Friday, January 29, 2016

Point Imperial

(Continuing the recap of my mid-October trip to southern Utah and Northern Arizona...)

Are you tired of Grand Canyon photos yet?  Hopefully not 'cause I have one more post to share.

After our rainy hike into the canyon on the North Kaibab Trail, my hubby and I returned to our campsite to change into dry clothes.  It was still early afternoon though, and we weren't ready to be done for the day.

Colorful ground patterns

Our map indicated another viewpoint, Point Imperial, on a plateau 11 miles away.  Although low, rain-spitting clouds obscured the skies, we decided to check it out anyway.

Hello there deer!

On the way out of the campground, I spotted a lovely grove of golden aspens.  Convincing my hubby to pull over for a few photos, I discovered we weren't alone.

Large herd near the campground

A large herd of deer was hanging out nearby.  They were too busy grazing to even notice as I approached, camera in hand.  Even when one finally looked up, he just gave me a quick stare and went back to his lunch.

More wonderful aspens

Then it was back down a narrow, winding forest service road to reach Point Imperial.  Heavy rain pelted our car the entire journey, briefly turning to sleet at one point.  Our car thermometer was registering a few degrees above freezing.  Hmmm.....was this really such a good idea?

Point Imperial viewpoint

But as Point Imperial's sign came into view, the rain miraculously tapered off.  Roger and I walked down to the viewpoint and - yahoo - discovered the clouds were starting to part.  A man standing nearby told us this area been completely socked in with fog only a few minutes ago.

Foggy skies

At 8,800 feet, Point Imperial is the highest viewpoint on either rim.  With the clouds clearing away, I could catch glimpses of canyon walls on the opposite side.  Narrow, winding side canyons and beautifully banded rock formations spread out from all sides.  Another impressive Grand Canyon vista!

Surprise rainbow!

Although breathtaking, the air was cold!  My hands started to freeze.  After spending five minutes snapping images, I had to retreat back to the car.  Roger followed, and we huddled inside with the heater blasting.

Such brilliant colors

I was just about to suggest leaving when Roger exclaimed: "I see a rainbow!"  Sure enough, a brilliant band of color was arching over the canyon.  Forgetting all about the cold temperatures, I grabbed my camera and hustled back to the viewpoint.

Roger enjoys the show

Oh what a spectacular sight!  The clouds parted and let in just enough light to illuminate a nearby rocky spine.  The rainbow hovered over this ridge, showing off its lovely colors.  So unexpected on this overcast, rainy day. 

Mount Hayden

Seeing that rainbow more than made up for our miserable wet morning.  As a matter of fact, it was the highlight of my Grand Canyon visit.  As the clouds cleared even more, the distant canyon walls came into view.  I even got a good shot of Mount Hayden's rocky pinnacle jutting up from a nearby red ridge.

Only in the Grand Canyon!

Driving back to camp, the rain started up again, and we passed by an area of sleety snow on the road.  Temps hovered close to freezing.  I thought about our soaking wet tent, drenched by the morning's deluge.  It had rained so hard water had penetrated the seams, dampening our sleeping bags.  I dreaded spending another cold night in a wet, leaky tent.

Sunset at Bright Angel Point

Remembering the large resort I'd seen at Jacob Lake, 40 miles down the road, I suggested getting a room for the night.  It took some convincing (all right - more like outright whining) but my hubby finally gave in.

Some clouds hanging on

One quick phone call and credit card number secured a small cabin for the night.  Happily, I packed up our wet gear and bid the slanting campsite goodbye.

Last light on the mountaintops

Before departing, Roger insisted we take in one last Grand Canyon sunset.  Returning to Bright Angel Point, I set up my tripod and joined a small group of other visitors waiting for the sun to drop.

The clouds returned and blotted out most of the sky causing the night's sunset to be woefully underwhelming.   But I did get a few stunning final images of this magnificent place.

Goodbye Grand Canyon!

Despite the disappointing weather, I'd had a marvelous two days.  The Grand Canyon was everything I'd hoped it to be - gorgeous, breathtaking, unique, jaw-dropping.  There's truly nothing else like it.  Next time, I'm planning to visit the South Rim....and maybe, just maybe I'll hike all the way to the very bottom. 

But tomorrow my hubby and I were heading to the final National Park in our trip - Bryce Canyon.

Sharing with:  Saturday's Critters and Through My Lens


  1. No, I'm not getting bored with the wonders of the world just yet! Many years ago I used to lead walking groups in the mountainous areas of Britain; the best thing about it was that it made you do walks in all weathers and the unpromising but changeable days were always the best.

  2. Oh my goodness! What fantastic shots of the rainbow, and how incredibly lucky (and cold) you were. Really enjoying this trip from the comfort of my home. I hope you had a good night at the cabin. xx

  3. A wonderful post! You captured the canyon beautifully, and the rainbow was an added bonus.
    Looking forward to Bryce.
    I'm still nursing influenza. Not fun.

  4. I am SO glad you convinced your hubby to pull over at the aspen grove! Beautiful trees and how awesome to see deer too:) Wow on the rainbow over the canyon shots--truly lovely!
    Have a great weekend Linda.

  5. You were so lucky with those clouds clearing for you and that beautiful rainbow appearing.

  6. Hello Linda, another wonderful post. I love all the deer images. The Grand Canyon does look beautiful. The rainbow was an awesome sighting. Beautiful images. If you would like you could link up this post to my critter party. Have a happy weekend!

  7. Well for all your clouds Nd rain, you sure got some awesome views and pictures! Shows the benefit of never giving up. The rainbow would be a highlight for anyone, and that picture of Mount Hayden with the ridges disappearing in the distance is amazing. Really enjoyed you series on the Grand Canyon!

  8. Linda, I am never tired of your photos. Another magnificent series! Thank you so much for sharing.

  9. Such beautiful country! I really enjoyed seeing all the color (green and gray are getting burned into my retinas right now!), and I missed seeing your other canyon photos. I've been kind of spotty on the blog this winter.

  10. :-) It's impossible to be bored by this beautiful place! I like seeing its' different moods.

  11. Hi, just stopping back to say thank you for linking up your post. The deer are great.
    Enjoy your weekend!

  12. aspens, deer, rainbows, canyons you have it all here...beautiful


  13. O Grand Canyon é magnífico... imagino a emoção de vê-lo pessoalmente!!!
    Suas fotos transmitem toda a imponência que Natureza esculpiu nesse paraíso.
    Bom fim de semana!
    ✿゚ه° ·.

  14. Beautiful shots! ~ especially the close up of the deer!

    Happy Weekend to you ~ ^_^

  15. A stunning area and impressive photos.

  16. Fantastic post. Seeing the deer like you did was a real treat. They are very graceful creatures. Gorgeous views of the canyon and oh my getting those rainbow shots.....priceless.

  17. Here's hoping the weather is kinder at Bryce, however I have loved your visit to the Grand Canyon. You've captured its foggy wet mood beautifully. The yellow aspens and deer were a delightful bonus.
    Glad you got to stay in the cabin. Your 'happy feelings' may have zeroed if you had spent the night in a cold damp tent.

  18. Linda, so glad you didn't miss that rainbow! The rain let up just for you. :) Last time we were at the North rim we camped as well. It's been quite a few years and the weather was perfect. We haven't been to the South rim since they added the glass bridge. On our list 'to do'. Anymore it seems that people do not even phase the deer. Maybe they are just so use to us. lol!

  19. I'm never tired of Grand Canyon pictures. I think I would have whined for a cabin too.

  20. An amazing trip that I hope to make one day. Such beautiful photographs!

  21. The South Rim is beautiful but there's just something about the North Rim, and I've worked on both of them. The North is my favorite.

  22. Too many in never enough! Only been there once and that was just a day trip - yet another place to go back to!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  23. Love seeing the fall aspens! And the deer. And the rainbow. And the canyon. How could I ever be tired of seeing such photos? :)

  24. I have so loved following your trip and your photos are absolutely marvelous! I love that you made the most of less than ideal weather and honestly I kind of like the colors and the clouds in the shots. I think it gives them so much more interest than the "usual" blue sky stuff. :)

  25. Lovely set of photos. Not surprised you wanted a room. Several nights in the wet and cold is usually enough for me if I'm camping in winter.

  26. wonderful photos, I like the deer.

  27. WOW! The rainbow was a wonderful gift! So worth the rain and cold to capture that sight. I'm glad you were able to see some of the deep canyon colors lit by sunlight. That was a large amount of mule deer that you came upon. I'm sure you will always remember this wonderful visit to the Grand Canyon. I'm glad I caught up with all your posts!

  28. Excelente trabalho e belas fotografias.
    Um abraço e boa semana.

  29. No matter how many times I take a look at your Grand Canyon shots (the other posts aswell) I can't help but be amazed each time at the scope of the place. Wonderful images. Especially the rainbow shots. Thanks so much for including your post in this weeks "Through my Lens"

    Mersad Donko Photography

  30. I thought I was no 1 to post on this wonderful afternoon, but it has disappeared. Glorious views, leaves, deer and rainbow. Wow!

  31. A rainbow over the Grand Canyon? Rain or not, you couldn't ask for more!

  32. Fabulous photos, and the rainbow is just over the top!

  33. These are stunning photographs Linda. I popped over from Plowing Through Life.

  34. Holy Shmoly! What a fantastic Grand Finale!
    Wow, Linda!! These are spectacular views and shots. Outstanding!

    I look forward to seeing how you guys experienced Bryce Canyon. When we were there, there was 9 ft of more of snow, so we had to stay on top. We'd flown and didn't have snowshoe gear with us to go down in the spires and hoodoos. But it was quite amazing to look down on!

  35. I never tire of travel picture, especially of the Grand Canyon. With a rainbow. did I really say that! Ha!

  36. That rainbow was just a gift - stunning! You need to plan a return trip when its a little warmer. I cannot wait for your post on Bryce Canyon - another place on my bucket list!

  37. Yes Yes Yes...gorgeous, breath-taking, unique, jaw-dropping and MORE! Amazing!! Thanks so much for sharing these great shots.

  38. Your shots are incredible, no matter the weather. You even managed the promise of a rainbow.

  39. well im sorry you had so much rain but the rainbow sure is beautiful as well as the wet scenery.

  40. Your shots of the Grand Canyon are awesome. Have to ask if you were using a polarizing lens with these shots?? How fortunate you were also to capture that amazing rainbow. i am excited that this summer early, I am going to be doing a road trip with my daughter to the grand canyon. We are going to be taking my grandson. They are going to hike down the Bright Angel Trail and this will be my grandson's first look at this amazing place. We did this hike several times when my daughter was my grandsons age and have amazing memories of it. You really captured the depth of the colors of this canyon... maybe the rain was a help. Beautiful!!

  41. What a stunning shot of the rainbow and the bit of light in the canyon! This is why we plunge on ahead even in weather others would not even consider going out in, right?

  42. Spectacular views! I love the rainbows, the autumn colours and the deer.


Don't be shy! Please leave a comment.