Sedona Westerners in the Red Rock News

November 19, 2010

Natures Beauty and History combined at Grandview Trail

 


by Marion Hadji-Agha

The “Mustangs”, the Thursday hiking group of the Sedona Westerners, met at Sedona’s Posse Ground way before dawn on a crisp Thursday morning for the collective drive to the east entrance of the Grand Canyon. A wonderful sunrise was enjoyed en route and after the drive of more than two hours and a short stop, they arrived at the Grandview trailhead. The temperatures were still quite chilly despite the early morning sun and everyone was ready and anxious to begin their descent into the Grand Canyon.


Mustangs enjoying the splendor of the Grand Canyon. Photo by Cathy Lutz.

Bundled up in scarves, gloves, earmuffs and warm jackets all hikers followed their hike leader Mike Holmes and began the over three mile trek down the steep Grandview trail. Mike told everyone of this hike being one of his favorite. Well, it did not take long to find out why. The “views” were indeed absolutely “grand”.

Posted at the trailhead is a quote from C.O. Hall, a Grand Canyon visitor in 1895: “No language can fully describe, no artist paint the beauty, grandeur, immensity and sublimity of this most wonderful production of Nature’s great architect. (Grand Canyon) must be seen to be appreciated.”

Following an ancient Indian route, Grandview Trail was skillfully rebuilt by miner and prospector Pete Berry. In 1890 Pete Berry staked the Last Chance copper claim on Horseshoe Mesa at 3,000 feet below the east rim of the Grand Canyon. The Last Chance Mine began a 17-year flurry of activity beginning at the Grandview Point. For a while the Last Chance Mine, also known as Grandview Mine, thrived. In 1893 they began hauling out ore by mule. Although the ore was over 70% pure copper and won a prize at the Columbian Exposition in Chicago, the mine did not prove profitable. Thus began Grand Canyon tourism. Entrepreneur Pete Berry turned to tourists for profits. At first he offered crude lodging in a cabin at Grandview and began guiding eager, mule-riding patrons into the canyon. In 1897 he built a two-story log hotel followed by a large frame building. In 1901 Berry and his partners sold the mine to the Canyon Copper Company, who operated it until 1907. The mine was then acquired by William Randolph Hearst, whom sold it to the National Park Service in 1940.

While hiking down Grandview trail the temperature warmed up and off came the layers of warm clothing. The most deserved lunch break was at a scenic overlook with far ranging vistas on Horseshoe mesa. Some hikers explored various mining relics, from the ruins of Pete Berry’s cabin, to mining implements and even rusting tin cans. Everyone became more aware of the historic significance of this fascinating era in the Grand Canyon.

After lunch, the well rested hikers began their ascent back to Grandview Point. The group could not stop being awed by the splendor of nature plus the construction of a trail painstakingly built in 1890 by miners and mules. And of course, the National Park Service is now keeping the Grandview trail in good repair.

Hiking back out of the canyon, everyone came at their own comfortable pace and the minute Grandview Point was reached, a sign of accomplishment and pleasure was visible on all Sedona Westerners hiker’s faces.

The Westerners always welcome new members. If you are interested in joining the club, log onto our website: www.sedonawesterners.org. You may also join by attending a monthly meeting, our next one will be on Thursday, December 9th, beginning at 7p.m. at the Jewish Community of Sedona and the Verde Valley Center, 100 Meadowlark Drive, Sedona.