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 > North Timp Point - Grand Canyon From Another Perspective

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seldomseensmith

Flagstaff, AZ

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Posted: 08/13/09 11:13pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Arizona has many beautiful places, and among my favorites is the Kaibab Plateau which constitutes the North Rim of Grand Canyon. The high elevation landscape here offers an environment more similar to Colorado and Utah with mixed conifer forests of mature ponderosa, spruce, fir and aspen. Even more appealing is the fact that at the edges the plateau overlooks some of the most sublime and "grand" scenery to be found.

Most of the Kaibab is National Forest except for the very southern part, where Grand Canyon National Park is located. As an added bonus the western edge of the Kaibab Plateau defines the boundary of the National Park, and there are quite a few places where you can view a portion of the Park from Forest Service land, which is a decided advantage if you want to camp at or near the rim of the great gorge.

On this visit I went to North Timp Point. SR 67 heads south at Jacob Lake for the North Rim. The highway is a beautiful drive through a rare (for Arizona) Hudsonian life zone.


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It used to be even more beautiful until the devastating Warm Fire in 2006. A lightning strike in June of that summer ignited a small fire that initially was managed as a Wildland Use Fire (Forest Service speak for let it burn and see what what happens). For nearly 2 weeks the fire behaved itself until winds increased and the blaze moved into heavier fuels. On June 25th it became a full out wild fire, and all hell broke loose.

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By the time the fire was declared contained on July 4th, over 58,000 acres had been scorched - over 30% of the area burned was at severe intensity, meaning all vegetation was destroyed. The good news is that Mother Nature takes care of her own, and you can already see signs of aspen regeneration in the devastation.

After passing through the burn zone, the forest returns to a healthy green. Open meadows begin to appear, small at first then progressively larger. The biggest of these is called DeMotte Park, and is home to a lodge, Forest Service campground, and a general store/gas station. Here is also where the road to the westside overlooks leaves the highway.

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FR 22 heads west out of DeMotte Park just south of the FS campground. It climbs gently on a good all weather gravel road that most vehicles can handle - but (and there is always a but) the road is HEAVILY washboarded for the first few miles, and there are some rough spots here and there. At ten miles you reach Dry Park, another large open area, and soon after that the junction of FR 22 with FR 206. Turn south here for the vistas.

The road passes through extensive mixed conifer forests, alternating between sub-alpine species like fir and spruce, stately red bellied ponderosa, and thick groves of white barked aspen. Even though western fall colors are no match for the eastern and northern hardwood spectacle, these woods will explode with yellow and gold in another month or so, giving me ample reason to return soon.

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Continuing south on FR 206, you pass the turnoff to Parissawampits Point, the northernmost lookout on the west side. Not long afterwards the road branches again, where 206 continues south and 271 leads southwest to my destination. Here more roads take off to the west, leading to Fence Point and Locust Point. The final junction comes where 271 splits into 271A, where 271 goes to Timp Point and 271A heads for North Timp Point.

All these viewpoints have their positives in that they offer outstanding vistas of the Grand Canyon to the west, I just happen to like North Timp Point best. The roads get narrower and slightly rougher with each branch, but even so most vehicles will have no problem. Finally through the trees the goal is in sight.

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There is a turnaround at the end of the road framed by a buck and rail fence, with several level camping areas nearby. I pick mine and settle in. In minutes I am headed for the rim with camera and camp chair so I can truly absorb the scenery in comfort.

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I love the Grand Canyon. I've spent lots of time in and around it, and there really is nothing like it anywhere.... period. For me the best times are when I can visit and have the place to myself. The zoo at the South Rim and to a lesser degree the North Rim is o.k. for some, but I prefer the peace and solitude you can only find at remote and little known places like North Timp Point.

There the only sounds to intrude on your reverie is the otherworldly shriek and whistle of swifts as they dart and swoop overhead, or the croak of the ravens as they play in the thermals rising from the inner canyon.

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I could (and often do) sit on the edge of the abyss for hours at a time while pondering.... well sometimes nothing at all. The cliche of the Canyon is that it changes in appearance from moment to moment depending on the light and clouds, and it really is true. The eye wanders ceaselessly over the entire landscape trying to make sense of the scale of the place, and inevitably fails. Only when light and shadow interact to create defining contrasts are the terrain features within the grasp of the mind. I was especially fortunate on this trip to see some wonderous sights.

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Happy Trails!


The Road Goes Ever On



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dezertcamper

San Diego

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Posted: 08/13/09 11:18pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great photo's. Thank you for posting them.

weymard

NORMANDY

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Posted: 08/14/09 03:19am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Nice pictures ! thanks


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kohldad

Goose Creek, SC

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Posted: 08/14/09 04:32am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Fantastic!!!!!

Another pin goes into my "one day map".


2015 Ram 3500 4x4 Crew Cab SRW 6.4 Hemi LB 3.73 (12.4 hand calc avg mpg after 66,000 miles with camper)
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arizonadesertbrat

Where ever the pipeline leads

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Posted: 08/14/09 05:50am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We have been there several times and always see something new. Pics are beautiful. Hopefully they will inspire others to make the trip to see the North Rim for themselves.

SooperDaddy

Southern California

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Posted: 08/13/09 11:18pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

"Gasp!" [image]


My posts shouldn't be taken for factual data, and are purely fictional, for entertainment purposes, should not be constituted as related to scientific, technical, engineering, legal, religious, spiritual, or practical advice. After all it's FREE! Amen. ">


silversand

Montreal

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Posted: 08/14/09 06:06am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Seldom Seen:

This is really a professionally written and illustrated Trip Report, from the natural history and geography descriptions and details, to the perfectly re-sized photos.

Form, function and content: 100%

Into TR it goes!

Cheers,
Silver-


Silver
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TwoMaineiacs

Near Freeport, Maine

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Posted: 08/14/09 06:43am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

That is a totally different perspective of Grand Canyon. Drove the same road in but kept going straight to the usual North Rim view. We'll have to go back one day and follow your footsteps.

Joe


2011 Chalet Double Slide on a 2013 F-450 Diesel DRW
On the Road Again from Rural Maine
Our travel blog with photos


~DJ~

Boise, Idaho

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Posted: 08/14/09 06:55am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Very very nice!!!!! [emoticon] I can't believe I haven't been there yet. But when we do we will definitley visit Timp Point!!!!!

Thanks so much for sharing!!!!


'16 FORD F250 6.7 373 FX4 Lifted with 35" Toyos Air Bags

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sleepy

Oak Ridge,Tennessee

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Posted: 08/14/09 07:21am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Beautiful photos, Thanks for sharing

Being self contained is priceless... TC's rule!

Sleepy


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