Amphitheatre pinnacles from Queens Garden Trail
Perfect conditions forecast for today, bright blue skies, warming up mid morning and only a light breeze. We headed out just before 10, checked out what paths were open at the Visitor Centre, and headed up to Sunset Point only to discover the go-pro was low on battery. Back to Ruby’s to pick up the power pack and Take 2!
We decided to hike down into the Canyon via the Navajo Loop trail, which was stunning in the morning light and we were very lucky to have it to ourselves. The trail soon started to descend via switchbacks into a narrow gorge, beautiful to hike down. On reaching the junction with the trail to Wall Street, we hooked up with another couple for a short way, sharing experiences – they are off to Hakuba shortly and very excited. The trail from Wall Street to the Rim was closed due to the risk of rock fall but it was good to get to hike partway up and appreciate where the name comes from – towering pinnacles like skyscrapers.
Retracing our footsteps to the junction, we then took the Queens Garden trail which meanders below the cliffs of the amphitheater skirting round large bluffs before heading back up to the Rim via Sunrise Point. It was a beautiful day and we took our time admiring the views and hoodoos. We found a log to sit on for our lunch stop and were immediately besieged by some small black and white birds (Clark’s nutcracker) looking for crumbs from our sandwiches and muffins. We did oblige and they were delightful to watch.
The hike back up to the Rim was delightful with a couple of small tunnels to walk through, a winding narrow cleft, many interesting pinnacles and hoodoos and Thor’s Hammer to admire. We both kept thinking how lucky we are to have come here after a winter storm which has dusted the rocks in fresh snow and to have beautiful blue skies to show the Park in its full glory.
Below is a video from our hike, press play to view
See below for a compilation of photos from our hike.