Last year we visited North Rim Grand Canyon and said that we would like to come back and walk down into the canyon. This year we did it and boy what a sense of achievment! We started at 8250 feet and descended to 5200 feet Roaring Springs, a 5 mile trail.When we reached the Springs we took off our boots and put our feet in the icy waters from the stream - they needed it!
It was a relatively easy hike down mainly on a well maintained trail with several landmarks on route, but the first 2 miles consists of very rocky large steps, pot holes and is rather smelly from the mules that use this trail. The first point is Cococino Overlook at 3/4 mile, a wonderful showcase of coconino sandstone overlooking the red rocks of the Supai formation. Then you reach the Supai Tunnel, a made-made tunnel cut through into the Supai rock, at 1.8 miles. Here there is water (but check before you set off as it's not always available), toilet facilities and a great stopping point to cool off. When you emerge from the small tunnel an imposing view of cliffs is in front of you, a fantastic sight. Far below is a bridge that you will eventually cross and continue your hike through switchbacks some with sheer drop-offs.
On reaching Roaring Springs you will find toilet facilities and a cool spot by the stream under the trees to eat and rest before the long hard slog back up. The last 2 miles were the worst as the heat of the sun was at it's strongest and the very steep rocky steps where the mules use the trail was awful. Not so noticable going down, but be warned - what goes down, has to come up!
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