The Arizona Trail: Part 34

Saturday, April 27th, 2019

The sun was about to rise, so we packed up and headed to the top of the lookout tower to see the start of the day. The top of it was locked, but it was an incredible sight nonetheless.

We found it funny that we had unknowingly set up camp in front of the resident forest ranger’s yard.

We were heading into Grand Canyon National Park today, so we were in good spirits! We would pass the remains of one of the controlled burns we had read about yesterday. Several areas were still burning and smoldering.

As we got closer to the town of Tusayan, tour helicopters began flying overhead one after another, all of them orderly along the same path. There were also a number of planes passing by at higher altitude.

We had one thing on our minds when we got to town. Food! Cheap food! So we went to McDonalds. We would be unhappy to discover our usual order: two large Big Mac meals and one 20 piece chicken nugget, turned out costing us $40! Shamefully, we’d get two coffees and two small chocolate milkshakes once our electronics were charged bringing the total cost of our McDonalds visit to $50. I know, I know. Horrible, right?

We took the walk of shame back to trail, through a graffiti covered tunnel, passing a campground and napping elk, and along a paved bike path all the way into the park.

We got off of the Arizona Trail to head towards the visitor center to catch a view from the south rim before taking the rim trail to the backcountry office.

I kinda felt silly around the tourists with my backpack on while walking on an asphalt sidewalk. I doubt most of them realized we had hiked there from Mexico. They probably thought we were a little over prepared for a day hike.

We made it to the backcountry office just in time! They were getting ready to close for the day. We got our permit for Cottonwood campground, then walked to the General Store to browse. We wouldn’t be resupplying just yet. We were taking a zero day tomorrow, and would get all of our hiker errands done then.

We ran into another hiker named Blueskies who was in the process of resupplying for his hike into the canyon tomorrow. After we talked to him and bought some ice cream and coffee, we went on the search for a stealth site. We walked to the outskirts of the park and found a flat area off of the trail to cowboy camp under the stars.


20.6 miles (33.2 km)

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