Sunday, July 22, 2012

Jacob Lake

We are approaching the halfway point in the season. Some are settling into a good routine while others are getting restless. It's a challenge to keep everyone satisfied in a seasonal position in a remote location. I have been fortunate in the Gift Shop to have very little turnover.
Two weeks ago Sherri and I hiked a portion of the Arizona Trail which goes through the National Park. This part of the trail is mostly flat and stays in the forest. The trees and clouds made for a comfortable hike of about 8 miles.

Last week we took the back road to Jacob Lake. Jacob Lake is 47 miles from the North Rim and it is the last outpost of civilization before entering the Kaibab Plateau in the Coconino National Forest. Forest road 22 is a good gravel road with few other vehicles. Our first stop was a turnoff to Dry Park Lookout. The tower rises out of the forest close to two hundred feet.

At the bottom is a very nice cabin where the fire observer lives. He was manning the tower when we got to the top and we had a nice conversation with him. He pointed out the landmarks which we could see and talked about living in such a unique location. He also said that Ed Abbey had manned this tower one year. The author Ed Abbey had also been a seasonal ranger at Organ Pipe Cactus national Monument where we spent the winter.
Here is a photo of the old cabin which is now used as storage. The next photo is north toward Kanab, the red hills around Kanab are visible.

We were glad we stopped and had a nice visit with fire watcher Bill. Driving on a few miles north we stopped at Lookout Canyon and took a short hike. We did not plan on hiking so we did not have gear, nor were we dressed for hiking, but we did have a nice walk in the woods.
After a beautiful drive we reached Jacob Lake. We have been through Jacob Lake many times and stopped for gas or their famous cookies. However, we have never been to the lake. The lake was named after Jacob Hamblin who was a late 1800's Mormon pioneer. These days the lake is no more than puddle in the middle of a meadow.

From where I took the picture of the "lake" is one of the earliest Forest Service buildings ever built.

This building was typical of the times, one half was used as a residence and the other side was the office. The caretakers were not in today but we did see the entire Ranger Station through the windows. It was a very enjoyable day and we did partake in the Jacob Lake cookies after we were back home.


  1. Nice Tour...Thanks!!

    Hard to believe you're halfway through the season already. Where are you heading once you are done?

  2. I like my job here at Mesa Verde, but I am spending the evenings making plans for where to go next. I am getting restless.