Our campsite at Lees Ferry Campground was no less magnificent the next morning. We watched the sunrise through the tent roof and then had coffee with Dave. He lives on 80 acres in a national forest in Oregon and takes a snow mobile to his home in the winter. After packing up, we swing by the Navajo Bridge and saw another condor. They’re such large birds and kind of ugly, but amazing to see in the wild.
Sunrise at Lees Ferry Campground
The drive to Grand Canyon North Rim was quick with lots of opportunities to stop and take in the sights. To get to Grand Canyon National Park, you have to go through Kaibab National Forest. We read that there were numerous dispersed camping options off designated forest roads and found the reports to be true. After checking on a few spots, we settled on a site at the north end of 270T right off FR 22. The spot was only 1/2 mile off the main road and was easy for the CRV to access, even if things got a little muddy (hint: things get muddy).
After setting up camp, we headed into the park to get maps and check out the facilities. It was a gorgeous day, and we were ready to stretch our legs so we set out on the Transept Trail, so named because follows the Transept Canyon. It also connects the Grand Canyon Lodge with the Grand Canyon Campground. The Transept Trail is 1.5 miles each way and is an easy hike with lots of side trails leading to rock outcroppings, providing incredible views and opportunities to do a little rock scrambling. The side trails are not promoted by the National Park Service. In fact, there are entire books dedicated to how people have died at the Grand Canyon by falling. But we stayed within our limits and lived to tell about it.
Getting off the beaten path was really fun and exciting. We got to see the different sediment layers up close and see the all kinds fossils. I definitely recommend this hike to anyone who visits the north rim. On our way back in to the lodge, a storm blew up so we hustled back, grabbed a beer and a seat on the leather couches, and commenced people watching.
When the storm blew through we returned to camp, made dinner, and drove back to the lodge for a ranger talk about the adventurers of the Colorado River. An alternate name for the talk could be Wild Women of the Colorado River as the Ranger spent a lot of time talking about some of the more colorful women who were among the first to float the rapids. My favorite was Georgie White who favored leopard print wetsuits and optimized the river experience resulting in reduced cost of a float trip from over $1,000 to just over $100. All in all, a pretty good day