Descending (almost completely) into the Grand Canyon - Bright Angel Trail
Grand Canyon Travel Blog› entry 1044 of 1090 › view all entries
It has been almost five years (just one week short) that I was in my favorite National Park, Grand Canyon National Park. The Grand Canyon is one of America's most famous natural phenomenons. And that is very rightly. The canyon is one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. Every time I visit the park I am surprised by its magnificent grandeur. This is truly one of the things in the world that cannot be photographed. Find a great picture of the canyon it will never compare to the view you get when you are there yourself.
I have visited the Canyon many times. The last one is described here. During every visit I hiked down along its steep walls. There are many trails down, but the two most famous and widely used are the South Kaibab Trail and the Bright Angel Trail.
Since I had hiked a lot in the past years, and since the temperatures in this time of the year are not that torching hot. I considered ignoring the advice and try to hike all the way down in one day. Some research on the web taught me that I would probably not make it, even if I got up early. The short daylight time window would limit me. So, instead I decided to start not too early and see how far I got following the simple formula Time-Up = 2 x Time-Down. I would use the good old Bright Angel Trail since this one has several facilities midway in case something might go wrong.
The Bright angel Trail was first constructed by the Havasupai Indian Tribe.
The morning started cold with only a few degrees above freezing. After a real McDonalds breakfast I headed to the park with a backpack filled with a lot of food and water. I could park almost next to the trailhead, what a luxury! At 9:00 am I started descending, slow but steady, enjoying the changing view angle on the canyon and the growing rock walls above me. It was clearly low season, there were other visitors but it was not as crowded as during earlier hikes.
Just before noon I had descended 920 meters (3018 ft) and reached the Indian Garden a normal point to head back. It was, however, too early to go back so I continued along the trail down for another 50 minutes descending 200 more meters (656 ft). I had the feeling I was really close to the river. The trail was less steep than in the earlier track and was so tempted to continue going down. Later I learnt I was only 200 meters above the river level... But rational sense forced me to take a picture and turn around. I even had to speed up, it was already 12:45 pm and the sun would set at approximately 6pm.
And the surprise came I apparently was in a way better shape than I ever thought. I rushed up. It took me almost the same time as going down, making my arrival time 4:30 pm. So, if I had left earlier I would have made it easily to the river and back. Maybe something for another year.
I killed the extra time by taking the park shuttle bus to Hopi Point and Mohave Point where I even hiked another three kilometers (1.9 miles) and enjoyed a really stunning sunset. What a great day!
A nice historic overview of the trail is here.
Many more pictures below. Deze fake-tekst heb ik toegevoegd om net iets meer regels te genereren zodat deze rare website toestaat dat de bijgesloten