Posted by: vikingsinspace | February 7, 2011

I.2.01.06. Hike in the Grand Canyon

Date Accomplished: 30 December 2004

My Friends in the Canyon

I have been to the Grand Canyon before this visit, but the only thing my family and I did was peer over the edges and take a look.  When two of my friends from England were doing a year’s study abroad in America, they both came to Colorado to spend Christmas with me, and we decided to do a road trip to the Grand Canyon, and then continue on to Las Vegas.  On our stop at the Grand Canyon, we decided it was time to go for a hike inside the Canyon, and I was thus able to accomplish this goal.

Icy Trail

This trip was very memorable on many levels, one of which was the fact that we defied death every day of the trip.  Our first day, we got caught in a blizzard while going over a mountain pass, and had to continue driving the pass in white-out conditions, several inches of snow on the road, thousand foot drops on one (and sometimes both) sides of the road with one headlight out.  Day two saw us at the Grand Canyon with high wind gusts, almost blowing us over the ridge at times, and once or twice having to dodge sharp aluminum siding that blew off craft stalls near the rim.  On the third day, we hiked into the Canyon.  I don’t recall if we chose the trail we went on, or if it was the only one open, but we hiked down a portion of the South Kaibab Trail.  In the snow.

The extent we went on South Kaibab Trail

The description of South Kaibab Trail at the trailhead reads thus: “The South Kaibab Trail is very steep, requiring just 6.3 miles (10.1km) to descend 4,860 feet (1481m) from rim to the Colorado River.  It is also one of the few Grand Canyon trails that follows ridge lines, as opposed to side canyons, and thus offers spectacular unobstructed views.”  The trail was almost completely frozen over, and we had to use crampons just to get a foothold.  Again, thousand-foot drops on either side of us, as we essential clung to a sheer cliff-face.  Both myself and one of my friends had a fear of heights, so we were quickly cured of this problem after going a ways down the canyon.  Maybe 3/4 of the way down (at least 3/4 of as much as we went), we got to an area that was being hit by the sun, and free of ice, but it was a harrowing descent nonetheless.  We only had the one day for the hike, and didn’t have any provisions with us to camp in the canyon, so we turned back after a certain amount of time to ensure we would make it back to our hotel for the night and not be stuck in the canyon.  While frightening for the most part, it was a fun hike, however shorter than I would have liked.  Maybe one day I’ll get to do a longer hike in the canyon, but for now the portion I’ve done is enough for me to cross this goal off my list.

Grand Canyon
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  1. […] I.2.01.06. __ Hike in the Grand Canyon […]

  2. […] from my last post (I.2.01.06. Hike in the Grand Canyon), our trip continued the next day (31 Dec.) to Las Vegas where we would spend New Years.  We […]


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