Saturday, June 28, 2008

Little trip to US - Part IV Hiking in Grand Canyon

I think this was the most important part of my trip.

First because to walk in trails is a very passion for me, and second, would be the big test for my knee, after the ligament reconstruction.

I have also to admit that I like to test my limits.


The two most famous trails there are Bright Angel and South Kaibab.
 My first idea was going down by the South Kaibab until the Colorado River, pass the night in a refuge called Phantom Ranch and in the next day going up by the Bright Angel trail. But there wasn't place in the refuge... (of course I checked before :) ).

And then I had to plan to going to a point and return in the same day. I decided to go until Skeleton Point (B on the map). I had another idea (after read a suggestion in Internet) that would be going down after the Skeleton Point and do the Tonto Trail (C) to reach Indian Garden and from there going up by the Bright Angel Trail (D). This idea wouldn't be bad (21 km in total), but when I met a ranger near the Skeleton Point, she said me that could be not a good idea, because in Tonto Trail there's no shadow, and my water provision could be not enough in emergency case. With resignation I went down a little bit more than the Skeleton Point and returned without problems doing 11 km total.

The weather was very hot and my water finished when I arrived at the trail head again. And this mean that I took the right decision to not try to return by the Bright Angel trail.

Talking about the trail, it's well signed, the view is fantastic and you cross with mule caravans and some nice squirrels :). The hard thing is really return, because from the trailhead (2195 mts) to Skeleton Point (1585 mts) there are 610 mts of difference! And of course the problem is the hot sun!

At the end no problem with my knee! Just a little pain that after one week stopped.
After the trail I returned to the hotel to a deserved bath! I returned to the park to see a special and spectacular show: the sunset! Incredible colors!!

The second day in the Grand Canyon was lighter, with regular walks but with nice views in the Rim Trail, a paved road in the side of the canyon!



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