Scenic USA - Arizona

Tanner Trail

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Tanner Trail - Grand Canyon Village, Arizona

Photos by Rob Jones
Rob's Trip Report

     As in many of America's Grand Circle of National Parks, there are a variety of ways for Grand Canyon visitors to enjoy this mind-boggling, 270 mile long wonder of the world. With both north and south rims to explore, scenic drives (which include many canyon overlooks) may take a matter of days to complete. From the air, helicopter tours are the fastest way Rock Cabin - Grand Canyon Hike, Arizona to see the canyon, but without that strong connection of having your feet planted on the rim edge, the experience comes off as unfulfilling. A rafting trip through the canyon is one of the most exhilarating ways to see the canyon from below, but nothing beats exploring the big ditch on foot and horseback. Seen as a journey through time, a trip into the canyon reveals a series of rock layers assembled like a stack of pancakes. Here ancient fossilized plants and animals are preserved in the rock, telling the story of Earth's past, exposed by a relentless Colorado River.
     How many times has it been said that a photograph just isn't the same as being there? While nothing like seeing the Grand Canyon in person can compare, however in some instances a photograph can take you to places that you may never see. Backcountry Hiker - Grand Canyon Hike, Arizona This magnificent canyon sunset was viewed from well below the rim. Along with the challenge to take on one of the Grand Canyon's most strenuous trails, this hike requires prior planning and a little bit of luck to receive a hiking permit. It may take as long as four months for a chance to experience your own Grand Canyon sunset.
     The Tanner Trail was named after miner Seth Tanner. It's been thought that Tanner had made improvements to an old Hopi Indian trail as he often made his way up and down the 4600 foot canyon wall. The trail length estimate is 10 miles when starting at Lipan Point Trailhead. When hikers make their return trip up from bottom they're feeling it, and somehow the trail distance has mysteriously increased overnight.
     Important notes from the NPS: The Grand Canyon in general is infamous for summer heat and the Tanner Trail is specifically noted as being unusually hot. The wide open nature of this part of the canyon means the summer sun comes up early and sets late. No water means no vegetation, and that means no shade. River runners call this part of the Grand Canyon "Furnace Flats". Avoid this trail during hot weather.

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