Big Ol' Canyon 2017-3-14
We decided to stop by the Grand Canyon and attempt to get one of the walk-up permits for corridor camping, which cannot be reserved in advance. We arrived on day one right before the backcountry office closed and got a number (#2) for the waitlist for the next day. At the backcountry office the following morning, at precisely 8am, we skipped all new comers and were given permits for the next day (#1 didn't show). Yay!!!
We killed time wandering about the rim listening to all the foreigners speaking different languages trying to guess what language was what. My favorite was one that I guessed was Norwegian, very unusual. There wasn't much to do but buy gifts and do hikes which didn't sound appealing so we spent the majority of the time talking/arguing about things, procrastinating packing our bags, and wishing their was a grocery store not over an hour away.
Then we started hiking. And it was awesome. Downhill was my favorite and there was tons of it with lots to look at. Every time you got to the bottom of one massive layer of canyon the edge revealed a difficult to believe series of more layers.
Sunset from the top.
Beginning the hike downwards.
A raven lands near the path and exchanges looks with Michelle.
Looking down at a series of many switchbacks to get further down.
Downwards layer after layer.
Careful not to slip.
Michelle carried the majority of the gear so I could take pictures.
Just a swan dive away.
Slight pause to eat Clif bars and such.
Mountain goat posing all majestically for a photo.
Close up of the bridge.
At the bottom of the canyon we discovered a very intimidating, fast moving muddy river, the Colorado. To Michelle's annoyance, I make fun of the vast majority of national park/forest warnings, the Colorado is one of the few exceptions. Just being on the bank felt intense... It's weird to see that much water flowing so fast and watching the fast moving back currents along the shore in places... Much respect Colorado.
Bright Angel Campground, on the other hand, was alongside the clear, gentle flowing Bright Angel Creek. The campground was beautiful and had trails along the creek. There are lodges a little further up at Phantom Ranch that are reservable for folk that don't want to have to lug a backpack down as well.
NPS building at the bottom of the canyon near Phantom Ranch.
Michelle walking the trail along the bottom of the canyon.
Awesome trail along the bottom.
Bright Angel Creek running along the trail.
Beautiful creek, lush trees along both sides, and where we camped along the right side.
Long exposure of the Colorado.
Michelle looking towards me, unimpressed.
Bright Angel Creek
Starting for the top the following day.
We took a different, longer, and supposedly more gradual trail on the way back up.
Deer walking towards us like it ain't no thing.
View getting close to the top.
The heroes of our story.
This was my first time hiking down the canyon and it has given me a much greater appreciation for the Grand Canyon. There is so much more than what is viewable from the top. And like the bus driver said when dropping us off at the trailhead, "It's 6 miles down and about 30 back up. You'll see what I mean."