A Natural Wonder

Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon

Yesterday, I woke up at around 7am and spent the entire day at the Grand Canyon.  It was a nearly a four hour drive to get up there, but in the end it was very worth it.  After paying $25 to get in, we met up with a few friends and headed towards the hiking trails.  It was a random trip that we barely planned for, but we figured, what else would we do on a Wednesday? We first started on the Bright Angel Trail, a trail that is very popular and, while not necessarily “easy,” it was considered to be “easy enough.”

Beginning of Bright Angel Trail

Beginning of Bright Angel Trail

The trail was steep, but offered breathtaking views.  We quickly found, however, that March may not have been the best time to hike, especially on this trail. Much of the shaded areas were still covered with snow and ice, making for slow (and risky) going. After nearly a mile of steep switch-back trails, we  came across an extended section of shaded trail coated in a nice glossy ice. Needless to say, we decided to turn around. No one really wanted to fall down the mile-deep canyon on this trip.  Apparently several people fall each year, accidentally and otherwise.  Only sections of the trails have guard rails, making the thrills (and risks) of steep hiking that much greater.  The Bright Angel Trail was steep and was without guard rails, but it was also a main trail that was monitored more closely than the others. The next trail we tried was the Rim Trail, a more level trail that follows along the southern edge of the canyon. We took one of the free shuttles down to the end of the trail (Hermit’s Rest) and hiked to Mohave Point, a distance of about 5 miles. This also offered amazingly scenic vistas.

Along Rim Trail

Along Rim Trail

A View of the Colorado River

A View of the Colorado River

I loved the view of the Colorado River, despite its  color.  Since we visited in March, the river was a muddy red-brown due to all the silt-filled snow melt. While I can confidently say the color of the river did not disappoint me in the least, I am still determined to re-visit the canyon when the river is its  pristine blue.

Mohave Point

Mohave Point

By this time, after nearly 7 miles of hiking total, we decided to head to the Market Plaza in the park for some dinner at the small deli. After we finished, the sun was sinking behind the surrounding mountains, and we parted ways and headed home.  This trip to the Grand Canyon was my first, but definitely not my last. I loved every minute of the trails, despite the aches and pains I suffer today as a result. It was all totally worth it!

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