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National Park Journal

National Park Journal Grand Canyon 2021

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Get the digital version of the National Park Journal with its four separate park editions (Grand Canyon, Rocky Mountain, Yellowstone and Yosemite) to discover all-time favorite road trips to the national parks. From Utah’s dazzling deserts, the adobe-lined streets of New Mexico’s charming towns, Wyoming’s authentic outposts, California’s stunning coastline and Colorado’s mountain towns, we feature all the amazing places to explore en route to the parks, no matter where you begin your adventure. Plus , our insider’s guide includes our top things to do in each national park in 48 hours. Discover the best hiking trails, campsites and attractions in our magazine. Our illustrated wildlife guide will help you discover the best of the park's wild animals, including tips on where to find them, and our packing list ensures you don’t leave anything at home.

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United States
Pocket Outdoor Media, LLC
4 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
editor's note

The startlingly beautiful landscape of White Sands National Park. Rows of green grape vines growing in Cottonwood, Ariz. The bright paint shining on canvases in a shop in historic Kanab, Utah. The strikingly deep color of turquoise carefully placed on a silver bracelet on the Navajo reservation. And then, after a road trip full of adventure, you see it. The first glimpse of the Colorado River as it sweeps through Grand Canyon National Park. Many of us spent 2020 dreaming of all these places while staying at home, especially when the national parks shut down completely. After they reopened, many hit the road, looking to places like Grand Canyon to feel alive, inspired and refreshed by new sights, gorgeous landscapes and, of course, nature. Being on the road in search of new landscapes…

1 min.
the grandest canyon

Without the Colorado River, the Grand Canyon wouldn’t exist. The river originates in Rocky Mountain National Park and has spent 6 million long, hard years sculpting the Grand Canyon. In doing so, it has dug deep into 1.8-billion-year-old rock, the foundation of North America, revealing and erasing millions of years of ancient history in the canyon walls. If you know how to read the walls, you can unlock thousands of stories. And while it's not the deepest canyon in the world, it's one of the most stunning. The canyon's sheer immensity is most likely just as soul-jarring as it was in 1919 when it became a national park. That year, 44,173 visitors traveled from far and wide to see the new park, which had been named a national monument in 1908 by…

2 min.
the four sides of grand canyon

1 NORTH RIM Perched between 8,000 and 9,000 feet, Grand Canyon’s North Rim is located in northern Arizona 45 miles south of Jacob Lake via Hwy. 67. It’s composed of a mixed conifer forest and stands of aspen trees. Because it sits about 1,500 feet higher than the South Rim, it gets blanketed by snow and closes for winter. Open mid-May through mid-October, it’s less developed and less visited than its twin to the south, with only one lodge, the Grand Canyon Lodge. 2 SOUTH RIM Open all year, the South Rim is the most popular area of Grand Canyon National Park. It is 212 miles from the North Rim, and you can access it from two entrances. The closest town to the South Entrance is Tusayan, Ariz., and the closest to the…

1 min.
the south rim’s top six

South Rim's most historic treasures. 1 CLIMB A TOWER Head to the east side and climb Desert View Watchtower. As you walk up four flights of stairs to the top of the 70-foot tower, check out the Hopi murals decorating the walls. 2 FIND SOLITUDE ON A BIKE Rent a bike at Bright Angel Bicycles and ride Hermit Road, which is closed to all traffic, except shuttles and official park vehicles, March 1-Nov. 30. 3 DINE IN STYLE Stroll to El Tovar Hotel, built in 1905 to eat an incredible breakfast in a rustic but elegant setting. Breakfast is first-come, first-served, but reservations are recommended for dinner. 4 HIKE AN ICONIC TRAIL Hike down a portion of Bright Angel Trail before it gets hot. This spectacular trail stretches 9.3 miles down the canyon, eventually reaching the Colorado River. 5…

2 min.
into the wild

1 ROCKY MOUNTAIN ELK Introduced to Arizona in the early 1900s, elk made their way to the park and approximately 100 of them live there. Adult bull elk weigh up to 700 pounds, while adult females may weigh up to 500 pounds. They graze near Mather Campground and Grand Canyon Village but should never be approached. Their mating season is from late August through October. 2 CALIFORNIA CONDOR The California condor, black with white spots under its wings and a bald head, is the largest bird in North America with a wingspan of 9.5 feet. Populations declined during the 20th century due to hunting, egg collection and lead poisoning, landing them on the endangered species list in 1967. Reintroduction efforts began in 1992. Today Grand Canyon is home to one of several wild…

3 min.
which hike is best for you in the grand canyon?

MILE-AND-A-HALF RESTHOUSE This popular 3-mile roundtrip Bright Angel Trail hike enables you to see the inside of the Grand Canyon without committing to more intense distances. Pack a picnic and eat lunch at the halfway point, finding shade in the shelter. There are pit toilet restrooms here. Keep your eyes peeled for condors riding the thermals. You’ll catch great views of Indian Garden. THE RIM TRAIL The Rim Trail on the South Rim is a good option for novice hikers and families as the path stays fairly level as it follows the rim’s edge for about 13 miles from South Kaibab Trailhead west to Hermits Rest. Most of the trail is paved. The three-mile section from Powell Point to Monument Creek is dirt, but the Greenway Trail from Monument Creek to Hermits Rest…