This panorama was photographed on February 13, 2010. The following is a transcript of the narration for this panorama. To listen to the narration, enter the project at this location and press the play button.
The South Kaibab Trail, at this point, has descended about half way down through the Supai Formation. We are just above the second major set of cliffs within the Supai, formed by the Manakacha Formation.Though the Manakacha cliffs look imposing off to the east from here, the South Kaibab trail builders blasted right through them, and the trail will pass through them without a switchback and hardly any change in grade.
The character of the canyon has begun to change. We are slipping away from O’Neill Butte, and our view of the Esplanade Sandstone cliffs near its top will soon disappear. We are also getting our last full view of Cedar Ridge in its entire length from the O’Neill Butte saddle all the way up to Yaqui Point. There is plenty of snow higher up on this winter day. The snow extends right down to the top of the Redwall Limestone cliffs in the shadows formed by the north face of Yaqui Point, but here in the sun on the east side of O’Neill Butte the snow is gone. Snow usually does not accumulate below the top of the Redwall Limestone, which marks the boundary between the cooler upper canyon and the hot desert areas below.
The cedar trees that were prevalent higher up are beginning to thin out, and a few blackbrush shrubs are starting to appear. The sea of blackbrush down on the Tonto Platform, where it becomes the dominant plant, gives the Tonto the gray color we see from above. Boulders are strewn about here everywhere, as we usually see within the sloping areas of the Supai. I hopped around and over quite a few of them picking my way down to this spot, just some thirty yards off the trail. It was the old cedar tree that drew me down here, with the promise of an interesting angle looking through its dead limbs back up to the top of O’Neill Butte.
Heading up the trail from here, we’ll pick out way back to the trail, and then work our way up though a couple of switchbacks to a panorama point on the saddle between O’Neill Butte and Cedar Ridge. Heading down the trail, also after we pick our way back, we will slowly but steadily curve around the east face of O’Neill Butte, down to one more panorama point within the Supai with a fine view of Skeleton Point.