Cedar Ridge, 2003
Grand Canyon National Park

In late March, 2003, Cindy and Dave visited the Grand Canyon with Cindy's mom and dad, Edie and Payson Kenyon. The 3-day trip included sightseeing and a trip down the South Kaibab trail to Cedar Ridge. The South Kaibab is arguably Grand Canyon's most scenic trail and a trip to Cedar Ridge is possibly the best dayhike in the park. Edie and Cindy accompanied Payson and Dave a short ways down the South Kaibab to see them off, then climbed back up to spend the afternoon sightseeing at the many viewpoints along the Canyon rim. Payson and Dave continued down the trail to Cedar Ridge.

Kenyons at Mather Point

South Kaibab Trailhead

Ooh Ahh Point

The first landmark along the South Kaibab trail is super-scenic Ooh Ahh Point, where the trail provides a panoramic vista. Roughly half-way to our destination of Cedar Ridge, we stopped here for a few minutes to enjoy the grandeur of the Canyon before continuing on. The trail below Ooh Ahh Point steepens as if follows a sharp ridge with spacious views on either side.

Ooh Ahh!

Cedar Ridge in view

Below Ooh Ahh

We arrived at our destination of Cedar Ridge in short order and relaxed there for nearly an hour, enjoying the fine day and the splendid Canyon vistas. After a sandwich and trail snacks, we began the 1.5 mile, 1200' climb back toward the rim. The weather, although cool and a little breezy, was nearly ideal for hiking in the Canyon. The air was as clear as either of us had seen it.

Dave and Payson

Climbing from Cedar Ridge

Dave on the edge

Although climbing requires more effort, it was generally more pleasant for both of us since foot placement is easier on a rough trail. The South Kaibab has no shortage of stairsteps and uneven footing. Along the way, we were able to keep in contact with the girls and report our progress via 2-way FRS radios. We were all surprised by the range of the radios, which exceeded the advertised 2 mile range. While at Ooh Ahh Point, we were able to clearly talk with the girls while they were as far away as Hopi Point on the West Rim Drive, approximately 4 miles distant.

Stairsteps on the Kaibab

Great views!


After an hour, the grade eased and we were in sight of the switchbacks up the chimney, leading to the top. Another 30 minutes brought us back to the trailhead and the end of the climb.

Well deserved rest

The Kaibab chimney

Back at the top

We rejoined the girls at Maswik Lodge and then went for a nice dinner at the El Tovar. On the walk to El Tovar, we saw many mule deer grazing in the grass along the railroad tracks and also spotted a California Condor flying overhead. The following morning, we visited the mules at the mule pen just before they were to descend the Bright Angel trail. We watched as the wranglers placed the riders on each mule, then headed down the trail on their way to Plateau Point.

Grazing deer

Waiting their turn

Cindy says hello

Cindy, Edie, Payson

Starting down

Upper Bright Angel trail

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