Location : North Rim / Kaibab Plateau – Park Entrance (NOBO Mile Marker 722.2 )
Weather: Light to moderate clouds, starting temperature 70 degrees and the turn about 78 degrees.
Total Mileage Completed : 16 on AZT
Hike Description: This hike was a 16 mile (1670 feet elevation gain loss) flip flop between two of our AZT “Out and Back” day hiking sections; hike #73 in the north and hike #71 to the south.
En-route to the North Rim parking lot on Hike #71, Tom and I noticed the AZT travels right into the employee parking lot on the east side of the North Grand Canyon Rim Entrance gate. Sure looks like an easy place to start a hike…. so on this hike (#72) we decided to make it easy and just do a little flip flop from this spot.
Not much special on this hike though. Just more enchanted forested sections of the North Kaibab Plateau. Easy hiking and nice periodic open space views running along highway 67. Just a note, we did make all these North Rim hikes “day hikes” and such we had to limit them in distance due to the long drive up and back down to Phoenix. Our typical day started at 4:00am meeting up and quickly getting on the road. Getting to Flagstaff at 6:00am, gas up, on the road again. Based upon the trailhead, we would not get hiking until somewhere between 8:45am and 9:15am. Since this is all pretty easy flat hiking we pushed a hiking pace of 3.3 to 3.5 mph and would be completed and back heading home by 3:30pm. Most of the time not reaching there until 9:00pm or later. These were very long days and based upon the car we drove, it was also expensive. Couple times, we even rented a high efficient car for the day if we knew the trailhead was close by the highway.
This hike, if you wanted to save the Park Entrance fee, can be flip flop hiked from Forest Road 610 Trailhead just a little bit north of the entrance. We had an annual past and choose to rent a car for this hike. The 610 Trailhead is a dirt road drive and would have required the Jeep and it’s horrible 15mpg to get there.
Enjoy the photos and happy hiking.