September 18-20, 2017

fall aspen SR67 Kaibab National Forest ArizonaFall on the Kaibab Plateau brings on many shades of gold and just a touch of red too.

yellow & green aspen 2000 Outlet burn along Cape Royal Road North Rim Grand Canyon National Park ArizonaWith three days off work I started with a drive on the Cape Royal Road where the fall colors were taking off.  The show was particularly brilliant in the 2000 Outlet burn with a carpet of young aspen among the few remaining standing dead pine trunks.  The neon colors were so bright they almost hurt my eyes.

yellow aspen against green along Cape Royal Road North Rim Grand Canyon National Park ArizonaWhile in some places only a few select branches or individual trees had turned to gold.  I thought fall was earlier than usual but as I looked back in my fall photo files it seems about right time wise.

Ravens Vista Encantada Cape Royal Road North Rim Grand Canyon National Park ArizonaA quick stop at Vista Encantada overlook to check on a particular clump of aspen along the rim which had not turned yet.  I did enjoy a pair of Ravens sharing secrets overhead.  Golden needles on the Ponderosa Pine  drop about every 5-7 years.

late light Angels Window Cape Royal Road North Rim Grand Canyon National Park Arizona

late light Wotans Throne Cape Royal North Rim Grand Canyon National Park ArizonaI timed the drive for late light and sunset at Cape Royal where more gold showed itself on the walls of the canyon at Angels Window and Wotans Throne.

sunrise rays Cape Royal North Rim Grand Canyon National Park Arizona

DSC_0559 first light Wotans Throne Cape Royal North Rim Grand Canyon National Park ArizonaEven woke up in time for the gold of sunrise on the horizon to light up Wotans Throne.

sunrise over canyon Cape Royal North Rim Grand Canyon National Park ArizonaFollowed by a pale gold on the horizon over the South Rim.

early light Wotans Throne Cape Royal North Rim Grand Canyon National Park ArizonaAnd patches of light on the far walls as Wotans continued to glow.

early light on temples & South Rim walls Cape Royal North Rim Grand Canyon National Park ArizonaAs the sun breaks free the canyon jumps to life slowly filling with brilliant light that chases away deep shadows.

Clarks Nutcracker Cape Royal Trail North Rim Grand Canyon National Park ArizonaAlong Cape Royal trail golden pinyon pine nuts entice the Clarks Nutcrackers by the dozens.

canyon Little Colorado River from Roosevelt Point Cape Royal Road North Rim Grand Canyon National Park ArizonaShades of red and gold fill the canyon from Walhalla overlook.  A cold wind blows foretelling the approach of winter.

foliage freeze aspen 2016 Fuller burn Cape Royal Road North Rim Grand Canyon National Park ArizonaOne year old aspen stand three feet tall among their frozen families from last year’s Fuller Fire near the Point Imperial turn.  (Foliage freeze is a unusual phenomenon during a fire that cooks the moisture from the tree and leaves without actually burning them.)

fall aspen 2000 Outlet burn Cape Royal Road North Rim Grand Canyon National Park ArizonaAnd the 2000 Outlet burn looked like a patchwork quilt as I neared the main highway from the Cape Royal Road.

bison meadow North Rim Grand Canyon National Park ArizonaAn hour before noon I headed out of the park and into the national forest seeing the bison-hybrids along the way.

fall aspen FR22 Kaibab National Forest ArizonaI love driving forest roads, slowly with frequent stops for the array of color show.  Began on FR22 for a few miles then north on FR462.

fall aspen FR462 Kaibab National Forest Arizona

looking up fall aspen FR462 Kaibab National Forest Arizona

fall aspen leaves on ground FR462 Kaibab National Forest ArizonaI paused to look into the forest.  I paused to look up in the air.  I paused to look close.  And I paused to look down on the forest floor.

fall aspen FR429 Kaibab National Forest ArizonaThen I drove on through the forest admiring the variety of colors.

fall aspen 2006 Warm burn FR429 Kaibab National Forest ArizonaMore gold in the Outlet burn along 429 and still the chill wind blew.

Back on pavement I headed to Jacob Lake for a late lunch and because I planned to shop in Kanab the next day found a place not far from Jacob Lake with a good internet signal and hunkered in out of the wind.

fall aspen SR67 Kaibab National Forest ArizonaOf course I had to stop for more fall colors on the way back home with so many wonderful groves of aspen to choose from.

fall aspen SR67 Kaibab National Forest ArizonaTruly think there were more aspens of gold and red in just two days.

looking up fall aspen SR67 Kaibab National Forest Arizona

fall aspen SR67 Kaibab National Forest ArizonaThe wind shook the leaves of the quaking aspen causing them to glitter and rattle like gold but also made it difficult to photograph so the foliage is blurry.

fall aspen SR67 Kaibab National Forest ArizonaRed-tail hawks soared overhead as I drove through the golden meadows.

fall maple Oza Butte North Rim Grand Canyon National Park ArizonaAnd just over the rim of Grand Canyon can also be seen patches of deep to brilliant red from the scattered maples.

fall maple leaves North Rim Grand Canyon National Park ArizonaTwo lonely maples grow along the road almost to the Lodge.

Seems gold with a little red are the colors of this season.

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