Hiking Rim to rim across the grand canyon

Trip Start Feb 19, 2010
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Trip End Jan 31, 2012


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Flag of United States  , Arizona
Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Lots of photos. To many. Had a hard time deleteing all the repeats since it was hard to do since i took so many paranramas and havent had a chance to stitch them together and delete the worst ones. Sorry about that.

Transit
Another long bus trip to reach a national park. 24hrs by bus to get from San Francisco to the Grand Canyon. Had hoped I might be able to head over to the North rim today and while there was a permit available for the cottonwood campground on the following day, the bus to the North rim had already left. South rim was also fully booked for the next night so was going to have to wait at least a day.

Ended up getting wait number, 7, for the south rim and told to come back the next day to see if I could get a permit for the following day. Also had the option of getting a permit for a North rim start but couldnt get a number for this. Told there were sights available so this was another option to consider if I didnt get the south rim permit.

Depending on how many people showed up the next day I would either have to wait 1 or 2 days for a permit.

Hermits Rest Day Hike

Went to get my permit. Luckily numbers 1-6 didnt show up so my number 7 became number 1. Had originally planned to start from the North rim and hike back to the south but the shuttle to the other side was full. Probably a good thing since it meant I had the whole day to do a walk along the south rim rather than half a day (til 1pm) and then a 5hr bus trip.

Decided to catch the shuttle to Hermits rest and spent the day walking back towards the village. Nice walk along the rim with a few nice views into the canyon. Unfortunately the weathers not so great and had a bit of a thunder storm later in the day. Got rained on a bit but not to much.

Day 1 - Down South Kalib trail to Bright Angel camground

Got up early so that I wouldnt be walking in the heat of the day. started down the trail around 7:30am and reach the campground around 12pm. Thankfully not to cloudy this morning and so had some nice views while decending the valley down to the colarado river. Views a lot nicer today. Certainly makes a difference having the sun shine and bring out the colour of the rocks as well as the shadows highlighting the depths of the canyons. Could see how the Colorado river has dug its own canyon out of the valley floor.

Lots of people heading down at the same time as me and most with day packs.

After reaching the campground a thunder storn came in and it started raining. Vegged out for an hour or so and then decided to follow the bright angel trail (alternate way down from south rim) along the colorado river. Even kept wandering along the river a bit further upon another trail which I found. Ended up get rained on but given the heat in the canyon it wasnt particulary cold.

Also saw a few boats white water rafting down the river. Think this would definately be a nice way to spend a few days travelling through the canyon and getting another view of it from the river level.

Once again a bit of a thunder strom during the night but this thankfully cleared up and upon looking outside I could see a sky full of stars.

Day 2- onto Cottonwood campground, side trip to falls

Started early again but not to early. Heard some people starting to hike from 4am. While this stops you hiking in the heat I cant personally see the point. Part of the reason for doing the hike is to see the view. Not just getting to the destination.

Up hill walking for about 4hrs though not particularly steep. Started off in a box canyon where you couldn't see much beyond the walls but this opened up after about an hour to give views back towards the south rim as well as views towards the north rim. Lots of people heading the other way with day packs. Found out later that for $20 you could get your stuff transported around the canyon. Definately explains why most people had only day packs. Even the campers. Also saw a few runners who were going rim to rim.

Did a side trip to a nearby waterfall that appears on the map. Nice little spot to take a short break. Could even walk up and wander behind the falls. Was wondering what it would look like earlier in the year when there was more water. Also wander how many other waterfalls appear along the canyon earlier in the year. Could definately see some rock walls along the way that appear as if water might run over them in the wet season.

In order to get to the falls I took a shortcut across a creek and through some shrubs. Appears I managed to loose my permit along the way. Thankfully the ranger checking permits at the campground accepted I had a permit and just took my name down.

Set up camp and found that it was pretty hot for a few hours before the clouds rolled in once more and the thunder started to roar. Started raining again that night though when I woke up at 9pm and looked outside, the clouds were gone and I could see lots of stars (no moon).

Day 3- Up the North rim

Unfortunately the clouds were on there way back by morning. Kept following the path up to the North Rim. Basically 4hrs of walking up hill. Had some nice views down the bright angel canyon which I had been walking up the day before and some nice views of the north rim. Found the views on this side of the canyon to be nicer since the area is made up of a number of canyons through which rivers flow and they surround the Bright angel canyon which was produced along a fault line.

Enjoyed the views of the canyons and the trail I walked up to reach the north rim. As they day progressed the clouds started to roll in and it even hailed on me for 5 minutes at one point. Thankfully got a few nice photos while the sun was out.

Once out the canyon headed for the campground and just after arriving it started to pour. Spent 2 hours on the porch of the nearby store and thankfully it stopped raining for a bit so I headed for the camp site and pitched my tent. Also headed down to the Bright Angel view point for a view of the canyon I had walked up.

Thunderstorm started in full swing again as I was heading back and except for a few minutes here and there it didnt let up all night. Have definately found the canyon to be hotter than the canyon rims but with all this rain I wander about it being a desert.

Day 4 - Leaving the Grand Canyon

Still raining though it started to clear up a bit after dawn. Headed back to the store where I caught the bus to the lodge anf the back to the South rim. Found out on the bus that October in the monsoon season which probably explains the daily thunderstorms (even if only for an hour) and the downpour I got caught in. Guess I was lucky I managed to get across the canyon before the rain really started to pour. Dont think it would have been much fun walking out of the canyon with all that rain running down the trail, though the extra waterfalls may have been interesting.

Drive from the North to the south rim was nice with not to many clouds, though they did appear again when the bus reached the south rim. Happy Im not starting my hike today since all I would be seeing all day would be clouds and rain.

Killed a couple of hours at the south rim before getting the bus back to flagstaff where I had a 7hr wait for the bus to Las Vegas. Seem to me that I seem to be spending a whole bunch of time on buses or waiting for buses in order to reach/leave the National parks I've been hiking. Oh well. At least I'll get in early enough to spend an extra day in Vegas.
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