This has to be one of the most difficult posts yet. I guess our photos just don’t do it justice. I’m still not sure that the Grand Canyon is real to be honest. I think it looks like a backdrop in a movie studio.
We decided to hike the Rim to Rim Trail. Starting at the North Rim and finishing at the South. We camped at Cottonwood and then Bright Angel Campground. The scenery was spectacular and everything was so much greener than expected. Apparently it was monsoon season. It only rained (and thunder stormed) briefly once while we were there and we were all rugged up in Oscar. It was real chilly at night at the top of the canyon and significantly warmer at the bottom.
It’s definitely not your typical backcountry trip. It’s a very busy trail, although nothing compared to the crowds at the top. People book this hike months in advance, however they also have a small number of permits set aside for walk-ins. This meant that our options were somewhat limited. We bummed around for a couple of days sorting out our permits. In Tahoe a park ranger said to us “you have the best plan, which is no plan”. This was definitely the case here. We did the 37km/23mile hike in three days, without any side trips. It meant that we only had to hike for a couple of hours each morning, and then we relaxed in the heat of the afternoon.
The second day was spent wandering through green valleys and the narrow walls of the Bright Angel Canyon. This was probably my favourite day of the hike.
From Bright Angel Campground we walked up a bit further to check out the Colorado River. Below is a picture of the river in the middle of the day.
The following day, the last day of the hike, we were on the trail by about 6am. We were blown away by how much the colours had changed. Everything, including the river, was a shade of pink.
Sun Smart Aussies
The hike out was a steep grind. We passed lots of mules on the trail, carrying people and supplies. It definitely looked like the easier option.
I’m about to get tipsy, so if you don’t plan on hiking the grand canyon you don’t need to read any further.
It is much easier to hike the Rim to Rim Trail from North to South. Particularly if you walk in. Its just the way the permits work. The North Rim gets preference at the Cottonwood Campground, which is more difficult to get in to. We didn’t know this beforehand, so we ended up driving from the South Rim to the North to start the hike. The North Rim is also much quieter and the buildings are old and beautiful. The South Rim is tourist central. The South Rim however, is closer to the Colorado River. Also, once you finish the hike you have to get a shuttle back to your car. You organize this in advance. It costs about $80 a person and takes about 4hours. Its a beautiful drive, but there is no need to do it twice….like we did.