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home : blogs_old : heads up hiker May 22, 2015

Heads Up Hiker
By Cheryl Hartz, Prescott Valley, AZ
The best hikes in the county, safety, plus plants, trees and wildlife on the way!
Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Blog: Giving thanks for the Grand Canyon and Iron King Trail

 Cheryl Hartz

Members of the Hartz family carefully traverse the icy Grand View Trail on a day trip to the Grand Canyon over the Thanksgiving weekend. Photo by Cheryl Hartz

Our son was home from Oregon and family came up from Tucson for Thanksgiving weekend, so hikers all, we waddled off in search of adventure Friday and Saturday after stuffing ourselves on Thursday.

To make Friday's nearly 5-hour roundtrip drive to the Grand Canyon more enjoyable, we rented a mini-van for the six of us. We packed the cooler with apple slices, turkey (of course) sandwiches, cookies and chocolate for a picnic. The high temp was supposed to be in the 40s, but we were glad we packed thick coats, hats, scarves and gloves because even though the sun was warm, I think it stayed well below freezing at the rim.

We started down the snow-packed and icy Grand View Trail, but it was slow going without crampons. We didn't have time to hike far enough down to get out of the snow, but still, the view was spectacular - as long as you stopped to look. The trail was too treacherous to rubberneck while moving.

We ate lunch and drove to the Grand Canyon Village, where we dodged hordes and hordes of slow-moving tourists as we walked the trail along the rim, hoping for a glimpse of California condors. This time we weren't lucky in that aspect, but just to be able to see the canyon - one of the Seven Wonders of the World - is luck enough.

On the drive home, we amused ourselves with a couple of word games, including trying to name a flower for each letter of the alphabet. My first contribution for "U" - "Upsa-Daisy" - was not accepted. Neither was my second - "Ultra-Violet." No one came up with a real entry.

Saturday, the three guys opted to hike up extinct volcano Glassford Hill near our home in Prescott Valley.

The three gals opted to take it a bit easier, hikewise. Although while the other two read, I did laundry, put away fall decorations, started to get out Christmas decorations and fixed up a huge pot of turkey corn chowder for supper. Mid-afternoon we went for a 3-mile hike on the Iron King Trail, a Rails-to-Trails project that skirts Glassford Hill and hooks up with Prescott's Peavine Trail in the Dells around Watson Lake. Even though it was warmer, not many folks were taking advantage of the trail, which made a nice change from the previous day's crowds.

I told my niece I always saw pronghorns on the Iron King, but the critters made a liar out of me that day. Ravens kept us company, though. The guys said they accidentally rousted about 30 mule deer that were bedded down comfortably on Glassford Hill.

So we again enjoyed two very different aspects of Arizona's amazing terrain and benefited from aerobic activity. Nothing finer.

Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Article comment by: E Bird

Great blog, the grandview trail looks like slow going this time of year!

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