Commentator Scott Thybony is no stranger to grueling desert hikes. He's trudged up and down many canyons and mountains in the Southwest, including one that "wasn't really there". In his latest Canyon Commentary, Thybony explains his journey to Spirit Mountain in the Mojave Desert.
Writer Scott Thybony has come across many unusual and mysterious things on his treks in the remote regions of the Grand Canyon. In this month's commentary, his discovery of a name etched into a rock leads him to the story of a doomed, grim expedition in the Arctic more than 100 years ago.
Hull Cabin is the oldest remaining cabin in the Grand Canyon region of the Kaibab National Forest. It was built 125 years ago by brothers William and Philip Hull - early ranchers, prospectors and guiding entrepreneurs. It's near the remnants of another cabin which belonged to John Hance, the first resident of the South Rim. And as commentator Scott Thybony says, between the sublime views and the deep solitude, it's not hard to see why these early pioneers set up shop where they did.
When astronauts began preparing for the first moon walk in 1969, NASA created a special place for them to train in Flagstaff. The "Sea of Tranquility", near Sunset Crater, was similar to the lunar landscape - with meteorite impact craters, lava flows and canyons. In his latest Canyon Commentary, Scotty Thybony takes us on a moonlight trip to northern Arizona's Sea of Tranquility.
Making oars for whitewater boats is a functional art form that not many people know how to do. But, Flagstaff river guide Brad Dimock does. He's been making - and rowing - boats in the Grand Canyon for decades, and long ago, even trained KNAU commentator Scott Thybony when he was a fledgling river guide. In his latest Grand Canyon Commentary, Thybony takes us to Brad Dimock's boathouse to learn more about his quest to build the perfect oar.
Before becoming a national park, the remote western part of the Grand Canyon was a place where a handful of ranchers - with true grit - struggled to earn a living. To make things a little more comfortable, they opened a winter camp deep within the canyon. It was known as "The Hotel" and remains an occasional refuge for hikers. In his latest Grand Canyon Commentary, Scott Thybony tells us about the night he spent at "The Hotel"
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act. It was a landmark conservation law that gave new protections to more than 100,000,000 acres of wilderness across the country. To celebrate the milestone, commentator Scott Thybony shares the story of his first wilderness experience in the Grand Canyon.
Wild burros have been living in the Grand Canyon for well over 100 years. They have a reputation as being ornery and stubborn...and destructive to the environment because they overgraze. Back in the 1980's, the Park Service tried to tackle the wild burro problem by allowing people to trap and relocate them before wildlife officials shot the rest. At least one burrow was captured. And, as commentator Scott Thybony tells us, that lucky burro went on to live a life that no one could have imagined.
Every experienced hiker, river runner and climber I know has made mistakes of one sort or another. Usually it takes a string of them to get into serious trouble, but even then some people manage to pull it off. Whether they do so on skill alone or pure luck is never clear. I once found myself deep in the Grand Canyon clinging to the side of a cliff, unable to move up or down.
Northern Arizona is full of river runners, many of whom take their dogs downriver with them. Whether it's the Verde or the Salt River, many a mutt has gone along for the ride. And though dogs aren't allowed on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon, commentator Scott Thybony says that doesn't mean it hasn't been done.