Grand Canyon: Part 2 – Hiking Up

It’s an early start to our day as we prepare for the climb out of the Grand Canyon! Reviews we’ve read online have warned hikers not to attempt this hike if they are not able to run 10 miles a day….

We definitely aren’t running 10 miles a day, and have only recently begun taking on more difficult hikes!!

This could be interesting!!! πŸ˜§

There’s not much sun and it is slightly chilly, but it makes for good hiking weather.

We work to finish packing up our gear and campsite before making our way toward the trail.

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The Hike Up

It’s estimated to take people anywhere from 6 to 12 hours to accomplish the hike up.

With our bags packed and ready to go, we hit the trail!

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As we saw during yesterday’s hike into the canyon, today’s hike out begins by crossing the Colorado River on the Silver Bridge.

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In the distance, we can see the black bridge crossed the previous day.

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Just across the bridge is the crossroad to the Bright Angel Trail and the S. Kaibab Trail.

We’re taking the 9.9 mile route along the Bright Angel Trail.

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The hike starts fairly level and offers some pretty views of the river and canyon walls.

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If this what they mean by a gradual ascent, we’ll have no problem at all!

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Pipe Creek Beach

Good thing we came across this sign post.

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We both realize, we haven’t even felt how cold the Colorado River is.

This side path offers us beach access to the river.

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According to several blogs, it’s common practice for hikers to dip their feet and legs in the Colorado River to sooth the pains of the hike.

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Might as well give it a try!

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Tommy leaves a sweet message in the sand!!! πŸ’•πŸ’“πŸ’•πŸ’“

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Not knowing how long it is going to take us to get to the top, we make this a short visit to the river.

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It might be the last time we see the Colorado River on the trail, so we take a moment to enjoy it.

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Continuing the hike, we come across a stream with a few stepping stones to help us cross.

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With the stepping stones provided, we are able to cross the stream with ease!

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Along the streams, plant life is nourished.

Without much annual rainfall in the canyon, plants further from the streams are not nearly as plentiful.

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It takes a little while, but we have finally begun to see some elevation changes.

Still nothing we can’t handle!

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It’s not much longer before we encounter our dear friend the switchback.

The quicker elevation gain is definitely more difficult, but the views also get better!

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It’s easy to see the progress we’re making.

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There may not be rainbows, or canyon clouds today, but the landscape still offers it’s visual rewards.

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Waterfalls

As we hike along the trail, we hear water flowing!

Small waterfalls can be found throughout the canyon, especially after fresh rain, or melting snow.

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Sometimes only the evidence of a fall is left.

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Progress!

Looking back at how far we have come, we are pretty impressed with ourselves.

We have been hiking now for almost 3 hours with no breaks!

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Canyon Streams

Stream are popular during the summer months to assist hikers with cooling off.

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We don’t need them this time of year!

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Amidst our hike, the canyon walls around us offer continuous remarkable views.

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If you look closely, there’s a crab stamped into the side of this rock!

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As we are walking along the path, we see a group of hikers stopped taking pictures of something.

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It’s easy to see why

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The trail has flattened out, giving us much needed rest from the switchbacks we encountered earlier.

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Indian Garden

At about 10:30 am we arrive at the midway point, Indian Garden.

Indian Garden offers bathrooms, a water refill station, and even a campground!

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It is a common place for hikers of this trail to take a well deserved break!

Fairly hungry ourselves, we’re going to take a lunch break on one of the available picnic tables.

Don’t worry… we’ll only take as long as it takes you to look at this next picture!

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Done!

With lunch finished, we continue on!

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Looking up, we see there’s still a fairly daunting climb ahead of us!

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We have come a long way already

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…and looking back to see provides some reassurance that we can make it!

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The only evidence of animals have been the excrements left by the mules going up and down the trail… not the most exciting…

We’re pretty thrilled to run in to this little guy!

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He escorts us for a short while, before going on his way.

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Nearing The Top

The rock cliffs, near the top are amazing.

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Near the top is a small tunnel, leading us into the last segment of our hike!

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Our legs are weary and our backs beginning to ache, but our spirits are high with the end in sight!!

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A quick pause to soak up the beauty of the canyon is a necessity!

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The higher we climb, the more day hikers we see…

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and after hiking over 5 hours upward, with only a break for lunch, we are feeling pretty tired!

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But the end is in sight!!!

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Next to the trail we find a message from one of the hikers…. Guangzhou, China?

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Included with the message is a little asian snowman. β›„

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A few more minutes hiking and we FINALLY MAKE IT!!!!

5 hours and 45 minutes is the total hike time,  and we finally reach the top!

For being relatively new hikers, we’re pretty proud of our achievement. πŸ†

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Hip Hip Hooray!!!!
We survived the hike into the Grand Canyon!!!

Was it difficult? Yes!

So, do you have to run 10 miles every day to complete it? Clearly not!

Will we be sore tomorrow? YES!!!!

Since we arrived into the park late the first night, we snag a picture of the sign on the way out.

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We then take our sense of achievement and pride, pack it in the van, and head to our next stop!

Leave us a comment! πŸ˜€