The photos begin near Mt. Trumbell, where we legally collected mantle xenoliths, which were also visible throughout the National Park trail. We caught some scenic glimpses near the rim and from the top of Vulcan's Throne cinder cone and lava flow field from the night before our hike, then the next morning we headed off on our journey. For the Tucsonans, notice how the territory becomes oddly familiar as we descend into a Sonoran Desert microclimate, complete with barrel cactus and blooming ocotillo. We descended over some tricky basalt cliffs, massive and with columnar jointing, probably from lava interaction with water as it was cooling. Finally, we got to soak our hot and tired feet in the refreshing (but chilly!) Colorado River. We found a nice vantage point from which to watch rafters negotiate the Lava Falls rapids, see videos:
Rafters hit the rapids:
After a long and gruelling ascent in 90+ degree heat (bring 1 GALLON of water each just for the way up!!), we arrived at the rim to nothing but the quiet buzz of crickets, the whir of bats overhead, and the soft glow of a 2/3 moon. Tasty dutch oven meals awaited us at the scenic red rock (Supai Group) Tuweep Campground, from which we took a stroll out to the rim the next morning. The final shot is a sideways glance at poor Colorado City on our way back to civilization.