Two late-winter snowstorms blanketed the forested rim, cliffs and upper slopes of Grand Canyon during the past few weeks, raising hopes that the ongoing drought may have run its course. A combined three feet of fresh powder couldn’t have come at a better time as communities in northern Arizona prepare for an active wildfire season.
As with most Grand Canyon winter storms, the interplay of fog, rain, flurries, and heavy flakes were punctuated by the occasional view of the Canyon—oftentimes through a brief “window” in the clouds that tends to close as quickly as it opens. For the patient (and warmly-dressed) photographer, the rewards are many. Generally speaking the hikers and mule riders were less lucky. The trails were ice-covered and nearly impassable for at least the first mile below the frosty South Rim. True to form in springtime, the snow is all but melted in a matter of hours as the clouds have been replaced by the warm Arizona sun.