Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Hiking the Grand Canyon

We were up early (6:00)  and quickly walked to the rim of the Canyon to see the sun rise. What a view to see when you first wake up!
Sun rise over Grand Canyon

Sun rise over Grand Canyon
We took lots of pictures and met a nice couple from Seattle, who gave us some tips about short hikes and other things to do at the Canyon. They were headed to Sedona today, so we gave them some ideas for Sedona. We also met some hikers who were just getting to the top of the rim after hiking up all night. Some people had started at the North Rim and hiked down and across and up to the South Rim. I think that is about 27 miles.  Amazing! Breakfast at the the Maswick Lodge. Then it was back to the rim where we started our own little hike down the Bright Angel Trail. You can go all the way down into the Canyon, but we just did about a one-mile hike down, which was enough for us, as it seemed like 5 miles coming back up!
Heading down the Bright Angel Trail
It was funny because yesterday I was pretty sure I wouldn't be able to hike down the trail at all (too scared--there are no railings!!),  but I did it and I'm glad I did. The views were incredible, and we met a lot of nice people. It is amazing what a hat can do. Walt was wearing a UNC hat and we heard several "Go Tarheels" and of course that led to conversations. We met people from Cleveland Heights, Ohio, North Carolina, Germany, and several from Virginia (one guy with a George Mason t-shirt). People are so friendly on vacation. There are lots of mules on the trail and I had to laugh at this one.

Loved the park ranger on mule and on cellphone
So back to the hike, here are a few pictures as we hiked down the Canyon.
Going down
See people on top right coming down? We are below them

We were exhausted when we got back up and after a short rest went to eat at the Arizona Room, which is a restaurant in the Bright Angel Lodge. It was nice and we sat eating lunch with views of the Canyon. Pretty nice. After lunch we got on a shuttle, which takes you to various points along the rim to get different perspectives on the Canyon.
The jokester
So beautiful

It was a very long but wonderful day. Beautiful weather and a gorgeous blue sky. It was not very crowded at all, which made our visit all the more enjoyable, as we didn't have to fight any crowds and there was always plenty of viewing space at the rim. We said our goodbyes to this beautiful place and set off for Page, AZ about 5 pm. More on that tomorrow, as I am exhausted right now and ready to go to sleep.


  1. Weather looks perfect, amazing clouds as well as the Canyon. Sounds like a great trip and I am glad you hiked down a bit...wouldn't it be nice to be young and be able to hike all 27 miles! Enjoy

  2. That looks like a fake backdrop behind Walt, like at Sears, because it is so gorgeous.

  3. Love the UNC representation in the Grand Canyon!!