Tuesday, April 30th, 2019
It would rain all morning, but it wouldn’t last long. After eating breakfast at the General Store and drying out our tent, we walked through Mather campground then took the dirt road until we reached South Kaibab Trailhead.
We were excited to finally be heading into the canyon. We took our time enjoying the familiar scenery down to Ooh Aah Point. We hiked a short stretch of this trail six years back during our road trip across the country.
We’d pass a tour of people riding on mules. I overheard the guide tell them about a fossilized footprint, and located it myself.
We stopped at Cedar Ridge to eat lunch. This was as far as we went down into the canyon during our road trip. Everything beyond this would be new to us.
We’d be very slow moving the rest of the day. Everything was so beautiful! Heading down to Skeleton Point, there were long, straight stretches of trail and wildflowers.
There after, the trail would zig zag all the way down to the Tip Off. We’d experience a short rain shower on our way there. I’d stop to stare at caves, scenic vistas, and more wildflowers.
On our way down, we could see the Colorado River and the bridges that crossed over it.
We walked by two women with packs, and a man without. Apparently he twisted his ankle, but they were camping below at Phantom Ranch so he toughed it out. Their buddy was ahead of them wearing his own pack on his back and his friend’s pack on the front of him. He’s a good friend.
We’d passed a number of people coming up from the bottom of the canyon. Most of them with no gear (or shirts), and more importantly, next to no water if any at all. All I could do was shake my head. People don’t realize that just because it’s quick to go down, that it’ll be a breeze to go back up. They had a LONG way to go, and it was already 5 pm. They warn you about dehydration, heat stroke, and death at the top for a reason people!
We walked through the tunnel and across the bridge to the other side, where there were people sunning themselves, and it had the site of the Bright Angel Pueblo ruins. Soon after crossing the mighty Colorado, we’d also hit our 700th mile!
We took a break once we got to Bright Angel campground which is where we ran back into Moose, Houston, and Knowaguy. We’d also meet a ‘rim to rim, to rim’ hiker named Beans who had hiked the Continental Divide Trail, which we’re considering hiking in the near future.
As we hiked through the inner canyon following Bright Angel creek, we watched the canyon transform from the colorful south to the rugged north.
We’d walk across many footbridges, through vegetation, under jagged rocks, passed Ribbon falls and over a flooded trail.
The whole time, we were climbing, but had no clue. It was so gradual. As slow moving as we had been, we were surprised to make it to Cottonwood campground before sundown.
We looked for Coati and Radar, but it appeared they didn’t make it.
16.5 miles (26.6 km)
Jump Ahead to The Arizona Trail: Part 37
Jump Back to The Arizona Trail: Part 35
Start from the Beginning