The second day we stayed at Ruby's we wanted to do another hike that was different from our rim circling expedition of the day before. One of the guys in our home neighborhood suggested Navajo Loop from Sunset point. Done. Decided. We knew we needed to check out by 11:00 or 12:00, so planned on getting up early and eating breakfast on the trail. I was also hoping that the idea of a breakfast break, along with the loop idea instead of an out and back would help keep our littles happier. I wanted a longer time out.
When we woke up, there was a foot or more of snow on the ground outside. Woohoo! I thought. Now we will all see what snowshoes are really for. We started getting ready, but around 7:45 all of the electricity in our room went out. I called up to the front desk and asked if we'd blown a fuse, or if it was the whole building. "It's the whole county ma'am" the desk guy said. "!"
We dug the car out, and headed down to the park entrance. The road was plowed and sanded, the gate was open, but nobody was in the booth to pay the $25.00 per car entrance fee to (ouch by the way on that price). We went back out and circled around, looked around the visitor center, and finally ran into a ranger. "They are supposed to be in there by 8:00. If you beat them then don't worry about paying. You're fine" Woohoo!
We were the only ones in the parking lot to start the trail, and as you can see from the photo above, it was snowing pretty heavily. The kids were a little nervous. OK, I was a little nervous.
The top part had a railing, but after the first switchback you had to look carefully for the trail.
Jeff went in front because I figured if he fell or something he was the best at climbing back up. Ari looks a little cold here. but cold wasn't a problem as long as we were moving. Tia said she felt like she was in a jacuzzi --warm and wet.
Do you see this?? Do you?! These are switchbacks all the way down into the canyon. It was so dang cool. The bright red rock, dark green pines, and white white white!
Natural rock bridge.
About 45 minutes into the hike, we saw a little cutout cave type place off to the side, and sat in there to eat our cold cold breakfast -- green smoothies and Greek yogurts. I kept thinking how nice hot chocolate would have been, but hey --I'd have had to heat it in our electricity-less room.
Notice Kai looks pretty happy in all of these pictures? This was a cool hike he told Tia.
We kept going, and at the trail sign intersection considered whether to take the Queen's garden trail back out, or continue Navajo. We decided to continue Navajo. When we got within .2 miles from the end, there was a big danger sign and tape right in front of a huge rock slide blocking the path. We couldn't help thinking that sign might have been more helpful at the trail intersection! We turned around and headed back the way we came. This ended up being an out and back hike after all (and a little longer than the kids planned on hehe)!
Some of the trail down in the bottom was striking slot canyon.
Back up at the top.
Very happy kids are a nice part of the memory.