Week2 – The Grand Canyon

The main objective of the trip was to get to the Grand Canyon and backpack to the bottom (and back up :)).   I (Ofer) had never been to the GC and was looking forward to seeing it after hearing about it from others for years. As we got closer, I was worried that I could be disappointed due to the high expectations. I am happy to report that the worry was unfounded. The overall trip was all I hoped for. We ended up having the best of luck as you will read below.

To camp in the Grand Canyon, you need a backcountry permit which you need to apply for many months in advance or you can show up for “walk up permits” that are given first come first serve based on availability and may require waiting for a few days until you reach the top of the waiting-list.  We set out willing to wait as long as it would take to get the permit.

While we were driving south-east to the Grand Canyon, Jennifer’s niece India was driving west from New Orleans to meet us for a couple of days on the Rim.

We ended up very lucky with the weather. The day we arrived it was snowing hard until the afternoon, but cleared up towards evening – so we had a good time camping in the snow. The following day and a half were nice weather to tour the south rim of the canyon. We wanted to stay a couple of more nights at the campground, but were told that there was no availability, so we moved to the KOA Campground 40 miles south of the park and India set off back home. At the KOA we stayed in a cabin for two nights which was a stroke of luck as the following days were very windy, snowy and cold. The day we moved we got notice that we received the permit to go down just as the stretch of good weather began.

We did a four-day three night hike. One day to hike a down. A day of rest at the bottom and two days to hike back up. The rim was cold and icy, but the bottom is 15-20 degrees warmer.

We went down 7 miles and 4,700 ft. along the South Kaibab Trail down to Bright Angel Campground. Even though it was downhill, we were very tired and achy the following day and thankful for our day of rest.

On our rest day we walked along the Columbia in the morning and climbed up to Phantom Overlook for a sunset dinner.

Hiking up was broken into two sections each a little over 4 miles with a night at Indian Garden. The first day we climbed a little over 1500ft and the following 3000ft.



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