Grand Canyon, Rainbow Rim Trail- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Grand Canyon, Rainbow Rim Trail

    Tahoe is still under snow and I needed some long, high altitude, XC riding, with great scenery. So I headed south to the Rainbow Rim Trail on the north rim of the Grand Canyon. I learned of this trail from MTBBill, who has two ride reports, photos, and a great video. The trail is about 18 miles long, between 7,500 7,800 feet elevation, and it runs mostly through nice aspen/pine forests. At five points it comes out above the rim of the Grand Canyon, offering up spectacular views. I had done about half the trail a few years ago and I remember great scenery, but working pretty hard. Since it is a very long drive I decided to try doing the entire trail as an out and back from Parissawampitts Point to Timp Point, for 36 miles.

    Its quite a long and tedious drive from Kanab, where I stayed, and I knew Id be on the road long before any place opened for breakfast. I had packed a breakfast, but I left it back in California. So I ate two Clif bars, which I really dont care for. The trail is a long way from nowhere, it was cool and windy, and when I saw that great hole in the ground I became a bit nervous about riding 36 miles solo. The ride starts at 7,600 ft. and the altitude hit me pretty hard. It took a good half hour to get used to it. At about nine miles I ran into a small tour group camp, and that made me feel much safer. Eventually I ran into the group at about 14 miles, because there was a sign stating the rest of the trail was closed for a controlled burn. Id come a long way so I rode on for about another three miles until a physical barrier and sign blocked the trail. So I ended up doing about 33.5 miles.

    Im obviously in much better shape this time. Except for the altitude the riding was fairly easy. Loose rocks on some of the downhills were about my only concern. However, on the return, after 30+ miles, some of them were especially difficult climbing. On the way back I happened upon a couple at a view point and I got them to take a few photos of me. Below are few photos, more on my Smugmug site. Click on "map this" to see the photos on a map.








    A passerby took this.







































    Last edited by Wherewolf; 06-06-2011 at 11:12 PM.

  2. #2
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    New question here. WowA Green Grand Canyon!?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Wherewolf View Post
    ...So I headed south to the Rainbow Rim Trail on the north rim of the Grand Canyon....
    Hi Wherewolf,

    Ive kayaked the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon 10 times. I know we were over a mile below you but I guarantee we never saw that amount of green anywhere in the canyon. Vaseys Paradise (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vasey's_Paradise) is probably the greenest spot in the canyon and its just that.a spot!
    Name:  Vasey's Paradise.jpeg
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    Thanks for sharing!

    Michael
    If you can't keep the rubber side down......at least smile for the camera!

  3. #3
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    Beautiful landscape, Looks like fun trails

  4. #4
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    I think it would be safe to classify that as an "epic" ride in spite of the controlled burn at the far end. The scenery alone is epic. Thanks for sharing.
    "There are those who would say there's something pathological about the need to ride, and they're probably on to something. I'd wager though that most of the society-approved compulsions leave deeper scars in the psyche than a need to go and ride a bicycle on a mountain." Cam McRea

  5. #5
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    My wife and I were just talking about taking a Grand Canyon trip next summer. I was debating on taking the bike...... But I think these pics sealed the deal for me.

    Thanks for sharing, the bike is definitely in.
    2007 Marin East Peak.

  6. #6
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    Gorgeous photos! Makes me wanna get out and ride....even if it IS just around town.
    People wait for me on the way up. I wait for them on the way down.

  7. #7
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    great pics! thanks
    i'm not joking, posting is scary

  8. #8
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    Nice "job" man!
    .....

  9. #9
    Really I am that slow
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    Its a great ride looking forward to hitting it wends or thursday =)
    Read my BLOG!

    just a guy who loves bikes and exploring

  10. #10
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    Good job....brings back memories from a tour of the Kaibab we did last year. I actually enjoyed the East Rim a bit better than Rainbow rim...but when you're on the Kaibab....it's all good.





    Last edited by Maadjurguer; 06-07-2011 at 09:47 AM.




  11. #11
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    Sweet! I'm glad it worked out for you. Not too much wind? We were going to ride there over the Memorial holiday but got pummeled pretty good at Gooseberry and Little Creek. Enough that we didn't need to be 2000' higher. It was 34F monday morning at L. Creek.

  12. #12
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    What an epic ride! Thanks for posting these photos!

  13. #13
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    great job steve, looking forward to seeing the hurricane photos as well!

  14. #14
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    Fantastic pictures! I live right on the gulf of mexico so elevation changes are a treat for me even if it's a vicarious experience.

  15. #15
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    Pano

    I found a decent pano.



  16. #16
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    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Such beautiful photos. I need to go there!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wherewolf View Post
    I found a decent pano.

    Awesome shot of Steamboat Mountain. It's separated from the north rim by the Crazy Jug Monocline and Muav Fault. Off in the distance to the left is Powell Plateau which forces the Colorado River to make a big loop around for almost 30 miles between Bass camp and Tapeats Creek. Truly an amazing place.

  18. #18
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    Fabulous!

    Wow Steve! What a wonderful trail. I'm going nuts just looking at it I want to ride it so bad. I thought Moab, Fruita, and Gooseberry were tops, until seeing this.

    AndI didn't even realize there were bike legal trails around the Grand Canyon.

    I've got a folder full of GPS tracks of absolutely wonderful trails I want to do. Almost all of my "wish list" tracks are from your rides. Thanks for sharing.

    Oh, and I'm impressed you can get your Heart Rate so high. Maybe you're younger than I thought.
    It's not slow, it's doing more MTB time.

  19. #19
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    A fabulous ride. Thanks for another great post ww. I tip my hat to the miles and saddle time you log on your outtings.
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  20. #20
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    great pictures. looks like some nice trails. me and my wife were at the south rim for a day last week. some amazing sites. i dont know if they have any mtb trails there. didnt have my bike anyways. its something i would love to do.

  21. #21
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    Wow! Awesome pictures!
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  22. #22
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    Beautiful pictures!

  23. #23
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    Simply Stunning.

  24. #24
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    Hint

    Quote Originally Posted by BigLarry View Post
    Oh, and I'm impressed you can get your Heart Rate so high. Maybe you're younger than I thought.
    Hint: I did not have to pay $25 to enter Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks
    You need to follow MTBBill more. I get much of my information there, and with great photos and videos.

  25. #25
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    Killer! On my to do list.
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  26. #26
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    Beautiful!

    From your pics, looks like the pine cones and other debris have been cleared. CraigH and I rode Rainbow Rim in earlish May 2006 and the trail was covered with pine cones. We ended up with a total of 8 flats that day; discovered later it wasn't due to the pine cones but a thorny bush along the trail (the name of which I can't remember).

  27. #27
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    nice photo's and it is super green.

  28. #28
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    Directions

    It's about a 40 mile drive from Kanab to Jacob Lake, then 25 miles south on Hwy 67 to the forest service roads. Then about 45 minutes of slow driving on FS roads to Parissawampitts Point. Some of the FS roads are a bit rough and some are fairly smooth. My Honda Element has a bit more clearance than a car, but an ordinary car could do it if you drove slowly. Many people just camp along the trail. According to this site you could do what you propose.

    Here are my directions via the FS roads: From Jacob Lake take Hwy 67 about 25 miles south to the North Rim Store. Turn right 0.8 miles south of the store on Forest Service Rd. (FSR) 22. In 2 miles turn left on to FSR 270. In 1 mile turn right on FSR 222. In 5 miles turn right on FSR 206. In 1.5 miles turn left on FSR 214 and follow it for just under 8 miles until you hit the parking area for Parissawampitts Point.

  29. #29
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    Sweet pics! By chance could you expound upon what you mean by it being a long and tedious drive from Kanab? How many miles of dirt road and how long did it take you to get out there from Kanab? Did you have a 4 wheel drive vehicle? Would you recommend having a 4 wheel drive vehicle to get there?

    Also, once you make it to a trail head, would a non-biker be able to drive a forest road parallel to the rainbow rim trail and meet up with riders at an overlook? Thanks for the stoke, I'm looking to get out there in early October...

  30. #30
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    Thanks for the great info, I plan on giving it a go in my Honda Odyssey in October.

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