In April, I went backpacking in THE GRAND CANYON! It was one of the most awe-inspiring experiences I have ever had. It was dangerous and required a lot of planning. We did a three day loop, lugged heavy packs and traversed in heavy boots, and slept inside the canyon with a full moon overhead. Here are some photos from our experience!
We warmed up before our backcountry trek on the Grand Canyon Rim Hike. We only did a short portion, but it would be a nice hike to do in entirety one day! It is also an easy but long hike, and if I can ever convince my parents to visit the Grand Canyon, it is one they would enjoy. At this point in the hike, we had a clear view of the Colorado River and the strata of the canyon.
The descent is long and arduous, and it is easy to lose track of how far you have come. These are moments where you look down and can’t believe that you are still hours away from the river, but turn around and realize you are days away from the top. We took the South Kaibab trail in.
My favorite view of the hike. I only took this photo, even as the colors and angles continued to open up along our descent, because photos don’t capture even a fraction of the majesty revealed in these rural places. South Kaibab is not for the faint-of-heart or weak-kneed individuals, but the views in the bottom quarter of this trail were my favorite part of the entire hike.
In the dry, rough rock of the canyon, it is hard to believe that there is a river down there, but this vegetation proves it! The interior of the canyon is a small wetland, with a humidity not found in the rest of the west, and leafy trees lining the waters.
Whenever you are not near the river, you are definitely in the arid desert, as demonstrated by these bright flowering cacti and thistles.
We hiked out through the popular Bright Angel trail, and while it started somewhat remote, by the time we were finishing our ascent we were surrounded by day-trippers who were astounded at our accomplishment. We felt like heroes!
It was an amazing trip. I am already plotting more challenging backcountry treks in the Grand Canyon for future trips. We met backpackers inside the canyon who had been down there for weeks, following the Tonto trail. If I found 3 days strengthening and meditative, I wonder how I would be changed by 7 or 20 days.