We were part of the lucky few to get a permit through a lottery to be able to visit this designated wilderness area within the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument on the Utah/Arizona border. Visitation is limited to only 20 people per day to help protect this wondrous place. If you manage to secure a permit, all your efforts will be rewarded with an experience you will never forget.
Hike From The Bottom of the Grand Canyon - Phantom Ranch to the South Rim Via the Bright Angel Trail - Grand Canyon National Park - Arizona
Day two of our hike from the south rim of the Grand Canyon to the bottom and back out. This hike on the Bright Angel Trail was longer than the descent on the South Kaibab Trail, and the steepest three miles were right at the end. However, the first half of the Bright Angel Trail on the ascent had a stream running alongside and the feel of the trail was quite different. For a couple of out-of-shape hikers, we were pretty proud of ourselves for accomplishing this challenge.
Hike To The Bottom Of The Grand Canyon - South Kaibab Trail to Phantom Ranch - Grand Canyon National Park - Arizona
We visited the Grand Canyon somewhat early in the season, and thought maybe we could get a mule ride to the bottom of the canyon. There were no openings but there was a last-minute cancellation at Phantom Ranch which consists of cabins and dorms. So we jumped on the opportunity and decided to hike down. After three days of "practice" and conditioning ourselves for the hike, this entry recounts the details of our descent into the beautiful canyon on the South Kaibab Trail.
We went back into the park today to take care of some administrative stuff for tomorrow's hike to the bottom of the canyon. While we were there, we took a stroll on the Rim Trail for more views and photos.
I had visited the Grand Canyon as a small lad with my parents many, many years ago. Linda flew over it as a young adult on a helicopter tour from Las Vegas not quite as many years ago. But this was the first time we had seen it together. Today we checked out a few viewpoints, and looked at the trails we would be using in the next few days to hike to the bottom of the canyon and back out. Seeing the trails way down below was a bit intimidating.
Saguaro National Park exists for the protection of America's largest cacti, a long-standing symbol of the American west. There is something about the Saguaro that makes you want to read personalities into them and take their pictures.
If you like wonderful hikes without the crowds of the National Parks, try some of the U.S. National Monuments. While doing this great 8.5-mile hike at Chiricahua National Monument in southeastern Arizona, we only encountered five other people.
I remembered the Petrified Forest & Painted Desert from cross-country trips as a kid, but Linda had never been here. Today, we covered most of the highlights of this fascinating place.