Hot times in the Grand Canyon

Now that we’re back hanging out in the U.S. Southwest, we thought it time to explore the Grand Canyon a bit…seeing that it’s just in our backyard (of Flagstaff, AZ), so we got a 3 day permit to hike & camp in the canyon…in August…it’s hot! If you have a permit for September or October, good for you…temps’ should be a lil cooler, even though it’ll be a lil busier too.

We spent one night car-camping on the South Rim, using Mather Campground…the last time we stayed here was on our bike tour from AZ to CO, earlier this Summer – check that blog out here & here.

From Mather Campground, it’s a short drive over to the Backcountry Office on the South rim and then the shuttle bus to the South Kaibab Trailhead (which is the recommended route for descending into the canyon).

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Great views heading down the South Kaibab trail
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Great views heading down the South Kaibab trail
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Warning sign on the South Kaibab trail
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Dominic forgot to pack his sleeping pad and so, spent the (very warm) nights sleeping on our car windscreen sun shade!
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Sandra heading down the South Kaibab trail
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Mules packing from Phantom Ranch up the South Kaibab trail
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Sandra hiking down the South Kaibab trail…not too many folks around, when you get a short distance from the rim – only ~ 1% of visitors to the Grand Canyon stay overnight in the canyon. You need a permit to stay overnight in the canyon but, not if you just choose to hike in & out in one day
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About halfway down the South Kaibab trail, having dropped from 7,260 ft to 4,700 ft and heading to 2,480 ft (for our night at Bright Angel Campground)
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Mules bring people in & out of the canyon also
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Mules on the South Kaibab trail
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The superstars of the mule world…4,860 ft of elevation gain from the Colorado River to the South Kaibab Trailhead on the South Rim
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Sandra letting the mules pass on the South Kaibab trail
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One of the few places in the world where the mail starts it’s journey on a mule…Mules on the South Kaibab trail heading out of the canyon

 

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Sandra and a view of the Colorado River from the South Kaibab trail
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Crossing the Colorado River on the black bridge, on the South Kaibab trail, heading for our night at Bright Angel Campground
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Sandra on the black bridge, on the South Kaibab trail, heading for our night at Bright Angel Campground
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Dominic soaking in Bright Angel Creek, at Bright Angel Campground
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August 30th 2018 (in the sun) temp’ at Bright Angel Campground in the Grand Canyon
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August 30th 2018 (in the shade) temp’ at Bright Angel Campground in the Grand Canyon
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Bright Angel Campground in the Grand Canyon
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Trails near Bright Angel Campground in the Grand Canyon, leading to the Colorado River
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Our reflection in the chocolate milky goodness of the Colorado River
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Sandra & the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon
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Leaving Bright Angel Campground and heading uphill for a night in Indian Garden Campground
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The black bridge in the distance, on the South Kaibab trail (via which we descended into the canyon)
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Sandra crossing the silver bridge, which connects the Bright Angel Trail with Phantom Ranch and the Bright Angel Campground
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Dominic crossing the silver bridge, which connects the Bright Angel Trail with Phantom Ranch and the Bright Angel Campground. He’s wearing Brooks Cascadia trail runners and Darn Tough socks.
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Dominic (sporting his new hat) crossing the silver bridge, which connects the Bright Angel Trail with Phantom Ranch and the Bright Angel Campground
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Sandra hiking up the Bright Angel Trail
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Sandra (sporting her usual hat) on the Bright Angel Trail on a very hot August 31st 2018 day, heading to Indian Garden Campground…no vomiting for us desert rats!
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Flameskimmer Dragonfly Libellula saturata at Indian Garden Campground
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Sandra in our site at Indian Garden Campground
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Grand Canyon Pink Rattlesnake Crotalus oreganus abyssus at Indian Garden Campground
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Grand Canyon Pink Rattlesnake Crotalus oreganus abyssus at Indian Garden Campground
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Hiking out of the canyon on the Bright Angel Trail
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Views from the Bright Angel Trail
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This place must be every geologists dream – check it out here
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Mules descend into the canyon via the Bright Angel Trail, while hikers are advised to use this corridor to hike up & out of the canyon (as it has more shade than the South Kaibab trail & it has water sources (of which the South Kaibab trail has none between the South Rim trailhead and the Bright Angel Campground)
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Mules heading down into the canyon with some guests, on the Bright Angel Trail
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When we got back up to our car at the Backcountry Office on the South rim, we weighed our packs – base weight (no food/water). Sandra used her Osprey Lumina 45, which she used for all 485 miles of the Colorado Trail this Summer – check that blog out here. Her bag weighed less than 10lbs (there was no need to bring any cold weather gear or heavy sleeping quilts). Sandra’s base weight – as shown here – was made up of tent pegs, sleep pad, her Enlightened Equipment Revelation APEX Junior quilt, inflatable pillow, butt pad (a few sections of an old Z-Rest), rain jacket (only rained once for 5 minutes), flip flops, spare shorts & tee, knifestove & 2 cooking pots
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When we got back up to our car at the Backcountry Office on the South rim, we weighed our packs – base weight (no food/water). Less than 10lbs with no need to bring any cold weather gear or heavy sleeping quilts. Dominic’s base weight – as shown here – was made up of our tent (The Two from Gossamer Gear), his substitute car-windscreen-shade sleep pad, a bag liner to sleep in,  inflatable pillow, rain jacket (only rained once for 5 minutes), sandals, spare undies & tee, headlamp and toiletries

 

A short but, great 4 days in Grand Canyon National Park and we’ll be back hiking there again this Fall, when we hike the northern section of the Arizona Trail.

Gear used:

 

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