I recently got the chance to camp out along the North Rim of the Grand Canyon for the first time. I had been to the Grand Canyon when I was much younger (maybe 8 or 9) but that was at the more touristy South Rim and I don’t remember much of anything. Despite being a few hours additional drive from Las Vegas and 1000ft higher in elevation than the South Rim, the North Rim offers amazing tranquility away from lame tourists, long rewarding hiking trails, and some spectacular views of the 6000ft deep canyon.
I was worried that the elevation would get to me (8200ft) seeing as the 5000ft Yosemite Valley trip I recently took during snowy times caused me a good night of grief. As it turns out, I dealt with it just fine. I kept well hydrated and fed, exerted myself no more than I had to or felt comfortable for the first 2 days, and just relaxed. The trip was awesome and I cannot wait to go back. We only dropped down into the canyon briefly along the Kaibob Trail towards the Supai Tunnel (2 miles down) as it was late in the day, we hadn’t acclimated yet, and it was frakkin’ HOT. Regardless, that trail was spectacular (and stinky thanks to the mules!). The next day we explored the 10 mile Widfross Trail. Simply Glorious.
Here are just a couple shots that I took that I like. Again, like Yosemite, none of these pics do the National Park any justice.
So as many of you know, I ventured north to Yosemite National Park this last week for some much needed outdoorsy, shower-less stink action. I had never been there but have always wanted to go. Now that I live in LA, it’s a short 4 hour jaunt to the park’s entrance, then another 45 min. breathtaking mountain ride to the park’s main hub, Yosemite Valley. It was here that we set up camp in the North Pines camping area. Yosemite National Park pretty much ruined my life by revealing what could be the most spectacular place on earth…WITH PICTURES (click any to enlarge)!
I recently came across THIS article from the New York Times talking about how technology has helped our national parks deteriorate into ignorant douchebag cesspools. Just reading the article made my blood boil with hatred for the “tourist”.
People with cellphones call rangers from mountaintops to request refreshments or a guide; in Jackson Hole, Wyo., one lost hiker even asked for hot chocolate.
Now I am no national park slob, nor do I hate people for wanting to visit some of our country’s most gorgeous properties. But what I do hate are the people that take it for granted, consider it a box on a bigger checklist of “things to do with the fam”, and make the experience a pain-in-the-ass for others. If you are parents of 10, go to Six Flags. If you have ‘screamy’ kids, put them down. If you wear socks with sandals, die.
I have a trip planned to Yosemite in a matter of weeks and couldn’t be more excited. I have never been and it has been a dream of mine to scale Half Dome. The problem is that I might have high expectations for the trip with my preconceived visions of my park experience. I imagine being able to roll in to the park, drive the curvy mountain roads with nary a slow moving tourist bus, and pull into a sparsly populated, quiet campground with picturesque, serene vistas of the surrounding cliffs. Well, after reading the article above, I now imagine lines of traffic backed up at the park entrance, a shit-smelling tourist filled campground, and a 2 hour wait to summit the grandest, most widely known peak in the park. Fuck.
I plan on bringing a tourist taser. But you can guarantee I won’t call the rangers to come rescue my victims. Duh duh DUUUH!