My family had the best (near) week at the Grand Canyon’s North Rim!  I’ve talked about our camping before (we do it a lot), but usually our trips include a lot of my large extended family.  This was the first time just the 5 of us embarked on an adventure of our own.  I thought it would be fun to plan something big and educational.  I think the Grand Canyon provided that.

I made the decision to to visit the North Rim rather than the more popular South Rim, because, well…it’s less popular.  The North Rim has about 1/4 the annual visitors as the South side and it’s a lot more rural/rustic.  We were lucky that I planned ahead and got reservations in the absolutely beautiful North Rim Campground.  The campground made it so that we were only a few hundred feet from the edge of the Grand Canyon.  It was very cool!

I took LOTS of pictures and had a really great time planning a fun camping menu.  I actually had quite a few fun food ideas that I will share with you soon, so check back.

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I took 282 pictures on the 4 days we were gone.  Crazy tourist!  So I’ve broken them down into a few themes so I can share them with you.  These pictures above are some of  my favorites of the North Rim in general.  The top one (biggest) was taken from Bright Angel Point, the highest elevation on the North Rim (8100+ feet if I remember right).  The bottom middle shot was taken from my camping chair at our campground…space 33.

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Speaking of high points…Bob took every chance he could to scare the ever living bejeezus out of me.  He would go right out to the very edge of the canyon, with several hundred feet below and yell “take my picture!”  I wanted to vomit he wanted to look down.  Crazy person.  The top right photo above was atop the 10 foot “knoll” on Bright Angel Point.  You could not of paid me a million dollars to go up there.  I was happy with both feet firmly planted on the trail, thank you very much.

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These are my favorite shots of all three boys.  As shocking as it seems, I got several pictures with all three of them actually smiling and (sort of) cooperating.  I think they had a really good time.  At all National Parks they have what’s called a Junior Ranger Program.  We were given an activity book and they completed tasks based on their age.  It helped the boys learn about the Grand Canyon, the environment and the nature around them.  It was fun to sit at our picnic table and talk about all that they were seeing and hearing around them.  Then we helped them complete the book and the next day we returned it to the Visitor Center where they were sworn in as Junior Rangers.  It was very fun and they are very proud of their badges!

Here are some of my random favorites out of the 282 pictures I took:

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L-R clockwise:  Bright Angel Trail, me and the boys on the Transept Trail, me and the boys on the Coconino Overlook (North Kaibab Trail), boys being sworn in as Jr. Rangers, Anthony at sunset, looking through some rocks.

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L-R Clockwise:  Anthony on Bright Angel Point, Bob & Anthony on Bright Angel Trail, Fave of Gabriel, looking up a mossy tree, me and Bob (awww), a mule deer that visited the campground.

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And then, on our last night at the canyon, I finally got to see the spectacular Grand Canyon Sunset.  A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.

Bob and I talked a lot during the 12 hour drive home and we’ve decided two things:

  1. We are going to plan more National Park trips. It was amazing and beautiful.  Such a great learning opportunity for our children to learn to appreciate the Country that so many of us take for granted.  There are 58 National Parks in the US and we plan on taking the boys to as many as we can before they are too old and don’t want to go with us anymore.
  2. Bob and I are going to hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, stay the night, and hike back out. It was absolutely the most awe inspiring place I had ever been.  And since I’m turning over a new “healthy” leaf and trying to live my life rather than just sit it out…I think hiking the canyon is a great thing to add to my “bucket list.”

Being the good blogger that I am, I took pictures of some of our fun camping meals.  I’ll be back later this week with how-to’s so you can use them on your next camping trip, too.