This hike was a 40-mile, 4-day trek through the Grand Canyon from the North Rim to the South Rim. While the distance between the two sides of the Canyon, as the crow flies, is only about 15 miles, it's over 200 miles of driving to get around it! We left Tucson at 5 am the day before the hike to get up to the South rim, leave our vehicles there, and catch the shuttle that took us to the North Rim. We stayed in cabins there, and began the hike early the next morning. On the first day, we hiked all the way to the Colorado River via the North Kaibab trail, which was almost 14 miles long and dropped over a vertical mile in elevation, and stayed at the Bright Angel Campgrounds.
On the second day, we hiked about 1200 vertical feet up the Bright Angel trail to Indian Gardens, where we waited out the hottest part of the day, loaded up with over 2 gallons of water per person, and the took off west across the Tonto Trail to Horn Creek, our night 2 campsite. There's water at Horn Creek, but it's supposedly radioactive due to an old uranium mine located above it.
On day 3, we continued along the Tonto Trail to Monument Creek, our night 3 campsite. There was water in the creek so we could replenish our supplies, and a few of us hiked down from the campsite to Granite Rapids on the Colorado River, where in addition to seeing the river we encountered a herd of bighorn sheep!
On day 4, we hiked out to the South Rim via the Hermit Trail, which involved about 3500 vertical feet of elevation gain, the last part of which was steep, seemingly never-ending, and totally exposed to the Sun. We all got out safely, went to our hotel, showered, ate, and sat in the hot tub for a while. The next day, well-rested but sore, we returned to Tucson.
Last modified September 5, 2006