Description

I own no land, instead I have wheelestate. I’ve been a full time RVer since 1997. Working summers as a Park Ranger takes me to many beautiful places and playing during the winter takes me to many more. This blog is simply the story of my life's adventures.

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Monday, December 6, 2010

MWT - Hiking Grand Canyon – Day 2 Staying close to camp

01 Snowing on SR from Phantom Ranch GRCA NP AZ (800x600)

Snowing on the South Rim in the morning

I’d never hiked the South Kaibab trail into Grand Canyon before. It is a steep, 7 mile (11.26 km) ridge trail with no potable water. Not a great place to be during the heat of summer. However, a winter hike on it was ideal.

02 Camp site Bright Angel campground GRCA NP AZ (600x800)

Bright Angel Camp

Unfortunately, my body didn’t quite agree about the ideal and was extremely exhausted after 7.5 hours downhill. Plus we basically didn’t get into camp until after dark.

03 Cabin Phantom Ranch GRCA NP AZ (800x600)

Cabin rental through Xanterra

So the next day, after a very chilly mid 20 degree F night and sleeping in until 8am, we first explored Phantom Ranch.

04 Canteen Phantom Ranch GRCA NP AZ (800x600)

The Canteen offers food & beverages, full meals require reservations

In 1922, the Fred Harvey Company commissioned Mary Jane Colter to redesign the original tourist camp built by David Rust twenty years earlier.

05 Mike writing postcard in Canteen Phantom Ranch GRCA NP AZ (800x600)

We went inside to warm up over a cup of cocoa and write postcards.

06 Mule pack train coming into Phantom Ranch GRCA NP AZ (800x600)

Everything used and sold here is carried in by mule train, as is all the garbage carried out.

07 Bridge over Bright Angel Creek below campground & Black Bridge in background GRCA NP AZ (800x600)

After sitting in this warmth for a little while our legs started to stiffen up so we walked back to camp for water and snacks to hike back up the trail we came down after dark. The Bright Angel campground is nestled between Bright Angel Creek…

08 Vishnu Schist in Bright Angel campground GRCA NP AZ (800x600)

…and towering walls of 4.7 billion year old Vishnu Schist.

09 Closeup of quartz in Vishnu Schist in Bright Angel campground GRCA NP AZ (600x800)

Closeup of the ancient schist with quartz and granite intrusions

10 Ranger residence under fall trees and canyon walls GRCA NP AZ (600x800)

Ranger residence

Though a remote and rugged setting, this area has long been a destination for humans.

11 Ancestral Puebloan ruin along N Kaibab trail GRCA NP AZ pano (800x570)

Almost 1000 years ago native people called Ancestral Puebloans (Anasazi) built their homes along the river.

12 Colorado R downstream from Black Bridge GRCA NP AZ (800x600)

Can’t say as I blame them.

13 Black Bridge over Colorado R from Boat Beach GRCA NP AZ (800x600)

Yet crossing the swift Colorado River had to be a hazardous undertaking before the National Park Service completed the present Kaibab Suspension Bridge in 1928.

14 Tunnel at S end of Black Bridge GRCA NP AZ (600x800)

The one-ton, 550-foot- long suspension cables were carried down into the canyon on the shoulders of mostly Havasupai tribesmen who walked single file down the trail while carrying the cables. And I thought carrying a 32 pound backpack was over much!

15 Colorado R & Bright Angel Creek confluence from S Kaibab trail GRCA NP AZ (800x600)

Confluence of Bright Angel Creek and Colorado River

But this day’s little hike was light and easy. And after seeing what was too dark to see the night before we headed back to camp.

16 SR from Phantom Ranch GRCA NP AZ (800x600)

Looking up at the snow on the South Rim

Thinking of the next day’s hike uphill. But that’s another story.

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19 comments:

Pearl said...

Beautiful. I've never been to the Grand Canyon...

Pearl

Jo said...

Oh beautiful, now I can say I've been on a hike in the Grand Canyon! Thanks for the guided tour. I look foeward to the next tour. Blessings and (((hugs))) Jo

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

Magical photos and I am so enjoying this tour without any muscle aches and pains LOL.Diane

Small City Scenes said...

It sounds like a very physical hike. I am worn out too. What beauty there is there. I like the cabins nestled in. Thanks for all the information too. I have always loved local history told in a real way. Thanks. MB

Sally in WA said...

Your pictures and description are really helping me see the places in the book I'm reading. Phantom Ranch was mentioned quite a bit in the last chapter. The book certainly is giving me a new respect for the place. :)

Janie said...

Great scenes from your adventure. It still looks like autumn down on the Phantom Ranch. Steve has been there, but I haven't. We'll have to go sometime before we get too decrepit!

Al said...

Wonderful, the more I see of your photos the more I want to hike into the Grand Canyon.

And to answer your question on my blog about whether the high-elevation roads stay open year-round, almost all of them (including the one I posted) do, as they're essential routes. Although in a good winter you can be driving through walls of snow!

Nina Fitzgerald said...

My knees ache just thinking about walking down the trails! But then, your pix make my heart ache to go down into the canyon. Thanks for sharing your adventure.

Sylvia K said...

What a fantastic place and your photos are superb as always! Love the colors! Definitely looks like a great trip! Thanks for sharing! Have a great week!

Sylvia

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

What an adventure. I hope you guys stayed warm in the cold night.

ladyfi said...

Wow - what an adventure! I'm tired just reading about it.

I love this set of dazzling photos - such natural beauty. Gorgeous!

Luna Miranda said...

these are jaw-dropping photos! a magnificent place. what a great adventure!

Elaine said...

Gorgeous! I've got to agree with the others--I'm tired just reading about the hike down. I think I'd stay an extra day or two just resting up before the climb out.

BraCom (Bram) said...

Beautiful My World Tuesday posting

Have a nice week,
Greetings, Bram

Link to My Word Tuesday post!

Seen on My World Tuesday

Bibi said...

Wow (all my comments to you begin with 'wow!), Gaelyn, these are exceptionally beautiful photos; such soft colors and those views! If you were tired after 7.5 hours, imagine those Indians who had to haul the cables! :)

Firefly said...

I think I am most amazed about the fact that there is a whole shop down there. Very interesting indeed. I can imagine they early inhabitents would have prefered living down in the canyon by the water rather than on to of the escarpment in the heat and dryness.

indicaspecies said...

You seem to be having a superb adventure. Lovely photographs. Have a safe and lovely trek. Cheers.

Arija said...

Wonderful! What wonderful things you get up to and great places you get to experience.

I am totally impressed!

diane said...

It certainly looks a rugged and isolated area. Pack animals to take in freight!! You must be very fit to undertake such hikes. Well done. It is awesome scenery.

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