"hiking to the bottom, a dream come true" Top 5 Page for this destination Hiking Tip by richiecdisc

Hiking, Grand Canyon National Park: 13 reviews and 13 photos

  early morning light on the South Kaibab Trail
by richiecdisc

Favorite thing: Enjoy the Grand Canyon very early morning for not only the most beautiful light but also a more peaceful experience.

If you are physically able, don't be content to just drive from viewpoint to viewpoint. Get out and walk and you'll see a lot more. Walk into the canyon. It will give you an entirely different perspective of this massive chasm. If at all possible, get to the bottom for the grandest view of all.

Fondest memory: It was the first of many triumphs. Our tent was pitched right along Bright Angel Creek and we sat listening to its rushing as we cooled our tired hot feet in its icy waters. Just three weeks into a six-month road trip around the US, there would be many such planned and unplanned moments but the ones you plan longest are perhaps the sweetest.

My first time at the Grand Canyon was in late October of 1994 and icy trails thwarted my getting to the Canyon floor. The following year I purposely went earlier to accomplish this task and on doing it, sat in pretty much the same spot as I now did and regretted not being able to spend more time there. I was hiking in and out in a day despite park warnings not to do so. It turned out to be fairly easy for me and I was back at my campsite on the Canyon Rim by two in the afternoon. Of course, that meant I could have stayed at the bottom longer but what I thought on sitting there that day was I wanted to camp there. I swore if I ever returned I do just that.

Planning a loose ended six-month trip is no easy task. It's impossible to reserve things as you just don't know where you'll be on any given day. I had looked into reserving a camping spot at the Grand Canyon's much coveted Bright Angel back country campground but it was too convoluted and I couldn't know with absolute certainty when we would be there. So, we decided to wing it and hope for that best. Not too great a feeling to leave a dream defendant upon. We arrived at the Grand Canyon late in the evening so couldn't go to the backcountry ranger station until the next morning. We spoke with a great ranger who explained the ropes to us. You basically put your name on a list and returned each day until you worked your way up it. She said if you came back diligently you would get what you wanted. This sounded easy enough and we signed up on the spot. Finally, an advantage to being foot loose and fancy free in our itinerary. (continued below in Fondest Memory)

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Jun 7, 2009
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