Shoshone Point is a long, narrow spit of rock jutting into the Grand Canyon.
This small but impressive Grand Canyon feature on the South Rim is 5 miles (8 KM) from Yavapai Lodge, along the east rim on Desert View Drive.
The small unmarked and vacant parking lot provides no evidence of the secret it holds. The only signage states the small parking area is for restricted group access. The gravel road into the forest is gated off but the map clearly indicates this is the one mile (1.6 KM) flat access to Shoshone Point.
This leisure day will aid recovery from yesterday's aggressive hike on the Hermit Trail, and prepare for tomorrow's much-anticipated trip into the Grand Canyon via the Grandview Trail.
The forest is damp and pleasantly aromatic. The hike in is a 20 minute one-way stroll to a well equipped camping area with barbecues, fire-pits, picnic tables, garbage bins and bathrooms.
This area is set aside for corporate or family gatherings and must be booked in advance, but there is no-one here today so the peaceful and relaxing campground is a particularly attractive location.
A well-marked trail leads the short distance onto Shoshone Point, at an elevation of 7,200 ft (2,195 m). Shoshone Point is a highly exposed, very slender promontory jutting out into the Grand Canyon.
This point is high risk for the general public. The end of the point is about 10 feet across, completely exposed, and surrounded by 3,000 feet (914 m) of vertical air. Not for everyone and not for anyone in wet or windy conditions.
A brisk, gusting breeze makes it difficult to hold the camera steady. Shoshone Point may not be a place for small children or anyone susceptible to vertigo.
Views across the Grand Canyon to the east and west are awe-inspiring. The sun is still low enough that colors remain fairly vibrant. When the sun is directly overhead, colors in the Grand Canyon wash out to pastels.
Time taken to enjoy the solitude, the smell of the forest and the sound of the breeze through the trees is incredibly relaxing. On the stroll back to the car a small herd of elk remain visible through the trees but sufficiently elusive to allow a good photo.
In mid-afternoon the walk east and south on the paved bicycle path from accommodation at Yavapai Lodge leads to the book store at Canyon View Visitor Center near Mather Point.
The Canyon View Visitor Center ironically does not provide a view of the Grand Canyon however there are spectacular vistas from nearby Mather Point.
Back at accommodation, Yavapai Lodge is abuzz with excitement. New neighbors are standing outside their room admiring the same family of elk witnessed earlier in the morning along the road to Shoshone Point.
Today’s neighbors are a young newlywed couple from Florida. They reveal their plan to hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon tomorrow. When their route is revealed there is an opportunity to provide information from a previous Grand Canyon hike into Phantom Ranch via the South Kaibab Trail and a return past Indian Gardens on the Bright Angel Trail. They have many questions.
The topographical map provides the basis of discussion for the features and nature of the route down the South Kaibab trail to Phantom Ranch with a return up the Bright Angel Trail. Time is taken to answer all their questions, as well as providing the young, enthusiastic couple with additional desert survival tips that will make their mission more comfortable.
There is great personal satisfaction in watching the apprehension leave their faces to be replaced with wide-eyed enthusiasm and excitement. Knowledge is power.