Leaving Cottonwood, we had a 4.5 mile hike down to Phantom Ranch and the Bright Angel campground.
Of the many side trips, Ribbon Falls was our first and most enjoyable. It is located only
10-15 minutes off the Kaibab Trail and very worth the trip. The first picture shows the falls
dropping on a limestone dome which almost appears hollow at the bottom. We waited for the
entire falls to be in sunshine, but the picture in shade actually came out better.
There is a short trail off to the left which takes you up behind the falls.
To make fun of my fear of heights, I really wanted a "Home Alone" picture [the one where
little boy has both hands to his cheeks], but the lighting [me not setting the flash] did
So, here I am standing on the limestone dome, just behind the waterfall.
Please, don't tell anyone that I didn't set the camera properly; I had to enhance the foreground
with yours truly to make it a little brighter. But, that's just our secret.
Both Alan and I posed here for pictures... but NOT RYAN!
Ryan saw a sign!
Ryan wanted to continue up the cliff beyond the falls. Well, we took his picture and threatened to tell the
Ranger; then he finally came down.
(One in every group! <sigh>)
After Ribbon Falls, the rest of the trip to Phantom Ranch and Bright Angel Campgroung was uneventful...
except for the helicopter.
We were asking Eb what happens if someone became disabled or worse at the bottom of the Canyon. He told
us that is was $450 to send a mule down to get you out, or worse, if it was life threatening, a helicopter
ride would be $1200.
No sooner had he finished this explanation, then a helicopter came out of nowhere and landed
about 50 yards in front of us.
It turned out the the gravity feed water pipe from Roaring Springs across the Canyon had
broken. The National Park Service was helicoptering in men and equipment to repair the
break. (They wouldn't take any us of out!) Kiss the flush toilets in Bright Angel goodbye!
Bright Angel Campground
After arriving at our Bright Angel campsite, just outside Phantom Ranch, we all took the chance to
get a little wet, cooler, and cleaner in the Bright Angel Creek.
The water temperature was probably in the low 60's, not bad, considering it was in the 50's
further up the North Rim.
This campground usually has running water and flush toilets. The Park Service was helicoptering in water,
and we had to carry buckets from the creek to the facilities to flush. Not bad during the day, but it
was a real challenge at night.
Below, is a view of the Bright Angel Creek with the campsites on the right.
Now on to the Colorado.