Grand Canyoneering

Some good friends came to visit me for the weekend. We started with the simple, exploring a few of the National Monuments nearby. After that, we decided to try something a little more adventurous: hike from the rim of the Grand Canyon to the Colorado River and back in a day.

We chose to take the South Kaibab Trail down (7 miles/11.3 km length, 4780 ft/1457 m elevation change) and then hike back up the Bright Angel Trail (9.5 miles/15.3 km, 4380 ft/1337 m). We started late, knowing we wouldn't make it back before sunset, but decided to go on anyway--we had our headlamps and wouldn't get another chance this trip. And I'm glad we did--seeing the Canyon is nothing like feeling it, glimpsing a hint of its massive majesty. Every ridge teases you further, showing you a familiar end while revealing something new around you. Even the sunset revealed something beautiful--the Canyon by moonlight. Just a half moon was enough to forego the headlamps, masking what by then was a familiar landscape with an eerie shroud. The hike was strenuous but something I'll never forget.

It's amazing what can be done in a weekend from here.