve and I attended the ranger camp fire talk about diversified plant life of the North Rim.

Got up about 6:30 and cooked eggs, sausages, toast, and coffee for breakfast. Steve and I drove to the Uncle Jim Trail and did the 5 mile loop trail taking about 2.5 hours to do it. It was through beautiful forest and along the canyon rim with lots of lupine flowers still blooming. We returned to the trailer for a ham sandwich lunch. The weather was perfect so, I snoozed in my La Fuma chair for several hours. I barbecued a rack of lamb served a salad and frozen corn for dinner. The rack of lamb purchased from Costco was outstanding along with the Cabernet Sauvignon wine. Yum yum. I attended an astronomy lecture at 8:00 p.m. put on by a JPL public relations woman connected with the NASA Cassini project to Saturn. Afterwards I looked through some scopes set up in the lodge patio area. The conditions were poor and the lodge itself has lots of light pollution from patio lights. I decided not to set up my scope as they had plenty of scopes and the transport of equipment into the patio would be a long haul. I did enjoy an hour of visiting with the astronomers.

6/13/07 Got up around 7:00 am. and had a light oatmeal fruit breakfast. We all including Helen with her gimpy knee decided to hike to the Lodge on the Transept Trail. It was about 1.5 miles along the rim and was a beautiful hike mostly down hill. We then returned to the camp ground via the Bridle Trail which was not on the rim but all up hill back to the camp ground. I crashed for two hours in my La Fuma chair, occasionally visiting with the Biros. I barbecued tri-tip Costco roast for dinner with a salad and frozen medley of mixed vegetables for dinner. At 8:00p.m., I attended another astronomy slide lecture at the lodge, this time done by the famous John Dobson inventor of the Dobson telescope. He is a very entertaining speaker still, at 92 years old. He looks like a 55 year old. I guess monks live healthy lives.

6/14/07 Had another light breakfast. We all decided to hike the North Kaibab Trail down to Coconino Overlook. This is the only maintained trail down into the canyon. Its only .7 miles to this overlook but the drop is 800’. This trail is way prettier than the Kaibab on the south side. I snapped lots of photos. Enjoyed the overlook for 15 minutes and started the steep trek back. A mule trip passed us up about ½ way. I want to do the North Kaibab 14 mile trail down to the Phantom Ranch before I die. Perhaps I can pick up a raft trip or a mule trip at the bottom so I don’t have to walk out. After the hike, we were all starved so we headed to the lodge for lunch. We were too early so we joined an Elderhostel photo lecture in the lodge auditorium. We got seated at 11:30 a.m. when it opened. This lodge and Restaurant was designed by architect Gilbert Stanley Underwood who also designed Ahwahne Lodge in Yosemite, and the Lodge at Bryce Canyon. It has the 2nd best view of any lodge I have ever attended (Château Lake Louise is # 1). The ambiance was to die for, food was average. After resting several hours after lunch, for dinner, I grilled some huge Costco frozen scallops with peas and brown rice for dinner which turned out yummy. Steve and I enjoyed a great bottle of Chardonnay wine and a White Riesling Late Harvest dessert wine to cap off the last dinner with the Biros.

6/15/07 Did not sleep well at all last night. The Biro’s left at 5:30 a.m. I got up, had some cereal and then slept on and off most of the day. Caught up on my diary and started getting the trailer ready for an early exit to Bryce Canyon tomorrow morning. I attended a ranger camp fire history program about the explorers and settlers into the south western states all pertaining to the Grand Canyon which was very well done. I met an astronomer in the camp ground who has the same mount as mine. I spent an hour talking to him as he did imaging with an Orion Star Shooter camera.

Photo's by Roger Zellmer & Steve Biro of North Rim in June 2007
Helen and Steve Biro.
They had a nice General Store at the entrance to our camp ground.
Yours truly with my new North Rim GC hat, a present from Steve.
The camp ground had no hook ups, but it was beautiful, all asphalt huge pads, huge Ponderosa Pine forest, and very close to several good trails.
Steve and Helen headed for Angel's Landing.
A photo of the rustic Lodge from a trail below.
Brightty the famous mule in the Lodge. If you rub it's nose you will have good luck. Look how shinny it is.
Steve taking a break on the Uncle Jim 5 mile loop trail.
This was a beautiful trail with lots of flowers and views of the canyon. The temperature was perfect in the low 70's.
One of the scenic side canyons.
Helen and Steve on the Transept trail a 3 mile hike from our camp ground down to the Lodge.
A view on the start of the 14 mile North Kaibab trail down to the river.
This was the limit of our steep 800' elevation drop in .7 mile hike down. It was getting pretty hot today and Helen did not want to go down any further and definitely not 14 miles to the river.
Here is a view of the North Kaibab dropping down into the Grand Canyon. Some day I would like to walk this one way down and pick up a raft trip out after staying overnight at the Phantom Ranch

Last updated on February 6, 2019