Wonderlust Expeditions

Nature on the North Rim, Grand Canyon
September 17 ~ 22, 2019
Our base of operations will be the North Rim Campground, which features views across the canyon over the Transept Trail as well as reliably spectacular sunsets. All tents, cots, and bedding will be provided, as will simple, healthy, tasty meals prepared by Wonderlust chef and camp coordinator Shane Blair. We’ll enjoy the splendor of our immediate surroundings in addition to making daily excursions to different trailheads along the North Rim. 
     Join us for this unique adventure! 

Price: $1150.00 per person (based on double occupancy). Group size limit: 12 guests

Includes .

Trip difficulty rating: 1 - 2 (Easy/ moderate) 
Explore the majestic views, unique wildlife, dramatic geology, and haunting traces of prehistoric people on Grand Canyon’s isolated North Rim and the Kaibab Plateau! With about one-tenth the number of annual visitors that frequent the South Rim, the North Rim is both a wilder and more personal experience. At over 8,000 feet in elevation, it also encompasses a very different range of habitats from the high Sonoran desert of the South. Ponderosa pine woodlands give way to thickets of scrub oak and mountain maple, while warm air rising from mile-deep Grand Canyon creates a gradient of ecosystems on the rim that ordinarily require a journey of many miles and a change of several hundred feet in altitude to see. The many deep side canyons indenting the North Rim make for a convoluted edge with countless viewpoints from which to enjoy the canyon's sweeping buttes and tessellated ridges, while a network of hiking trails enables visitors to enjoy each new perspective. 
Each locale offers something different: Cliff Springs and Walhalla Glades, important sites from the Puebloan time period 900 years before present, provide a window into the Canyon’s human prehistory. At Cape Royal, the formation of Angel’s Window is the only spot on the North Rim from which to glimpse the Colorado River over one mile below. The Widforss Trail, named for Swedish-American landscape painter Gunnar Widforss, who worked extensively in Grand Canyon in the 1930s, winds through old growth pine forest and culminates in a dramatic view of Manu and Buddha Temple peaks. 
Gunnar Widforss, Grand Canyon, c. 1928, watercolor. 34 x 28 inches. Museum of Northern Arizona Fine Arts Collection C985.
We’ll also have the privilege of spending time in the field with local researchers with years of experience studying the area's wildlife. From goshawk ecology on the Kaibab Plateau to the rare, reintroduced California condor within the Park itself to desert bighorn sheep along the rim, you'll gain a deeper understanding of the canyon's ecology than the average visitor through discussions with these experts. 

We’ll be on the lookout for these large animals but will almost certainly see the much smaller but equally charismatic Kaibab squirrel. This distinctive color morph of the widespread Abert’s squirrel, with silver fur, a dark belly, and white tail, is a direct result of the population split that occurred as the canyon formed. The old Ponderosa forests of the Kaibab Plateau provide a refuge for this endemic species as well as other rare fauna like the Mexican spotted owl, which are highly vulnerable to deforestation elsewhere. 
Visiting the North Rim is an opportunity for inner reflection as well as outward exploration, whether that reflection takes the form of journaling, painting, or sitting still and drinking in the scenery. This trip allows for ample personal time in addition to guided hikes and high-quality presentations. Naturalist guide Sarah Drummond will also offer workshops on field sketching and landscape drawing for those participants who are interested. No pressure and no prior experience necessary, just an interested mind and open eyes -- the most important items to bring to any Grand Canyon experience! 
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