One of the most sought after destinations in the west is The Wave. Google it, and you’ll see why. Unfortunately, it is so popular that BLM has implemented a lottery system for visitors, and your odds of getting a permit are very low. But there is an easy to reach alternative (for those who have a sufficient vehicle) that has no restrictions.
Grand Canyon – Parashant National Monument
I bet you’ve never heard of the Arizona Strip. It’s that portion of NW Arizona that is north of the Colorado River. I have to confess that I was underimpressed. While it was mildly impressing, it was nothing like a junior version of the Grand Canyon – at least in the places I visited. And the driving was often very slow and tedious. But still, there is always something interesting wherever I go.
After many visits and perhaps 20 days spent at and in the Grand Canyon, you might think I’ve had enough. But although I know the main portion pretty well, there was more to explore. It’s a magical place. I actually made two very different visits, one to the North Rim and one from the South Rim.
Although I had hiked to the North Rim from the South Rim in 2016, I wanted to go back for more. This time I drove there like all normal visitors do. I drove the main roads to see the sights that most visitors see and then ventured onto the trails. But I also took a back road to one of the special places in the Grand Canyon.
While my North Rim visit was by car, my South Rim trip was backpacking. (If you’ve only visited by car, you’ve only seen the Grand Canyon one way.) Although the canyon itself is 277 miles long, I have hiked most of the trials in the middle 20 river miles of that. Of course, this is by far the most popular area, where the miles are difficult, more difficult and much more difficult. (The miles that are “wild” are another story.) But there was one stretch I had missed, from the South Kaibab Trail to Grandview Point, so I had to hike that.