The Grand Canyon is nature’s theater.
-Thoughts from an extremely tired Anru on the Bright Angel Trail
This winter break, me and my family went to a variety of unique places with different characteristics. But, undoubtedly the most famous, had to be the Grand Canyon National Park.
We stayed there a total of two days, and though the temperatures were unrealistically low, we still took away a special experience.
Once we arrived, it was clear that the first thing to do was to check into the hotel in which we would stay in. If you are planning to visit the Grand Canyon, and plan to stay in a place inside the park, it is ABSOLUTELY necessary to make reservations ahead of time, especially in the summer. We booked a reservation at Yavapai Lodge, which turned out to be very easy to navigate once inside the park.
On the first day, we had high expectations. But we soon found out that the time we were planning to hike, was expecting large amounts of snowfall. That day was also very cloudy, so our hopes slowly diminished into empty optimism (the type where you attempt to cheer the other up, but you are as pessimistic as the other). My sarcasm had also reached an all-time high. We, however, did explore the park nonetheless.
This proved to be a very worthwhile event, such that we found a trail that was not closed. That was the Bright Angel Trail on the South Rim of the park. We then quickly realized that the trail required shoes with attachable kilts to avoid slipperage (why yes, of course that’s a real word). So, we bought them at a market close to Yavapai Lodge (the good kilts are the ones that cover your whole foot, we did not know, so our later ventures in Zion Canyon was breath-taking, literally).
I guess if you compare our morning attitudes with the first day’s attitudes they were somewhat happier.
The morning was basically a winter wonderland, with a clouded sky (our moods were very cloudy, get it? #punny). Anyhow, despite some forecast of snow during breakfast, we still followed our plan to hike three miles down Bright Angel Trail. And thank God for that, because once the day approached late morning, the clouds parted and the Trail Gods probably came down and said a bunch of quotes along the lines of “you’re welcome, now go hike”. And that is exactly what we did.
We started at around nine, and began our journey downwards into the renowned canyon. The trail was quite interesting, for it changed depending on the temperature. Icy, slushy, muddy, dry was all states of the trail that day, and probably throughout the whole season. Though it was long, we weren’t as tiresome as I expected as we reached the three mile point. Then, we rested to replenish our bodies.
Now, going downward is optional, but going back is not. As we started back up, my legs started to give way and then I fainted. Just kidding! 🙂 But honestly going back up is a COMPLETELY different story.
As we started to go back, we started to separate, fastest up in front, and slowest in the back. The key to hiking up hill is to be persistent and to keep a constant and comfortable (but mildly tiring) pace. I did that, but even with my obvious advice, I still had to take frequent breaks to drink water. Along the way, I meet some interesting people that were from France! I speak a little bit of French, so I talked with the couple. They turned out to be very kind and adventurous people, even knew of the small town where I am from. How nice!
Then, after about 2 gruesome and sweaty hours, I made it back to where we had began. The entire trip took me and my family around five hours. Now, I am not the most athletic person, so it may take you quicker or slower depending on physical ability.
Et voilia! That concludes my brief story on how I left the Grand Canyon National Park with a piece of my own canyon.