Hiking to the bottom of the Grand Canyon is another “must do” if you love hiking like I do! My adventure was back in 2007 and although I hiked down solo…I met a couple of guys to chat with along the way. That’s part of the fun of going solo…you meet more people that way! Having just gone through a divorce, it was a much needed self-esteem booster (not meeting the guys…the feeling of accomplishment derived from the hike)! The first night at the Park I had a restful night of sleep at the park’s premier lodge… the “El Tovar“. I don’t remember if I took this photo at sunset or the following morning at sunrise…but I think it was beautiful!
Early the following morning, while waiting at the Bright Angel Lodge, I was very fortunate to hear my name being called from the waiting list for openings to stay at the “Phantom Ranch“, which is located at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. I had brought a lightly packed backpack for an overnight, so I started the descent!
It was so exciting to finally see the Grand Canyon and especially to be hiking it! I took the South Kaibab Trail which is almost 7 miles, with lots of switchbacks because of how steep it is. It was September, so the weather was great! It was cool–38 degrees at night, at the top–and warm when I got to the bottom–80 degrees. If I remember correctly, I think it took about 4 – 5 hours to reach the bottom.
I love this photo of the Indian guide. I was told most likely the reason he wouldn’t look at me while I was taking his photo was that he believed his soul would be stolen!
I was happy there were clouds…they made the scenery really stand out for the photographs!
These two guys on the trail were the ones I met…
I remember thinking it didn’t look that much farther…
Although I was hiking at a fast pace, it seemed to take a long time to reach the bridge! If you look on the right of the photo, there’s a hole in the side of the mountain. That’s where you enter to walk across the bridge.
At almost 50 years old, I think I did pretty good!
The mighty Colorado River!
Phantom Ranch was a wonderful experience! I stayed in the women’s bunk room that housed 10 of us. The food was great and I had some interesting conversations. There was one guy that stopped long enough to drink some water. He was one of the crazy people who start off at 4am with a head lamp on…jogging down from the North Rim to the bottom…up to the South Rim and then back down and up again to the North! Unbelievable!!
I chose to hike back up via the 9.3 mile Bright Angel trail. I think it took about 6-7 hours. I didn’t hike with anyone going up. I remember passing a man who had a stick and was hobbling. He had hurt his foot. I offered to let him have one of my hiking poles, but he declined.
I didn’t take many photos on the way up…but this one was pretty!
I hope you enjoyed your virtual hike and encourage you to try it! I was definitely empowered by the experience!
- Jeff Masters Reports The Coldest Temperature In Grand Canyon History (gds44.wordpress.com)
- G Adventures – Part 2 – Grand Canyon National Park, AZ (travelpod.com)
- Grand Canyon- South Kaibab Trail (ardunward.com)
- More canyon floods on tap (azdailysun.com)
- Photo Of The Day: Grand Canyon After The Storm (gadling.com)
- Grand Canyon Carved Out in Dinosaur Days? (theepochtimes.com)
- Grand Canyon South Coach Excursions – Vegas Excursions (grandcanyonsouthrimbustours.wordpress.com)
- Planning a Grand Canyon Hiking Trip (epicatravel.com)