We drove up on a Friday and stopped at the Visitors Center for our first view of the canyon at Mather Point. If you haven’t seen the Grand Canyon it is remarkable. You can view the millions of years of erosion. The rock striations and colors ripple down the mesa. We cannot see the river except in a few places looking west or east. The carved and weather formations tower up where they withstood the river’s torment and it finally went around.
We walked along the rim trail to Yavapai Point. Each view was great. It was the same but different.
After checking into the lodge we toured the western viewpoints: Hermits Rest, the Abyss, Mohave Point, Hopi Point and Maricopa Point. Maricopa Point overlooks the Bright Angel Trail. We will be hike up that. It doesn’t look so bad...
We spent the night in Maswik Lodge. My brother arrived in the evening in time for dinner. I had the choice to get a room with a view of the Grand Canyon, but chose to save some money. After all, we are hiking down to the bottom. We are not in a rush today so we arrive for breakfast at 7:30. The food is good, the coffee is okay. We catch the bus to the South Kaibab Trail head. It is seven plus miles to the ranch, dropping over 4800 feet in elevation. Hiking poles were helpful. The steps are uneven and many are steep and tall. The views descending into the canyon are remarkable. The trail winds down below us and across the plateaus to the next drop.
Chris and I stayed in a bunk house at Phantom Ranch and Scott descended with a backpack for an overnight in his tent. The steak dinner was tasty but on the tough side. The sides and bread were excellent.
We woke at 5:00 am for the 10 mile hike up Bright Angel Trail. We skipped breakfast, grabbed out sack lunches and started hiking in the dark. A hands-free head lamp is a must. 10 minutes into the hike I twisted my ankle “OUCH”. I hobbled for a few minutes and thankfully I was fine.
It is nearly a mile of elevation gain to the rim. After a couple hours we come to Indian Gardens. I am surprised we are at the half way point. We did get through the easier half. Evelvation comes into play with the rim at 7000 feet. There are bathrooms at 3 miles and 1.5 miles from the rim. The last mile takes it toll and we arrive to the Bright Angel Lodge tired and hungry. We grab lunch before getting to our room at Maswik again.
In the morning Scott heads home and Chris and I head for Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon. Horseshoe bend is impressive but the late morning sun is not kind for photography. Deep shadows cover half the canyon. We spend 20 minutes and move on.
Antelope Canyon has an Upper and Lower section. We start with the Upper tour. The formations and striations through the canyon are amazing. Carved by wind and water we walk along the base of the 100 foot walls. It is open at the top but the walls curve and cover it from view much of the time. The Lower canyon is similar but different. We descend stairs at the start of this tour. The floor is narrower the top more open. The walls have striations for the elements and the wind is more noticeable. Photos taken with the warm setting show more red than actually exists. It gives it a sunset color where a brown color is more true.
The drive home was exciting too. Chris loves his new car and it showed with the 100 MPH drive down the long road to Phoenix. The calves are sore but everything else feels good. We spend 3 days playing video games before I return home.
Go to the destination page and click on the Grand Canyon and Antelope Canyon Blog for pictures