I’d been to the Grand Canyon once before in the late nineties…just a day trip from Las Vegas…a group of friends from Sydney, Tokyo and various places in the US, my partner and my sister. It was a great day but not long enough at the Grand Canyon.
This time I thought I’d give myself more time…to really see Grand Canyon—almost two weeks! Honestly, GC wasn’t even on my list to visit for this early part of my trip but if you go back to my entry “Home For The Holidays”, I met a woman on a flight who got me thinking about it.
The plan was to hike to hike down the steeper South Kaibab Trail to Phantom Ranch, spend two nights there and then hike back out the less steep Bright Angel Trail. Reservations for Phantom Ranch open thirteen months in advance and I was lucky to get the last spots for March when I called in late December.
Unfortunately, all didn’t go to plan. Sad face. A couple of days prior to the hike the weather took a turn for the worse. I was still hopeful it would turn around but it rained the entire night before my morning departure. I woke to alternating rain and snow and low clouds that settled into the canyon obscured the trail. It wasn’t easy but taking into account that I’d never hiked below the rim and was solo (not recommended) I cancelled my booking. Sulk.
Two days later however the weather cleared and though I didn’t do my original hike, I did hike both of the trails I intended to hike halfway down to the Colorado River. I also managed to do a lot of hiking on the South Rim Trail, drive to Desert View in the East and Hermit’s Rest in the West. I’ll definitely go back and finally get down to the Colorado River.