In the Grand Canyon, near the bottom of Nankoweap Canyon, overlooking the Colorado River, is a nicely-preserved, four-room granary. The Anasazi used the cliff dwelling-like structure 900 years ago to store food.

The Nankoweap Trail, which leads from the North Rim down to the general vicinity of the "cliff dwelling," has the longest distance, greatest elevation change, and probably the least amount of use/maintenance of any trail in the Grand Canyon. A 1996 article in Arizona Highways called it the "Scariest Trail in the Grand Canyon." Well...I find that overly dramatic, but the trail is definitely tough.

It took me three days of hiking plus two days of driving to make this trip. While working on the second edition of my book in early 2010, the north rim was closed much longer than usual due to an exceptionally harsh winter, my deadline was approaching, and I simply could not fit a five-day trip into my schedule. I had no choice but to cut the Nankoweap chapter. However, I replaced it with an all-new chapter about Snake Gulch, which is just north of the Grand Canyon and, to be completely honest, much more interesting from an archaeological point of view.

The granary at Nankoweap

View from the ruin