Along the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.
My 2004 Jeep road trip took me to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. But rather than sticking to the paved roads, I explored many of the unpaved forest roads that wind through the tall pines and aspens. After all, I was driving a Jeep. Why would anyone subject herself to long distance highway driving in a Jeep if there wasn’t the reward of off-pavement travel in the immediate future?
It was autumn — third week in September, to be exact — and the aspen trees on the Kaibab Plateau were turning color. Aspens turn yellow in the fall and this shot shows them interspersed with the ponderosa pines that also grow there.
For this trip, I had my old GPS, which only holds about 4-5 topo maps in its database. I’d programmed in the ones for the North Rim area, so I had a highly detailed navigational aid for the maze of roads there. After spending the night in a cabin on the North Rim, I followed forest roads out to various lookout points on the North Rim that most tourists never see. My goal was to see from the ground what I saw from the air when I flew helicopter tours. I saw that and so much more. And in the hours I drove in Grand Canyon National Park — the most popular national park in America — I saw only one other person.
He was in a Jeep, too.