Big hike: Plateau Point, Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon Travel Blog

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Bright Angel Trail with Plateau point in the background, Grand Canyon NP; AZ
A beautiful day. Perfect for a "big" hike. Weeks before back in Germany we had decided to walk down into the canyon at least once. Plateau Point was our designated destination. It was awesome. Most strenuous, though. I am quoting from my review:

"We started arround 6:00 in the morning with one gallon of water each. At this time temperatures were moderate and the trail offered some shade. The first mile of the trail following the Cinch-up-curve is the steepest part of the hike. No problem at this point of time, though. But a thought rushed into my mind: "The way up will probably be strenuous..." We passed the 1.5 mile rest house and the 3 mile rest house and took some time to take pictures (there is a nice spot nearby the second guest house). After that the trail becomes steeper again.
Plateau Point Grand Canyon, AZ. The hike down to Colorado River is most strenuous.

Some 3/4 mile ahead of Indian Gardens we entered the Tonto Plateau. From this point the path levels. It could be easy going but since the trail does not offer any shade beyond this point you should refill your bottles at Indian Gardens. Which we did.
After 4 hours of walking and resting we reached the designated target of our hike: Plateau Point. The viewpoint offers spectacular views of the Colorado river and the surrounding landscape. The great vista combined with a light breeze let us forget that the exhausting part of the hike was yet to come.
The way back was not strenuous. It was most strenuous because of the stifling heat. When we reached Indian Gardens again and stopped for another refill the thermometer read 108.0 °F. And still rising. To cut a long story short: It took us five hours (including several breaks) to reach the rim again."

Massage! I needed a massage for my legs! And water. I want to sleep...

laserjones says:
This is still (and will probably always be) the most exhausting hike I ever did (I'm the cousin who accompanied Daniel). But one of the best hikes, too. Closest rival: The Half Dome hike in Yosemite NP (later in this blog).

The most fascinating thing for me was that once you are inside the canyon, it apparently turns into a surprisingly wide plain surrounded by "mountains" (the rim). And when you reach Plateau Point, you see - another canyon going even further down, which would already be impressive on its own, even if it wasn't a part of a much bigger supercanyon.

Note that the water of the Colorado is ... well, coloured. That's where the name comes from.
Posted on: Apr 24, 2008
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Grand Canyon
photo by: Sunflower300