Len & Eric's Grand (Canyon) Adventure

Discussion in 'Backpacking' started by Litehiker, Nov 10, 2017.

  1. Litehiker

    Litehiker Well-Known Member

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    Just back yesterday after climbing up from the Grand Canyon's Indian Garden campsite and driving to my place in the 'Vegas valley.

    Len and I checked off a bucket list North Rim-to-South Rim backpack this week. We started Monday around 10 AM after a 4 1/2 hour shuttle from the South Rim. As we started down it was 41 F. so we donned our rain parkas but less than an hour later as we descended the North Kaibab Trail we had to take them off, and our gloves.

    It seemed that every bend revealed a new and spectacular view. And this was true of the entire hike. That afternoon we pulled into Cottonwood campground, set up our tents, mattresses and sleeping bags. Always our first order of business - just in case the weather turns. And it did turn just after we had cleaned up our dinner utensils. Light rain drove us into our tents around 4:30 PM and it did not stop until 7 AM the next morning, just in time for breakfast.

    Then we were off and down again to Phantom Ranch and Bright Angel campground as the clouds dispersed and the sun came out.
    At the Phantom Ranch canteen I scored a much appreciated "Bright Angel IPA" (True story. I have the can label on my water bottle.).
    On to our campsite to set up tents and cook dinner and marvel at the scenery.

    Off Wednesday to cross the Colorado River suspension footbridge and on up, up to our last camp at Indian Garden. As at the previous campsites the NPS generously provided us with a picnic table, and at this camp also a roofed shelter over the table!

    Thursday was off and up (and up) to the South Rim. We made it to the top around 1 PM and finally to a pizza at a nearby food court after picking up my car at the parking lot.

    So this may sound like just a lot of down-and-up hiking, which it was. But it was SO much more. The wildlife we saw like a big 10 point buck on the Kaibab Trail, fantastic vistas, precipetous trails with potentially fatal drops, fantastic vistas, friendly hikers and backpackers, fantastic vistas, mule trains of people on their own trips, fantastic vistas - well, you get the idea.

    This was my second Grand Canyon backpack but first time on the Kaibab Trail. Thank you Len for inviting me on this trip. We balanced each other out on descent and ascent paces and still managed to hike together, sore knees, sore muscles etc., all the while thoroughly enjoying this "grand" place.

    Eric B.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2017
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  2. Len Backus

    Len Backus Administrator Staff Member

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    Eric, we sure had a great time. What a place that is!

    Here is the first image I've had time to prepare for posting since I got back last night. I'll post more images at a later date.

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    Grand-Canyon-rim-to-rim-4836.jpg
    The end of our hike - - at the South Rim.
     
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  3. Len Backus

    Len Backus Administrator Staff Member

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    North Rim at the Kaibab Trail Head.

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    This was our first night's campsite at Cottonwood Campground...just before the all-night rain began.

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  4. Len Backus

    Len Backus Administrator Staff Member

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    This mule deer was kind of spooked up the trail toward us by some horsemen.
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    This is Bright Angel Campground where we stayed the second night. It is right next to Phantom Ranch at the bottom of the canyon.

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  5. Len Backus

    Len Backus Administrator Staff Member

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    Grand-Canyon-rim-to-rim-4742.jpg
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  6. Len Backus

    Len Backus Administrator Staff Member

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    Just an amazing trip.
     
  7. Litehiker

    Litehiker Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for posting these great photos Len. But as your said on the hike, even the best photos don't do it justice. The sense of huge, spectacular vistas of amazing beauty just keeps your head on a swivel all the time.

    And again, I remember you saying that just one of the thousands of features of the Grand Canyon, plopped down somewhere else, like, say, Iowa, would bring tens of thousands of tourists.

    Even at our moderate pace, viewing and photographing all the wonderful sights was like drinking from a fire hose. Every bend in the trail was a new and fascinating vista.

    Eric B.
    BTW, I'm getting on a photo cloud service so I can post my own photos here. And too, you HAVE to post the "Running Ladies" photo and list it as "wildlife". ;o)
     
  8. Don A Parsons

    Don A Parsons Well-Known Member

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    I did the G Canyon many years ago.

    One feels small with in the grandeur of its mass, that consumes our human spirit.

    It is places like this that free our souls.
    Only we will know this once we except who we are in that moment of time.

    Western Canada Pal Don.
     
  9. Len Backus

    Len Backus Administrator Staff Member

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    Eric is referring to some "trail runners" who were speeding downhill as we were going uphill. They reminded me of my daughter Barbara who hiked the Teton Crest Trail with me last summer...and who ran another half-marathon back home just about the time Eric and I were in the Grand Canyon.

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  10. Az_speed

    Az_speed New Member

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    Just curious, what did your packs weigh?
     
  11. Len Backus

    Len Backus Administrator Staff Member

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  12. feelinducky

    feelinducky Well-Known Member

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    I did south rim to the north rim and back to the south rim when I was 13 years old in the boy scouts. I still remember that hike. I recognize the campground and some of your pictures especially the one where Bright angel trail goes over the plateau and disappears. The canyon is a very special place. Thanks for sharing.
     
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  13. longrangehunterII

    longrangehunterII Well-Known Member

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    Great Write-up guys! Loved the pics Len!
     
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  14. Viper6

    Viper6 Well-Known Member

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    Beautiful country and photos. I liked the mule deer pic!
     
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