The Grand Canyon - North Rim and Toroweap

dave6253dave6253 Major grinsPosts: 229Registered Users Major grins
edited May 28, 2012 in Journeys
I was lucky enough to make two motorcycle/photographic expeditions to The Grand Canyon this summer.
Once with my 10 year old son and again with a fellow motorcyclist/photographer. The trips were 5 days each.

I'm just an amatuer photographer who started really trying to learn only 2 years ago with my first DSLR.
I have mostly lurked here on dgrin trying to learn as much as possible.
These are some of my favorite photographs from the 2 journeys.

1. Meet Matthew, My 10 Year Old Son

I shot the first trip with a Pentax K7. The second trip with the Pentax K5.
While on the bike I use a Panasonic ZS5 Point-n-Shoot.

2. The Asphalt Zips Past

3. Riding Across the Navajo Nation

$. We stop for a break and walk out onto the historic Navajo Bridge...

5. ...which offers a spectacular view of Marble Canyon and the Colorado River.

6. The Vermillion Cliffs Pass By at 70 MPH

7. Approaching the Kaibab Plateau While Riding Into The Sun

8. The Vermllion Cliffs

9. Highway 67 on the Kaibab Plateau passes through beautiful forests and green meadows.

On the afternoon of day 2 we ride out to Angel's Window for sunset.

10. We posed for this shot at Roosevelt Viewpoint.

11. Angel's Window, The layer of grey on the far side of the canyon was smoke from a fire near Bellemont, AZ.

12. The Colorado River

13. 60 miles away is the highest point in Arizona, Humphrey's Peak, barely visible through the smoke.

On day 3 we were lucky to score a backcountry permit required to camp at Point Sublime.
Camping at Point Sublime has ben a dream of mine for 4 years. I've made 3 other trips here
hoping to ride out to Point Sublime, but it was closed each time. It was supposed to be closed
again for a prescribed burn, but the fire was delayed because of high winds leaving the trail
open for a couple extra days. I had not planned to ride such a rough trail with my son on the
back, but I couldn't ignore the great opportunity. The area was closed for the rest of the season.

14. Prized Possession

15. Point Sublime Trail Near the Tiyo Point Trailhead

16. Almost There After 19 Miles

20. Point Sublime

21. I found wildflowers to shoot near our campsite.

22. Fuzzy Flower

23. Our Camp at the Edge of The Grand Canyon at Point Sublime

24. Basking in the Last Sliver of Light

25. Golden Sunlight

26. Humphrey's Peak was more than 60 miles away.

27. Pre-dawn at Point Sublime

28. The Western View From Point Sublime

29. The Colorado River from Point Sublime

30. Colorado River

31. A View From Point Sublime

32. Just like the viewpoint, Point Sublime Trail lived up to the name.

33. Sublime!

34. Father and Son on the Point Sublime Trail

35. Kaibab Gravel

36. Matthew saunters in for supplies. Fredonia, AZ

37. Matthew personalized the KTM.

38. On day 4 we ride out to Toroweap and set up camp.

39. Matthew composes a shot of Lava Falls.

40. Toroweap is my favorite view of The Grand Canyon, and in all of Arizona.

41. Campsite 7, Toroweap Campground

42. Fire & Starlight

43. Matthew and the KTM at Cliff Dwellers, AZ

44. Dust Devil

45. Matthew Shoots Marble Canyon

46. Long Road Home

47. Happy to be home.

Whew! That's a bunch of photos for one post. I'll be back with the pictures from the second trip if anyone is interested. Thanks for looking.


  • dgebbendgebben Big grins Posts: 69Registered Users Big grins
    edited October 1, 2011
    What amazing shots. I love # 2 but then again I love them all. Just showed my wife your grand canyon; it's on my bucket list!
  • cmkultradomecmkultradome Major grins Posts: 516Registered Users Major grins
    edited October 2, 2011
    I really enjoyed this series of shots, just beautiful. Looks and sounds like an awesome trip. You have a very lucky 10 year old son.

  • dave6253dave6253 Major grins Posts: 229Registered Users Major grins
    edited October 2, 2011
    Second Journey
    I planned to show my buddy around to some of the remote backcountry and ride to some spots I haven't seen before.
    The day before the trip my buddy's off-road capable KTM broke down. He was able to borrow a street bike from his girlfriend.
    So I switched over to my sport-tourer and we decided to stay mostly on the asphalt at the North Rim.

    1. Avoiding thunderstorms would be the theme of this ride. We were mostly successful.

    2. Mingus Mountain with Sedona Across the Valley

    3. Our Campsite Near Sunset Crater National Monument

    4. Sunrise Shot from the Tent

    5. Wildflower Greets the Sunshine

    6. Wupatki National Monument

    7. Navajo Bridge and Marble Canyon Again

    8. The Colorado River from Cape Royal

    9. Sunlight in the Canyon

    10. Cape Royal

    11. Cape Royal

    12. Cape Royal Crowd at Sunset

    13. I almost didn't notice the pink rain behind us at Cape Royal.

    14. Cape Royal with a Thunderstorm on the South Rim

    15. Cape Royal Lightning

    16. Sunrise over Roaring Springs Canyon from Bright Angel Point

    17. Sunrise at Bright Angel Point

    18. My Friend on His Perch at Bright Angel Point

    19. Shooting Back

    20. Bright Angel Point

    21. My Buddy on My Bike, Cape Royal Road

    22. Kaibab Plateau Meadow

    23. Thunderstorms from Cape Final

    24. Double Rainbow from Cape Final

    25. Kaibab National Forest

    26. Aspen

    27. Wildflowers

    28. Weed

    29. Evidence of Rain

    30. Road Home

    31. At Roadside Stop to Celebrate My Bike Reaching 50,000 Miles

    32. Transportation

  • dave6253dave6253 Major grins Posts: 229Registered Users Major grins
    edited October 2, 2011
    dgebben wrote: »
    What amazing shots. I love # 2 but then again I love them all. Just showed my wife your grand canyon; it's on my bucket list!

    Thanks Dan. The Grand Canyon should be on everyone's Bucket List. There are still so many remote viewpoints I've yet to see that it's still not checked off my list. I've been to The Grand Canyon many times, but found it difficult to shoot. I was finally blessed with some nice light.
    I really enjoyed this series of shots, just beautiful. Looks and sounds like an awesome trip. You have a very lucky 10 year old son.


    Thanks Stephanie. I agree Matthew is a lucky kid. I never got to travel when young. To make sure he always remembers the trip I put together an 80 page photo book on I ordered 2 copies. One for me and one for him. It was easy to do. Check it out here:

    I shared many more photos and the complete story of each trip as a Ride Report on Adventure Rider. If anyone wants more here are the links: The Best of the Grand Canyon with My Son & April Turns Fifty and Gets Viola-ted: Grand Canyon North Rim
  • MitchellMitchell Major grins Posts: 3,503Registered Users Major grins
    edited October 3, 2011
    Great shots. I just returned from the North Rim and enjoyed your take on this area.
  • FlyNavyFlyNavy John L Posts: 1,349Registered Users Major grins
    edited October 3, 2011
    Excellent work and a lifetime of priceless memories for you and your son.
  • coldclimbcoldclimb Outside the Lines Posts: 1,169Registered Users Major grins
    edited October 3, 2011
    Awesome stuff, thanks for sharing!
    John Borland
  • dave6253dave6253 Major grins Posts: 229Registered Users Major grins
    edited October 5, 2011
    Thanks for the looking and for the nice comments Mitchell, FlyNavy, and ColdClimb!thumb.gif I appreciate it.
  • lynnmalynnma Moddess Emeritus Homosassa, Florida (Paradise)Posts: 5,163Registered Users, Retired Mod
    edited October 6, 2011
    dave6253 wrote: »
    Thanks for the looking and for the nice comments Mitchell, FlyNavy, and ColdClimb!thumb.gif I appreciate it.
    Great series and what a wonderful memory you will always have iloveyou.gif they grow up far too quickly. I backpacked around Mnt Rainier with my son when he was a teenager and I still smile when I think of it. He's 41 now. Well done clap.gif
  • davemj98davemj98 Fiat Lux Posts: 225Registered Users Major grins
    edited October 8, 2011
    Nicely done sir!thumb.gif
    Alpha 99 & VG, 900x2 & VG; 50mm1.4, CZ135 1.8; CZ16-35 2.8, CZ24-70 2.8, G70-200 2.8, G70-400, Sony TC 1.4, F20, F58, F60.
  • captnemocaptnemo Depth defying Posts: 166Registered Users Major grins
    edited October 8, 2011
    Really does look like a great trip. Good pics and I can certainly appreciate the motorcycle part as I love riding, though that's a pretty long trip, Hope you got a good seat :)
  • SamSam San Jose CA Posts: 7,418Registered Users Major grins
    edited October 9, 2011
    What a great trip to be able to take with your son!!!!

    I think many of the images you took, contrary to your humble tale of only an armature, are way good!!!

  • dave6253dave6253 Major grins Posts: 229Registered Users Major grins
    edited October 14, 2011
    Thanks for all of the comments everyone!
  • Frank BFrank B Beginner grinner Posts: 4Registered Users Beginner grinner
    edited January 3, 2012
    I just found this. Very nice shots. I was just at the south rim a couple of weeks ago, and really want to get up to the north side, even more so after seeing your pictures. Thanks.
  • QarikQarik Krazy Korean Posts: 4,959Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 3, 2012
    holy crap..some damn good stuff in there. #9 and #10 blew me away!
    D700, D600
    14-24 24-70 70-200mm (vr2)
    85 and 50 1.4
    45 PC and sb910 x2
  • jasonstonejasonstone Fire& Grin-stone Posts: 735Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 5, 2012
    some awesome shots in there! love the b&w shot of the boots as the tarmac zips by too :) great sharpness for a p&s at speed
  • BeemerChefBeemerChef Food colors on 2 wheels Posts: 265Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 6, 2012
    Toroweap is my all time favorite!!! Cannot even sleep when there... raw, powerful and so much more.
    LOve the fact that your ride with your Son. You should meet "Adventure Trio". Terry, Sandy and their 10 year old "Jack". They are my heroes...
    Great Photography...
    Be well... Ara and Spirit
    The Oasis of my Soul our Blog and Life Therapy...
    My Gallery in progress...
    On the road, homeless, with my buddy Spirit...
  • dave6253dave6253 Major grins Posts: 229Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 6, 2012
    Thanks for the new comments! Much appreciated.

    Ara, I've followed you and Spirit for years, mainly through Your photography gallery is outstanding. I've read the Adventure Trio RRs, but have not met them.
  • jthomasjthomas Major grins Posts: 454Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 15, 2012
    Beautiful photos, Dave, of one of my favorite parts of the USA. You got some wonderful light to work with, and you used it well.

    I spent quite a bit of time in that area in September 2010 and May 2011. I have always wanted to get to Toroweap, but haven't made it yet. One of these days!

    I especially like #8. I have a nice photo of that scene, but not with that spectacular light!
  • babowcbabowc Casual amateur photog Posts: 510Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 18, 2012
    Beautiful shots and I love the journey!
    I will have to visit Grand Canyon one day!
    -Mike Jin
    16/2.8, f1.4G primes, f2.8 trio, 105/200 macro, SB900.
    It never gets easier, you just get better.
  • mr peasmr peas Drag that shutter! Posts: 1,392Registered Users Major grins
    edited January 27, 2012
    Love the series. What a fun adventure!
  • AeneasAeneas Seeker Posts: 9Registered Users Beginner grinner
    edited February 2, 2012
    Much enjoyed viewing your trip, Dave. Time is running out for me to see the Grand Canyon and surrounds. Your son will always remember your trip together. You obviously both get on well together.
    Thanks for sharing.
  • bhambham Major grins Posts: 1,294Registered Users Major grins
    edited May 22, 2012
    Some great images, thanks for sharing.
    "A photo is like a hamburger. You can get one from McDonalds for $1, one from Chili's for $5, or one from Ruth's Chris for $15. You usually get what you pay for, but don't expect a Ruth's Chris burger at a McDonalds price, if you want that, go cook it yourself." - me
  • DavidTODavidTO Mod Emeritus Thousand Oaks, CAPosts: 19,160Registered Users, Retired Mod Major grins
    edited May 26, 2012
    Golden years with you and your son. Nice.

    I love #2.
    Moderator Emeritus
    Dgrin FAQ | Me | Workshops
  • NikolaiNikolai Darth SLR Posts: 19,035Registered Users Major grins
    edited May 26, 2012
    Awesome stuff Dave! Good memories, too :-)
    "May the f/stop be with you!"
  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter western IndianaPosts: 14,443Super Moderators moderator
    edited May 28, 2012
    Wow, what great trips, and great shots to go with the narrative. This trip report brought back a lot of memories for me, and I mountain biked the North Rim in 1994 for about 85 miles, and spent a week end at Torowaep in July of 2009 in a 4 wheeler. Both were great trips.

    Ride safely.
    Pathfinder -

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
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