Since we backpacked Grand Canyon with the kids 4 years ago, I had really wanted to go back and do a rim to rim hike, from the north rim. Hub has requested permits and finally we had it pan out for this spring.
We flew to Vegas Thursday, May 23rd and got to squeeze in a visit with friends who moved to Henderson before making our way, way out of town to a funny little motel out in Kanab.
We would have had less driving, but our Kaibab Lodge Cabin Rental actually collapsed due to snow load : (
As we drove into the park, we were expecting to maybe see a few patches of snow remaining…
but we were surprised to roll into a full on winter wonderland
yikes, here we go!
Honestly I was a little bit apprehensive, but the weather turned out to be a gift. Cooler up top, definitely made for great weather in the canyon and it turns out that when you aren’t super hot, things are a little easier.
It’s 6.8 miles to Cottonwood Campground (and about a 4,000 ft elevation change). On down, the ice sheet turned to slush, to deep, sucking mud, to slippery mud goo, intermixed with frothy puddles of donkey twinkles, but luckily trail conditions just got better as we went.
I slipped in some deep puddles and managed to soak all 3 pairs of socks before we made camp. Still glad I left the boots though, the trail runners are light and dried quick : )
note: duct tape is not effective waterproofing.
The next day was Cottonwood to Bright Angel,
Hub does a fantastic job getting us organized and ready to hit the trail and the food is a big part of it.
So, Cottonwood to Bright Angel, just over 7 miles and 1600 ft down in elevation. We made the hike in 3 1/2 hours, so we had a lot of time to play and rest, just an awesome day! Amazing weather, incredible hike, so gorgeous!!
Day 3 We hiked from Bright Angel to Indian Gardens. Just under 5 miles that we did from 6:30 to 9:30 am. Seemed way easier than 4 years ago, I think the milder (not 107 degrees) really helped.
We enjoyed lots of downtime, and then made the hike to Plateau Point, only a 3 mile round trip from Indian Gardens. It did not disappoint and we were back for dinner.
For Day 4, Hiking Out, I was expecting some challenging weather, but happily, we really didn’t get the worst of it.
The weather, after we made it to the top, went right in the dumper. We had changed into all our warm, dry Grand Canyon merch and were eating at Bright Angel Lodge, with some time before the bus, and outside the window it went all blizzard snow globe.
Getting back to kc ended up being the hard part. Our Vegas to kc got rerouted to Dallas at the last minute due to storms and tornado debris at KCI. The next flight that we boarded to St. Louis & KC, also fell through. We ended up driving from Dallas to KC and rolled in about 9am. I was ready for a nap, Hub went to work.