2009 Rim Hike
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For this hike we rode the Canyon shuttle bus to Hermit's Rest and walked back.  The distance is about 8 miles, and the trail is paved in places and flat.  While nowhere near as strenuous as a hike into and out of the canyon, it's still a good half-day walk.

 
Boarding the bus to take you to Hermit's Rest, 8 miles away.   Hermit's Rest.
     
 
Rim Trail map. Signs like this along the way kept you informed of your progress.   Paved trail at the beginning.  Part of what's called the "Greenway Trail."
     
View of the Colorado River from the rim.  There are several good views of it along the trail.  The river cannot be seen from the Bright Angel trailhead area, which also happens to be the most heavily visited section of the partk.  So, ironically, most of the people who visit the park never see the river, unless they either take the Hermit's Rest bus to the west or drive along the rim to the east and view it from one of the pull-offs.
     
     
One of the rapids in the Colorado River as seen from Hopi Point.
     
     
Scene below is from Pima Point in 2009. Scene below is from an old postcard where the vantage point is pretty close to the one at left.  Most of the features indicated below can be found in the photo at left.  Note that the angle of the view below is more to the right.
Another postcard view from Pima Point.  This view is angled still farther to the right than the one above right.  
     
     
One of several pull-offs off of the Greenway Trail.  I kind of liked the "bicyclists dismount" signs, which were there, I think, to prevent cyclists from careening into the pull off only to discover that, at some of them, there is nothing to stop you from flying right off the rim into the canyon.
     
     
     
The vantage point for the photo below left and the postcard below right.  While the postcard has that tree in the way, the landmarks can still be matched up pretty well.
 
 
Much of the early settlement in the Canyon area was for the purpose of exploiting the minerals that might be obtained by mining.  The Grandview Trail hike that some of us took last year partly involved a visit to old mine ruins, and that trail, actually, was first created by miners.  This display talks about another mine, the Orphan Mine, that was carved into the canyon side not far from the Bright Angel area.
     
This is a view of the actual area where the Orphan Mine was located.  I always find it very difficult to actually spot anything having to do with these mines because so little is left, and they were mostly holes INTO the canyon walls, anyway.  If you didn't tell me that there had been mining activity on this part of the canyon edge, I'd never have been able to tell.
     
 
People at one of the overlooks along the rim trail.   Here is a view of where those people in the photo at left were standing.  The last "level" area about equal with the horizon in the distance is where they were and where you can barely make out some people in this photo.
     
     
     
The Bright Angel Trail, which so many people hike on, is actually easy to see from several vantage points along the rim near the Bright Angel end of the Hermit's Rest portion of the Rim Trail.  Below is a view of a good section of the Bright Angel trail as it switches back and forth as it makes its way down into the canyon.
     
     
The San Francisco Peaks are a range of mountains between the Grand Canyon and Flagstaff, and the range contains the highest point in Arizona, Humphreys Peak, which is shown at the far left on this display.  Below is a photograph from the vantage point of the display above of the San Francisco Peaks.  Humphreys Peak is at the far left, and the Red Butte and Sitgreaves Peaks are visible at the right.  Bill Williams Mountain, shown at the far right in the display above was difficult to see in the rather cloudy, hazy conditions on the day we were there.
     
     
Below, the end bus station at the Bright Angel end of the trail comes into view.  Civilization, which includes ice cream, is not far away.   Receipt for an ice cream cone (two scoops!) from the Bright Angel Fountain, a common stop for those first emerging from a day's hike in the canyon.  I'd have taken a picture of the cone itself, but I ate it before thinking of taking a picture.  First things first, you know.