October 30th, 2016 ~ Day 219
Planning to hike the Bright Angel Trail to Plateau Point for a day hike, Eric and I left in the early morning to drive up to the Grand Canyon. Only three and a half hours away from Phoenix, I feel like I should be doing this more often. Today would be Eric’s first time in the Grand Canyon. I’m so excited to be the one to share this adventure with him.
It was chilly when we arrived. I pulled out my down jacket to keep me warm. With the top of the south rim being at 6860 feet in elevation, it is always cooler than when you are at the bottom of the Canyon.
We started down the Bright Angel Trail, a 4.5 mile downhill with 3800 feet in elevation to Indian Gardens. Downhill is easy, unless the switchbacks become steep, and lucky for us the Bright Angel Trail isn’t too steep.
Our first stop on the trail was the mile and a half house. Named for being one and a half miles from the rim. I had to get this jacket off. The temperature was beginning to rise and I was starting to sweat. Also, stopping I had to stare in awe at the magical wonder this place holds.
There is really nothing like this place, at least none that I have ever seen. The canyon is so massive, grand doesn’t even describe the enormity of this place.
I love the Grand Canyon for so many reasons. The rich colors of the earth are so deep red. We hiked down through the colors of the cliffs could see off in the distance. I’m assuming erosion and time, rushing waters from the Colorado River are what has carved out this beautiful magnificent place, but I really don’t know exactly. I’m just grateful for the opportunity to hike and enjoy all that surrounds me.
We stopped for our second break at the 3 mile house. It’s nice that they have these stops to guage how far you have come, or better yet when you’re climbing up, how much mileage you have left. 😊
Our third break, Eric and I stopped at Indian Gardens. The temperature read 80 degrees and we had cloud cover, yet it felt really warm. Maybe because we are hiking.
We sat at a picnic table next to the creek to listen to the water flowing. Indian Gardens is one of my favorite places in the Grand Canyon. With so many trees, it offers shade in the desert. The creek is a great place to cool your weary feet on a hot day.
Heading out from Indian Garden to Plateau Point, we saw the helicopter pick up the cargo left behind, possibly by hikers who paid to carry their cargo out. Not something you get to see everyday. Of the six times I’ve been in the Canyon, I have never seen a helicopter before today.
The hike from Indian Gardens to Plateau Point is another mile and a half. An easy, mostly flat hike with more amazing scenery.
Once you arrive at Plateau Point, you receive the breathtaking views of the Colorado River. The green color is a beautiful sight. Since the first time I touched the Colorado River back in February, here in the Canyon, I’ve been in love. So many things to love about the outdoors.
After taking in the breathtaking views from Plateau Point, we began our journey heading back up the Canyon. Stopping again at Indian Gardens for a moment before we headed uphill.
The first mile from Indian Gardens seems pretty easy. It’s a gradual uphill climb. After that first mile it gets tough.
Exhausted I laid on the ground every chance I got, putting my feet in the air to give them some rest. I read somewhere it releases the toxins from your legs while hiking.
We stopped often to catch our breath. I was pretty proud of Eric, I let him lead the way, and his stops were far less than mine were the first time I climbed up the Bright Angel Trail.
Just before the three mile house a helicopter came flying above us. It landed at the three mile house. After speaking with some other hikers, they said someone was dehydrated and needed to be rescued. They also said it was the fourth rescue today. Dehydration is no joke!
As we were making our way to the top of the Canyon, the sun began to set. The colors and the shadows of the Canyon were so vibrant!
We made it! Almost seven hours in 12 miles. I loved every single minute of this day! Another amazing hike in the grand Canyon! What a beautiful life!