01. September 2014 · Comments Off on Grand Canyon: The Hermit Trail & Hermit’s Rest · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , , , ,
Hermit's Rest is on the far western end of the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park.

Hermit’s Rest is on the far western end of the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park.

We had made it clear to the boys that we would be hiking at least part of our two days at the Grand Canyon. I saw a list of family-friendly activities in the park summer guide. We chose the Junior Ranger Family Adventure Program, in which families can descend down into the canyon via the challenging Hermit’s Trail. Dave and I wanted to get some exercise, and we were confident our kids could handle it.

Getting to Hermit’s Rest, where the program began, was a task in itself. We drove to theĀ Grand Canyon Village part of the park, where we then caught a bus that took us on the 45 minute drive to the western end of the park. It was a gorgeous drive with several views of the canyon to enjoy. More »

01. September 2014 · Comments Off on Grand Canyon: Mather Campground Elk! · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , , ,

We arrived at our campsite with plenty of time to set up camp. We enjoyed a relaxing evening with a camp stove dinner (I can’t remember what, probably burgers and hot dogs).

We had to walk 1-2 campsites over to reach the restroom building. On one of our walks to the restroom building, we saw this magnificent elk feasting on tree branches. The kids were awestruck, and I rushed over to the truck for our camera’s telephoto lens.

We chatted with the kids about what we were observing: the size of the elk, the size of his antlers (at least 4′), what he was choosing to eat, the trouble he seemed to be having getting his antlers tangled in the tree branches. Enjoy some photos of what we spent about 20 minutes observing. You can see the full album here. Several other nearby campers were similarly photographing it.


Jacob said, “Hey Mom, take a picture of me with the elk!”


Then Timmy said, “Take a picture of me too!” This photo cracks me up!



My favorite of the 70+ photos I took.





Our first views of the Grand Canyon were breathtaking.

Our first views of the Grand Canyon at the Desert View overlook were breathtaking.

The day we stopped at Mesa Verde National Park and the Four Corners Monument, we had to eventually make it to the Grand Canyon campground. It’s only about 5-6 hours worth of driving from Durango, but we made several stops. So we were hard pressed to get to the campsite with enough time to pitch our tents before dark. More »