Here are some of my favorite pics from my camping trip to the Grand Canyon. On the drive back home I also stayed in Sedona for a few days and made some trips to Jerome and Prescott, AZ just to check out a few different cities.
Overall, my camping trip in the Grand Canyon was the best trip I have ever had. Despite a lot of rain, going on my first real hiking adventure has me hooked on exploring some mountain ranges and canyons. This was also a first for me in doing a little camping excursion (yes, in a tent) and I loved it. There was pretty much adventure to be had at every corner. I also got a chance to meet some really cool people along the way. Really, the trip was a chance to get away to clear my head, do something different, hike a trail, catch a canyon sunrise/sunset. Doing something like this and enjoying every minute makes the years of investing worth the sacrifice to hit FI at an early age all worth it. I think this was one of the things I was finally looking for to confirm it.
Here are some pics with narrative. Enjoy…
The first day turned out to be a rain out, but I wasn’t going to let that stop me. I used the day to try to plan the next few days and get a lay of the land.
The second day started out raining hard, so I just rolled over in my tent and slept in a little bit. No sunrise for me today. I woke up determined to hike a real trail. Bright Angel Trail was the destination. I thought I would go to maybe just the first rest stop on the trail and head back, but definitely not past the second rest stop. Little did I know what laid ahead of me. This is the hike that officially got me hooked on hiking. This is a hike down into the Grand Canyon. The thing about this hike is that the further down you go, when you look back up at the peak, it gets more beautiful, so you want to just keep on going. As cool as the views are from atop the canyon, trust me when I say they are more amazing from down in the canyon. I ended up going past the Indian Creek Village and made it out to Plateau Point.
The round trip hike is a little over 12 miles and goes down about 3100 feet into the Grand Canyon. This hike is worth it. I consider myself to be moderately in shape. I lift some weights, bike a whole lot, and used to run marathons. I mention this because the round trip took about 7 hours (granted about hour was taking pictures and talking to a couple from the Ukraine), because after the 3 mile rest stop, the crowd on the trail really thins out. There was a German dad and his son at the Indian Creek Village, who were with me most of the trip down. At the village, I randomly stumbled into an rangers office, talked to her for a bit (she highly recommended I go to Plateau Point), and when I came out of the office, the dad was laid out on a picnic table. Never saw them again. Also, the only people I saw at Plateau Point were my new Ukrainian friends. When we left Plateau Point, we crossed 3 guys (who looked in shaped), but were struggling real bad and also sitting and laying out. I also remembered a few ladies on my way down, who I would actually later pass on my way up. They were not in the best of shape and still had a ways to get back up. So be warned, it is worth it, but bring food and water. These pictures probably don’t do any justice.
Hiking down Bright Angel Trail was definitely the highlight of my whole trip. It was absolutely beautiful down there and I know the pictures don’t do proper justice or give the sense of scale. You have to do this hike! I hadn’t felt this good about completing something, since my first marathon. The Ukrainians said it was a hikers high, just like a runners high. They were right. It was also awesome to meet new people. Soaking in Plateau Point with them felt amazing. That’s when we all really started talking about life, which lead to dinner invites and beer drinking later on. A cool little break area on the way back is in Indian Creek. There is a little bridge with a nice cold stream running through. The perfect spot to take off your socks and shoes and relax your feet. This was their idea and a great one which led to more great conversation. In total I hiked a little over 21 miles this day, according to my Microsoft Band (I’m an affiliate). Not bad for my first real hike and way more than I originally planned, but it was too much fun.
The third day started off raining again. Looked like I wasn’t going to get my sunrise this trip. I started off hiking Kaibab Rim Route to get to the Yavapai Point. It’s a casual stroll with coffee in hand. Ended up talking an interesting photographer and trading stories with him. He had the fortune of traveling to 24 national parks, and just like the Ukrainians, said Grand Canyon is by far the best. I later proceeded down to hike the Hermit’s Rest Rim Trail. It is a 7.8 mile hike full of peaks to overlook the canyon. Going by foot is by far the way to go. People taking the bus are missing some hidden gems in between the overlooks. Again, the crowds thin out after about 2 miles. I only occasionally met people along this way. Be warned there are not that many water/bathroom stops on this hike. Enjoy the pics…
The highlight of the day was absolutely that sunset. I was lucky enough to just catch it as I rushed back to the campsite to chug a few beers and eats some grub. Most amazing sunset I’ve seen and everything I expected. Yaki Point was an awesome recommendation from one of the rangers.
Final day was the last chance of catching a sunrise. I scrambled to make it to Mather Point in the cold morning and waited it out. After that it was off to Sedona to check out some of the red rock mountains.
Some pictures from my stay in Sedona. I didn’t really have enough time to hit any trails, but I’ll make it back out there. You won’t see these red rock mountains anywhere else.
I visited a couple extra places, Jerome and Prescott, AZ. I can say this was probably my most favorite trip ever (even topping Hawaii and I love HI). You have to make it out to the Grand Canyon and do yourself a favor, stay there at least 1 night. A short couple hours just isn’t enough. I’ll definitely be heading back.
Next trip… camping and hiking Picacho Peak…
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