Grand Canyon Hike (and road trip)
We decided that since we were spending Thanksgiving down in Phoenix, we'd road trip it down there, stopping for a hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon on our way. The drive down took us through Moab and Monument Valley - all setting the stage for the canyon hike ahead. After spending a night (in a hotel) on the rim, we hiked down the South Kaibab trail to the bottom, spent a day resting down at the bottom in the Bright Angel campground, then hiked back out on day three via the Bright Angel trail back to the south rim. The hike was grueling both ways (probably more so going down than up) but it was absolutely beautiful! We lucked out on the weather - it was supposed to be in the mid-sixties in the canyon and forties on the rim - instead it was nearly 85 in the canyon and high sixties on the rim!
The Navajo Twins south of Moab, UT 26 miles north of Mexican Hat, UT Just outside of Mexican Hat, UT Above Monument Valley, UT Above Monument Valley, UT Above Monument Valley, UT The winding road we followed up towards Glen Canyon Monument Valley, Utah View from Desert View on the east side of the Grand Canyon The Desert View tower Sunset from the Grand Canyon Village Descending down the switchbacks of the South Kaibab trail Halfway down through the Coconino Sandstone formation The trail switchbacking down the Kaibab Formation Brian on the trail A sharp switchback through the Coconino Sandstone Smoke from a controlled burn fills the canyon east of us Looking up the trail to the south rim The well established trail behind us Skeleton Point, where we dropped below the Redwall Limestone The numerous switchbacks below Skeleton Point Note how the trail changes color from red to white - as we broke through the various layers of the canyon, the trail color reflected the current layer. Looking up at the Supai Group A mule train, ascending the trail with supplies The mule trains ascend the S. Kaibab trail and descend the Bright Angel trail - the opposite way that we went. Below The Tipoff, the trail wound around below the Tonto Layer Looking down on the campground and silver bridge from 1,000 feet above We"re still over an hour away from camp at this point... The Black Bridge (Kaibab Bridge) This bridge was completed in 1928 and spans more than 450 feet across the fast moving Colorado River (which is over 100 feet deep in spots below the bridge).
The bridge is about 80 feet above the low water line of the Colorado. Finally reaching camp The view from camp up to Skeleton Point The canyon rims were not visible from most spots deep in the valley. From Phantom Ranch and two spots along the Colorado, you could actually make out the South Rim. Looking westward down the Colorado The silver bridge (Bright Angel bridge) A half moon rises above the inner-canyon rim Our campsite To keep wildlife out of stuff, the National Park Service provided poles to hang our packs, and ammo cans to store our food. A view from the campground Our campsite - complete with a picnic table The campground Two hikers up on the South Kaibab trail, about 700 feet up A mule deer near our camp A mule deer near our camp The trail leading to camp What backpacking campsite is complete without a pay phone (and flush toilets) The black bridge The black bridge The black bridge The black bridge's south end terminates directly into the rock face with a tunnel The south rim, visible from about 0.5 miles north of our camp (in Phantom Ranch) Vertical rock layers and and intricate shadows in "The Box" up Bright Angel Canyon Brian and Lisa in "The Box" Looking up at Skeleton Point A mule deer about ten feet from camp Mmmmm....freeze dried Beef Stew... ...just look at all those nutrients! Just like Mom used to make! Oatmeal and a Jetboil - what else could a growing boy need? Breakfast before the hike out The south rim, from the Bright Angel trail The north rim from the Bright Angel trail The Bright Angel trail winding down below us The Bright Angel trail, highlighted in yellow, as it switchbacks up the canyon wall The trail winding below us Once we reached 1.5 miles below the rim, we encountered a LOT more people Still a mile below the rim with a lot of switchbacks left to go The trail winds to the Indian Gardens below The Coconino Sandstone wall alongside the trail Lisa points to where we camped