We finally made it! While we didn’t plan to stay more than one night at the Grand Canyon, we wanted to see the museums and hike a bit anyway. As soon as we entered this National Park, we started seeing numerous female elk along the roadside. We saw about two dozen elk in total, but not a single set of antlers.
We didn’t have as much time as we’d like (have to make it to Vegas by tomorrow night since we had hotel reservations there, ya know :). So we toured the Grand Canyon Visitor Center and the Yavapai Geology Museum and then hiked a quarter mile around the southern rim.
Still, it was awesome as expected, and not terribly crowded on a weekday. The sun and clouds cooperated quite nicely today for a change.
We had considered staying at the Mather Campground, but it was completely filled up. A ranger told us you can back country camp anywhere in the National Forest for free off nearby route 320 if you just hike 1/4 mile into the woods off the road. Very tempting for us, but the weather forecast called for a 34 degree low tonight… and we wanted to shorten the 5 hour drive to Vegas tomorrow, so we drove on.