We Hiked the Grand Canyon

October 5th

We started in Flagstaff and continued on, North Rim to South Rim, with a couple of nights at Phantom Ranch in between:

Grand Canyon Trip

Grand Canyon Trip

Grand Canyon Trip

Grand Canyon Trip

Grand Canyon Trip

Grand Canyon Trip

Grand Canyon Trip

Grand Canyon Trip

Grand Canyon Trip

Grand Canyon Trip

Grand Canyon Trip

Grand Canyon Trip

Grand Canyon Trip

Grand Canyon Trip

Grand Canyon Trip

We parked at the South Rim, took a shuttle across the Navajo Reservation, and spent the first night at the North Rim. The lodge is fantastic in every western way; made of old wood beams and rock, it is a marvel of architecture and history. It sits on the lip of the rim. We arrived in time to watch the sunlight drain from the sky, the moon climb, and lights on the other side of the canyon twinkle as dusk faded into night. The North Rim lodge has far fewer visitors and is a good bit higher in altitude than the South. It is fairly hard to get to, unless you are dropping in by helicopter from Las Vegas. The 4.5 hour drive was mostly desolate reservation, with red cliffs and sage green hills. As we crept closer to the rim, climbing in altitude, the horizon changed from dust to juniper to pinon pine and aspens — which were yellow and rust orange, ready to shed their leaves to cooler weather. The aspens stood out like show girls, waving all their color and sass on an otherwise green hillside.

After a cold first night in bunk beds, nestled in a log cabin, we started the hike off the North Rim. In darkness, we used headlamps for the first 30 minutes as we descended with our group down the path. The early morning light danced on the canyon walls, and we watched with true awe as the colors changed before us, shifting like crayons in the box of 64. The sky from indigo to azure. The rock walls from forest green to sienna and amber. The dirt beneath our feet changing too. In places dusty red, and in other sandy and silty — with puddles, toads and moss.

The first day was a little more than 14 miles — longer than I’ve ever gone with a pack and poles. It was a long, delightful journey and my feet were so very happy to arrive at Phantom Ranch.

~K

Posted in
Arizona, Happy Hippie, Travel
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5 Responses

  1. Yay! You DID have an amazing time and – it sounds like anyway – no tragedies (foot, food, weather or otherwise) went down.

    I also assume that you have a million more photos that maybe you put into an online album that you’ll share with your old friend Finny who, despite living in Flagstaff for those four years during our undergrad, never hiked the Grand Canyon because…I dunno. Drinking? Probably I was drinking.

    Welcome home!

  2. Wow. That looks like such an amazing adventure. I want to go on trips like that NOW but I guess I’ll be waiting a few years until the kiddos are a bit older. You are seriously making me want to plan a background or local camping trip, though.

  3. So excited for you! My husband and I would love to do that someday.

  4. This is so much on my bucket list and so glad to see your report on the experience!

  5. Love hearing your adventures and seeing the photos…hmm yet another idea for a book…the roads you have traveled!!! 🙂

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