So the most important part of our trip was going to the Grand Canyon. It was the original thing we wanted to, and what we planned the whole rest of our trip around.
We showed up at the grand canyon the evening before our planned hike and camped at the top on the south rim. First we went over to take a look at what we would be tackling the next day.
Looking at where these people were standing made us pretty nervous! It is over a mile in many places from the rim down to the river.
We got up the next morning before the sun came up in order to get an early start to our hike. The national park service highly discourages a hike all the way down to the river and back up in one day. However, this was exactly what we were planning to do!
It was very cold this early in the morning. In fact, the trail still had ice on it. Not what we would have expected for the Grand Canyon!
Since we hiked it in March, it was a lot more green than most of the pictures we had seen before.
At this point we felt like we should be close to the river, and then we turned around the corner and saw this. A long way down still!
This was our first time seeing the mules along the trail. It was weird to see people headed down in fancy clothes and not even sweating, when we had been working so hard.
By the end of the day we had come to hate the mules. We were constantly dodging their huge piles of poop and pee, and all the flies that came with them. On the way up we also got stuck where they were basically going up at the same pace as us but less consistent. So every other switch back they were either passing us, or us passing them, and we couldn’t quite get away!
WE MADE IT TO THE RIVER! 4,000 foot descent to get there.
Down by the river we saw this guy!
We really hope some day to take a commercial rafting trip through the Grand Canyon. We think it would be really fun to take the week long trips from Lake Powell to Lake Mead. Hopefully someday!
We were pretty happy to have made it to the river, and we enjoyed our time at it. But then the reality set in that we had done a “backwards” hike by going down first, and now we still had to hike 4,000 feet of gain to get back out of the canyon.
We were glad to make it back to this part of the hike where there was some shade. Even in March it was still a hot and difficult hike out of the canyon.
As we got closer to the top we encountered more and more people. We found this to be frustrating as most of these people had just hiked maybe half a mile down and then turned around and headed back up, so these people had tons of energy. These people looked at us like “why are you so slow and tired”, and we were like well we hiked 15 miles already!!!
We made it out! We were proud of ourselves for doing this in one day, so we went to Buffalo Wild Wings in Flagstaff to celebrate!
I definitely think at least seeing the Grand Canyon should be on everyone’s bucket list, as it is pretty spectacular!