Hiking the Grand Canyon


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!

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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!

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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.

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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!

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I was happy there were clouds…they made the scenery really stand out for the photographs!

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These two guys on the trail were the ones I met…

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I remember thinking it didn’t look that much farther…

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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.

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At almost 50 years old, I think I did pretty good!

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The mighty Colorado River!

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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!!

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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!

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I hope you enjoyed your virtual hike and encourage you to try it!  I was definitely empowered by the experience!

73 thoughts on “Hiking the Grand Canyon

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  5. What a great story and pictures… I was able to go to the south rim of the canyon for the first time this past May… Many of your photos including the bridge we say with our binoculars and telephoto lens… I have a few photos on my blog,, I still have so many to edit. Lovely story.. thanks for sharing.

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  6. Pingback: Photographing in and around the Southwest’s Four Corners | Kit Frost

  7. It’s on my bucket list .. together with 7 nights of Cirque in Las Vegas. Some amazing place – it’s difficult to get a grip over it’s gigantically through photos .. haven’t to be seen. One day and I’m not going to mention your photos again. *smile

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  8. Super Woman… that’s our Fabulous 50’s… I am happier doing this with you on this post than on the ground… It looks so magnificent and I would love to do it… but while Super Woman is there to do it for us and then to post her photos and experience, I would rather be a virtual hiker..

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    • I live for adventure. In fact, if I let myself, I’d be feeling a bit down right now because I want to be out adventuring, but instead, I know I should find a job. I’ll try to combine the two!!

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  9. Great for the long hike seven hours, yikes. I have been there, it was wonderful, stayed right there, someday I should post my husbands picture…him sitting on the side of the rocks, legs hanging over a ledge, scary. I love the Grand Canyon. They no longer do this, but I took my first and only helicopter ride over and in the canyon. Look forward to more of these adventures.

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  10. Fantastic trip, Sherry. Two things stood out beyond the beauty of the place, One was the little tunnel entrance to the bridge. That would be a bit unnerving for me. The other is the photo of the horse. Do you see the look in his eye? Sheer terror, probably because he’s going up that steep, narrow trail.

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    • It was a little weird walking through the tunnel…quite dark in the beginning. I know what you mean about the horse…I thought I was imagining it…but you saw it too! To change the subject, I have a question for you. If you noticed, I changed the theme of my blog. Do you like it better now or the old way?

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      • I love the header. The rest of the format … well, the font is a bit small, but my eyes aren’t great. I wouldn’t be able to read this size of font without my glasses, whereas some of the other themes have fonts that are not so tiny. The photos – you take beautiful photos and you should be able to display them bigger. (Look how much white space is wasted at the edges.) That’s my humble opinion. Your blog postings are great. You deserve to find a good theme that can showcase them to advantage. I’d keep looking if I were you.

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  11. Thanks for sharing your adventure. The Grand Canyon is a magical place that I love, and I have not hiked down to the bottom. I did watch a thunderstorm move from the south rim over to where I was on the north rim–and visited the south rim once when it was so foggy you could not see the canyon. Good days!

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