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Mon, June 17

Everything Grand; The North Rim of the Grand Canyon is magnificent in fall

Fate wasn't kind to the original lodge – called "the hotel in the wilderness" – that was completed in 1928 at a cost of $350,000. That multi-storied structure went up in smoke on Sept. 1, 1932, and rebuilding on the same site began in 1936. It was completed, at a cost of $250,000, one year later.

The log cabin complex adjacent to the lodge features rustic, but adequate, units – a bedroom on each end with a bathroom in between – and lodging costs from $78 to $104 per night based on double adult occupancy. Visitor facilities will close Oct. 16, but the North Rim will remain open for day use only from Oct. 16 through Dec. 1, or until heavy snows close the road. (At 8,000-plus feet in elevation, the North Rim is considerably higher than the more heavily frequented South Rim, so its winters are more severe accordingly.)

Among the highlights of our visit was a stopover at Skidoo Point (yeah, you heard right), where we listened in while a ranger described the geology, history and future of the canyon to a group of German tourists. Over time, he said, millions of tons of sediment from the Colorado River dumps into Lake Powell, which is "not going to last forever." In about 400 years, in fact, he said that the lake will be filled to the dam's brim with sediment.


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