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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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Hiking Grand Canyon – Day 3 Up to Indian Garden

01 Silver Bridge across Colorado River GRCA NP AZ pano (800x784)

Again we didn’t rush to get on the 4.7 mile (7.4 k) trail for the day and headed for the Silver Bridge at a still chilly below freezing 10:30am.

02 Mike on Silver Bridge GRCA NP AZ pano (722x800)

The Silver Bridge was constructed in the late 1960s to support the transcanyon pipeline carrying water from Roaring Springs to the South Rim.

03 Colorado River downstream from Silver Bridge GRCA NP AZ (800x600)

This day, the Rio de Colorado, Spanish for “River of Color,” showed some of its truer ruddy self.

04 Colorado River upstream from Silver Bridge GRCA NP AZ (800x600)

Since the completion of Glen Canyon Dam sediments are mostly trapped behind the dam typically leaving the river a crystal blue/green.

05 Brown trout caught by NPS biologist in Bright Angel Creek GRCA NP AZ (800x595)

Fishery biologist holds brown trout

In addition, some native fishes adapted to the pre-dam warmer, muddier water, are becoming extinct in the cold, clear water which now supports introduced species.

06 Bucks on River trail GRCA NP AZ (800x588)

Mule deer bucks none to anxious to leave the River trail

The Civilian Conservation Corps constructed the River Trail, which continues east to the South Kaibab trail and Black Bridge, between 1933 and 1936 to enable hikers and mule riders to reach Phantom Ranch from the Bright Angel Trail.

07 Light on canyon walls & quartz intrusions from River trail GRCA NP AZ (800x600)

The 1.6 mile (2.4 km) River Trail climbs above and follows the river passing through a sand dune habitat with vertical walls of Vishnu Schist rising more than 1400 feet (427 m) above our heads.

08 Pipe Creek Beach Bright Angel trail GRCA NP AZ (800x600)

Where Pipe Creek enters the Colorado River Bright Angel Trail begins it’s slow 3.1 mile (5 km) ascent to Indian Garden where we spent the night.

09 Mike on Bright Angel trail GRCA NP AZ (800x600)

First following the meanders of Pipe Creek including several shallow crossings.

10 Devils Corkscrew from Bright Angel trail GRCA NP AZ pano (661x800)

Next comes the switchbacks known as the Devils Corkscrew and the long traverse through the desert-like Vishnu Schist environment. Every time I hike this part it feels shorter.

11 NR from Bright Angel trail GRCA NP AZ (800x600)

This tops out into a narrows through the Tapeats Sandstone showing extensive erosion by Garden Creek.

12 Waterfall along Bright Angel trail GRCA NP AZ pano (413x800)

Groundwater seeping through the rock layers above is stopped by the Bright Angel Shale layer on top of the sandstone and comes out in several springs which have been used by people over a 1000 years.

13 Trail into Indian Garden campground GRCA NP AZ (600x800)

It’s such a delight to suddenly find myself back in the lush streamside habitat approaching Indian Garden, even with the snow dusted South Rim in sight.

14 Camp Indian Garden GRCA NP AZ (600x800)

It was an early dinner and quickly into the tent sort of night as we crawled into our sleeping bags to stay warm with a low of 13F and dream of the next day’s 4.6 miles (7.4 km) to top out on the South Rim.


Diane said...

You must be soooooo fit when I see where you walk. Fantastic pictures yet again and I am still enjoying the hike without using the muscle power. :-) Diane

Diane AZ said...

Wow, what a beautiful hike. Those mule deer look quite sturdy and I can't believe how big that trout is!

Janie said...

Beautiful views along the river. I've been to the river by way of Indian Gardens, but only as a day hike. 13 F! That was a very cold night in the tent.

Jenn Jilks said...

I'm glad you are there ,too! Your photos are always fabulous, stunning, breathtaking.

Small City Scenes said...

Thanks for taking us along with you. As diane said I can enjoy the hike without muscle power---well mine anyway, you're the one getting the workout.
Gorgeous sights and great info too. MB

Firefly the Travel Guy said...

I just stay amazed at the biodiversity in the Canyon. Such a stunning place.

Betty Manousos said...

Beautiful pictures!
I LOVE your blog!!

Thanks so much for the follow. I am now following you back.
B :)

Christine said...

This is a really interesting post. It's like a guided armchair tour. I wouldn't want to camp in a tent in that temperature!

Kathie Brown said...

You are one hardy woman! I'm sitting upstairs in my mom's house with a turtleneck, a sweater and a fleece vest on even though the heat is turned on! Can't get used to this New England Cold but it's almost just as cold where you are! Beautiful scenery as always.

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