The following is a transcript of the narration for this panorama location. To watch and listen to the narrated panorama, enter the project here at this location and then press the play button.
Some places just beg you to stop, drop your pack, take off your shoes, and enjoy the view. Panorama Point, just a short distance down the South Kaibab Trail from the rim of the inner canyon at the Tipoff, is just such a place. The bottom of the Hakatai Shale, just behind us, has a crumbly, soft surface easy on bare feet and your pack. The top of the Bass Formation, at your feet, has formed stair steps ready for a nice sit down, with a sheer cliff just a few yards away opening up a tremendous panoramic view.
We still can’t see Phantom Ranch, hidden just around the corner in Bright Angel Canyon, but we are getting our first views of the Black Bridge, built in 1928, and the Silver Bridge, built in the 1960’s to carry the trans-canyon pipeline across the river. We see the end of Bright Angel Creek flowing into the Colorado River, and Bright Angel Campground spreading along its western bank. And above us we have fine views of the rim, including panorama points on the South Rim stretching from Mather Point to Hopi Point, and all the way to Bright Angel Point on the North Rim, over 10 miles away.
And this entire area, along the river near Phantom Ranch, just begs to be explored. Continue down the South Kaibab Trail and you will eventually cross over the Black Bridge, where the trail continues on the far side of the river as the North Kaibab Trail, curving around the corner and taking you to Phantom Ranch, and, eventually, after another 14 miles, to the North Rim not far from Bright Angel Point. You start out on the North Kaibab Trail with panorama points at the Black Bridge and at the mouth of Bright Angel Creek, but there will be another 30 panorama points along your journey to the North Rim.
Or, like most hikers who come down the South Kaibab Trail, you can cross back over the river from Phantom Ranch on the Silver Bridge, following the River trail for a mile downstream, just around the bend, to the foot of the Bright Angel Trail at Pipe Creek Beach, which you then follow for 8 miles back to the South Rim, right in Grand Canyon Village.
Or , if you are willing to leave the confines of the main corridor, you can hike up the North Kaibab Trail for three fourths of a mile beyond Phantom Ranch to the start of the Clear Creek Trail, and then follow it east, first back up to an overlook with a great view of Phantom Ranch from above, and then up to the base of the Tapeats Sandstone cliffs, just across the river and level with us here. You can then traverse just below the cliffs for half a mile, with 3 panorama spots, each with views of the river just as fine as you see here, along the way.
Finally, if you are fit and adventurous, you can scramble up the extremely steep Utah Flats route, and enjoy another fine view back down to Phantom Ranch from the other side of Bright Angel Canyon, and then on up, through the giant , grand piano-sized blocks of stone in Piano Alley, to a notch in the Tapeats Sandstone you can scramble up through to reach another fine view across to the South Rim and back down to the Colorado River.
Or just pause this narration and bounce around on your own, following orange dots and wandering among all the panoramas packed into this bit of the inner canyon.
When you are ready to move on, you can head up the South Kaibab Trail just a short distance to the rim of the inner canyon at the Tipoff, where you can turn off onto the Tonto Trail for journeys deep within inner the canyon far to the east or west. Or head down the trail to another viewpoint halfway down to the river, where the rocks tell the tale of a giant supercontinent, ripped apart 700 million years ago.