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Monday, September 07, 2009

Musings on grand canyon hiking, sightseeing, part 1

I want to provide a short insightful acct on my one grand Canyon experience. I spend two days there in late march 1995 on last leg of an eventful 30 day hiking/camping/sightseeing tour of US desert southwest, most of it spent in Utah Redrock Country. I arrived at CG and like everyone else I went to the CG village there which is quite built up with shops,lodges,eateries,almost like the mall at Yosemite.
I left there soon and got a good campsite at Mather Campgound, which is a pleasant, shaded large site. I spend a night there sleeping inside my camper shell as temps dropped to 15% overnight. I was shivering all night in that cold camper shell but survived. Next day i went on a long long all day hike down to canyon bottom. I was in tip-top shape to do the 5000 ft elevation drop and return and 20+ mile hike. At the beginning the Bright Angel Trail was crowded but as i got farther in the crowds dropped off. There was at least one pleasant shaded rest stop halfway to bottom : i rested and continued. At the lower part the trail was more open with desert-like cactus scrubland. I reached the muddy Colorado and walked the suspension bridge to other side. It was around 200 yards wide( my estimation) and the water was rushing and chocolate brown. I spent an hr at bottom before returning. Return trip not too memorial as it was a long grinding slog but i remember that as i got near the top there was a swarm of folks which had attempted the hike but did not get far. It gets really steep as u near the top and that culls out most regular CG tourists. Upcoming Part II will provide more insights on my CG experience.

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