In June of 2004, I once again joined the Grand Canyon Field Institute for a hike. This was to be my 5th backpacking trip in the canyon, but only my first rim to rim trek. After our group met at the South Rim Village, we made the long road trip to the north rim to begin our hike. One the way, we crossed the Colorado River on Navajo Bridge, the last vehicle crossing for over 180 miles to the west.
We began our first day of hiking early, at around 6:30AM, on the North Kaibab Trial. It wasn't long before we were gazing down into the abyss that would soon be surrounding us.
As we approached Roaring Springs, we found this friendly lizard just waiting to be photographed. Roaring Springs is a delightful oasis amid the desert heat on the way down the North Kaibab Trial. Near the springs is the pump station that provides drinking water to both the North Rim and South Rim villages.
Enjoying a respite at Roaring Springs.
Early in the morning of our second day, we arrived at beautiful Ribbon Falls. The falls is located a short distance from the trail, and is so wonderful a place as to make the entire trip down (and back up) worth the effort all by itself. The falls was only a mile or so from our previous night's camp at Cottonwood, and we breakfasted here before hiking the next 6 miles into Phantom Ranch.
Another view of Ribbon Falls.
After overnighting at the campground near Phantom Ranch, on our 3rd day we ascended the Bright Angel Trail to Indian Gardens. In this photo, we are looking back at the infamous "corkscrew", a series of steep switchbacks along the trail.
On our last evening in the canyon, we walked from our campsite at Indian Gardens out to Plateau Point to watch the sun go down. Below you see the reflection of the setting sun on Zoroaster Temple, one of the more familiar landmarks in the canyon.