We spent our first afternoon in the Grand Canyon getting snowed on. It would snow a bit, then stop. As the afternoon wore on, it got more consistent, it snowed more. Around 3:30pm we headed to the Grand Canyon Village and walked around. We finally had an early dinner to celebrate Little Curb Crusher’s birthday at the Bright Angle Lodge’s restaurant.
The views of the Canyon, even in the snow are spectacular. With the heavy clouds, there were times that it appeared that the clouds were filling in the Canyon. This is the first time that I remember ever seeing the Grand Canyon, even though Lady CurbCrusher has been a bunch of times, and even Little CurbCrusher has been before. It is certainly easy to tell how people are charmed by the place. Every time you look out over the rim, you seem to see something different. Pictures from this first day are here and here.
We spent our full day in the Canyon visiting most all of the view points on the South rim. We got up early to a cold morning. In fact is was so cold that the water had frozen in the hose between the faucet and the motorhome. We started by driving to the furthest east spot, Desert View. We then worked our way back to the Visitor’s Center, stopping and taking in a ranger program along the way. The ranger program covered the ruins early civilizations that had occupied the rim of the Canyon. We stopped at the RV for lunch, and then headed out to the western viewpoints of the rim. The western view points are only accessible by shuttle bus, so we left the car at the site and headed for the red shuttle. We rode to a couple of viewpoints, and walked between a couple. Each is different, but beautiful. As the day wore on, it got warmer, and by the end of the day it was quite pleasant.
We got up the next morning and hiked the Bright Angel Trail. Not all of it, but just the first mile and a half. There is a rest stop at a mile and a half. It took about 45 minutes to hike down to that point, we rested for about 15 minutes, and then took about an hour and fifteen minutes to hike back up. This is a great hike, it gets you below the Canyon rim without taking all day. The views from halfway down the Canyon looking up are fantastic. You also share the trail with mule trains. For us this wasn’t a bad thing as only one mule train made its way down while we were making our way back up. I had heard of this trail and was expecting a narrow steep trail. The trail was wider than I expected, and going up was much steeper than I expected. :-). Actually it wasn’t bad, but on the way up you did feel that you were exerting yourself.
Following the hike, we had done pretty much everything on our Grand Canyon bucket list. It was before noon and we decided to hit the road. The next stop is Fresno, Ca so that we can visit Sequoia National Park, and it is about 650 miles away. I had planned to drive this in one day, but with the early departure from the Grand Canyon we can break it up into two days.