I headed out last week to hike the Grand Canyon for the second time in my life, this time with 5 amazing women. I want to tell you about this group first and then the Canyon. I was new to this group of female hikers, “The Mountain Maniacs” they are a group of about twenty, five on this hike with me. As we headed up to Grand Canyon National Park I drove and I was able to listen to the stories of their lives. Each one so brilliant with wonderful knowledge of personal and worldly experiences, we had conversations of life lessons and careers and being a mom. The wisdom ran freely in my car and it was just the beginning of a great 24 hours.
We stayed at The Maswik Lodge which sits in The Grand Canyon National Park just a short walk to the South Rim and the Bright Angel trail head. The view of the Grand Canyon never disappoints. Chevy Chase in Family vacation really missed out!
I suggest having pizza inside The Maswik, it is really good. I wouldn’t stay for breakfast, possibly sit down and order breakfast at Bright Angel Lodge restaurant. I have not eaten at El Tovar, however it is a Historical Hotel and should not be missed. You can sit in the bar and have a drink with a great view of the Canyon.
As we set out Friday morning we started our decent into the canyon on the Bright Angel trailhead, just west of The Kolb Studio. We were greeted with some snow and ice on the trail, we quickly put on our clamp ons, on our shoes. I had Kahtoola brand and I really liked them. Karen prayed for us and off we went. The typical route is down Kaibab and out Bright Angel, this time we took Sally’s suggestion to go the other way. Bright Angel trail is 3 miles longer then Kaibab but it has running water and good bathroom facilities. It is less steep and has more shade. From the top down to Phantom Ranch is 9.9 miles to the Colorado River it is 8.0 miles, The highest point of the South Rim, 6,860 ft elevation change, 4,380 ft. It is definitely easier on your calves and knees going down Bright Angel then up Kaibab. We stopped for lunch at Indian Garden, so beautiful. Then headed down to Phantom Ranch.
When we got to Phantom Ranch we checked in and got our beds selected in our cabin and then it was HH and a foot soaking in the cold river. We had more great stories followed by everyone taking turns showering and then off to our steak dinner.
There are two times for dinner and breakfast, we had the early dinner at 5:00 which is the steak dinner.
After dinner we all went to our cabin and played Cards Against Humanity and told stories. Between the game and Karen’s stories I will tell you I don’t know when I laughed so hard last.
We had late breakfast at 7 AM, pancakes, eggs and bacon and then UP Kaibab trail we went. I don’t know, I think it’s all hard no matter which way you go up. We had a beautiful day, there was a small avalanche we had to climb over and then snow and ice at the top. We finished up with a snack at Bright Angel lodge and drove home. We didn’t have any arguments no disagreements all was easy as it should be.