Sunday, June 07, 2015

Canyon's Bright Angle Trail

A day hike into Grand Canyon affords an unparalleled experience. You can hike down all the way to Colorado river from Canyon Village, but beware: Grand Canyon is an extreme environment! As park rangers say "going down in optional, but coming up is mandatory." Plan to take twice as long to hike up as it took to hike down. The picture shows a point along the way as we trekked down on Bright Angel trail. We could not make it all the way down to Colorado river, because that could take 6 miles each way and descent of some 3,000 ft. Instead we just made it to about the lower tunnel and close to the rest house which is about 1.5 miles and some 1,120 ft descent. It took us about 2 hours roundtrip.
One of these days I plan to go all the way down to the river, and maybe camp down there for the night and then climb back up the next day. This would be excellent exercise! So we started the Grand Canyon Visitor Center where we parked in parking lot B. We took the blue bus to Grand Canyon Village. From there we took the red line to the first stop at Hermits point, then we stopped at different points which were Trailview Overlook, then Maricopa point, then Powell point, then Hopi point, then Mohave point, then The Abyss, then Monument Creek Vista, then Pima point, and finally Hermits Rest which is at the end of the red line. Each point offered a different view of the canyon, and some offered a view of the Colorado river. The scenes are out of this world, and the sound of silence makes you stand in awe before this natural wonder. We wanted to watch the sunset but we were tired and decided to leave half an hour earlier before the rush hour. We stopped at a famous steakhouse near the park where we had dinner, and as a bonus we watched fantastic views of the canyon on a large screen at the restaurant that showed close up shots taken by helicopter of the river and parts of the canyons that we could only see from faraway. The weather was moderate and little chilly at night, and there was snow traces along the way from Flagstaff all the way to the park. We enjoyed it very much. One could easily spend a few days in this wonderful park to really enjoy it. This was the South Rim by the way. I would like to visit the North Rim one day, and stay there for a week. I wish we had more time to fully enjoy the South Rim, but we had great time in this one day as it is.