Fire Point (including my fave pic of all the vacation)
In our ten days in the vicinity of the Grand Canyon, we spent less than half the time on the grounds of the National Park, proper. The rest of the time, we toodled around on the roads north of the park, often right up to the rim, but actually in the Kaibab National Forest. I learned a couple of things:
- It is really helpful to have a resident with you. Since my mother-in-law works at the Kaibab Lodge, she had a resident pass. No $25 fee to enter the GCNP!
- Surprisingly, the National Forest system maintains its dirt roads a LOT — I mean a LOT!! — better than the National Park system. The paved roads in the GCNP (like to the lodge itself, and the paved roads out to Cape Royal and Point Imperial, etc.) were fine. But, the minute your vehicle’s tires touch dirt that is part of the park, it’ll be a bumpy ride. The dirt roads of the National Forest are regularly graded, graveled, cleared of debris, etc. I found the contrast interesting. Seems like the National Forest and the National Park systems could come up with some sort of agreement to maintain roads together.
On Saturday, July 2nd, our last viewpoint for the day was called Fire Point. We took the forest road 223 west, and about a half mile from the end, one actually enters the property of the Grand Canyon National Park. So, we went from smooth sailing to a pot-holed, ill-maintained ride. It was worth it, though. Fire Point is supposed to be one of the best places to see a sunset. Unlike some of the other viewpoints, Fire Point isn’t actually a peninsula jutting out like a thumb of land into the Canyon. It’s just a west-facing point that looks out over where the Colorado River takes a curve so that it’s going from north to south. Because the orientation of the land, it’s a great place to see the sun set as it drops over the Canyon. Since the day was cloudless, the sunset wasn’t spectacular, but it was still very worth seeing… It’s just that on subsequent partially cloudy evenings, when the sky was lit up in pinks, purples, and golds, I kept thinking, “This would be amazing out at Fire Point.” Makes me wanna go back. 🙂