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Snow up at the rim, Grand Canyon

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After a total elevation change of around 8000 feet over close to 17 miles, you really get an appreciation for how long the Colorado River has been carving away at the landscape of the Grand Canyon. South Kaibab to Bright Angel.

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Grand Canyon National Park (South Rim)

My first glance down into this mind-blowing ancient wilderness of rock was amazing. It is sacred, powerful, inspiring and humbling. What more can be said about this wonder of the world… It’s impossible to convey in just one photo. It’s like a canvas of color and light that is always changing; and captivating from each perspective. These are just a handful of the 300 photos that I must have taken.

I spent the better part of 2 days in Grand Canyon National Park and had a really great, well-rounded experience…

My Itinerary

  • Arrived in Grand Canyon Village at 7:00AM and found plenty of parking at the Visitor Center
  • Walked the Rim Trail from Mather Point to the Bright Angel Trailhead
  • Attended a 45 minute History Talk with a Ranger
  • Took the Hermit’s Rest Road shuttle bus to “The Abyss” view point; hiked the Rim Trail back to Powell Point; took the shuttle back and transferred all the way to the Visitor Center.
  • Checked in at Mather Campground and made some dinner.
  • Bought some supplies at Market Plaza General Store.
  • Drove the motorscooter back to the Hermit’s Rest shuttle stop and road the shuttle to watch the sunset at Mohave Point.
  • Took the shuttle back to the scooter; drove back to camp and called it a night.
  • Woke up and got a shower for $2.00 at camper services building.
  • Got a hot chocolate and breakfast and Market Plaza General Store.
  • Drove back to the Visitor Center and walked the Rim Trail east for some more views.
  • Drove Desert View Drive toward Yaki Point; parked and walked to the South Kaibab Trailhead.
  • Hiked down the South Kaibab Trail to Ooh-Aah Point.
  • Returned to the van; drove east toward Grandview Point.
  • Drove east and stopped at Desert View to see the tower and eat some lunch.
  • Left the park headed northeast toward Page, AZ.
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southwest road trip pt 2 - grand canyon


happy to report that I’ve been to the colorado river, 4500’ below the south rim of the grand canyon.  What started as a 6 mile, fairly moderate day hike turned into a 20 mile epic.

After being denied a same-day backcountry permit (required to camp below the rim) one of our friends decided that he was going to put his feet in the colorado river, even if it meant it might kill him.

And it nearly did.

photos notes:

  1. It’s impossible, at least for me, to be at the grand canyon and not feel at peace. This place is powerful and humbling.
  2. looking down onto the bright angel trail, you can follow the trail as it switches back and forth down the steep walls, then descends into the valley and out of view.
  3. about halfway down to the river, the canyon was in full bloom. It’a sight that can’t be seen from up high on the rim and the spring aroma was perhaps the strongest out of anywhere I have been.
  4. we reached the colorado river at a fairly moderate pace of 3:40. The frigid water was a comfort to our swollen feet. The guy in the middle (american flag shirt) was the reason we pushed all the way to the river. About 15 mins after this photo was taken, the reality that we still had to hike OUT of the canyon began to hit home for him…
  5. ¾ of the way out of the canyon. Light was fading fast and the last ¼ of the trail is the steepest by far. Ryan can be seen sitting on the trail, a common occurrence for the guy who made no preparations at all for a hike like this. Step by step, he slowly willed himself up and out of the canyon about 90 mins after the sun had set. What a day.
  6. The next day was decidedly less strenuous and we all had a relaxing day at camp cooking over the campfire.
  7. Dinner at camp.
  8. Carl outside of his “campulance”
  9. The ambulance parked early morning in the Kaibab Natl Forest just east of the park.