by Stewart Aitchison & Bruce Grubbs (Falcon Guides)
© Stewart Aitchison & Bruce Grubbs/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.
This was a family trip. Our kids were 11 and 12 yrs old. We were 51 and I was 30lbs over weight. I still managed it. We hired the mule service to carry part of the camping load to Phantom Ranch to make the hike down South Kaibab easier. My husband and kids enjoyed every minute. The views were so amazing. But we started a bit late (7A) and took too many scenic breaks. By the end I had problem. I drank lots of water but not enough electrolytes. Since I was out of shape the hike caught up to me. The rangers were AMAZING. One of them talked to me for 1/2 hour as I begged for a mule ride out. The answer was NO - with a calm "you can do it" speech. He was right by morning and 1/2 gallon of Gatorade later I was better.
We had our full gear for the hike via Bright Angel up to Indian Garden for our 2nd night . This trail was not as scenic but it provided wonderful shade and a brook to wet down in occasionally.
I wish we had done the flat hike from Indain Garden out to Plateau Point. NEXT TIME!
Gorgeous, gorgeous views all around, but watch your feet. Steep trail (4500 ft descent) ca wreak havoc on your toes, ankles, and knees. This was my first backpacking trip and it hooked me for life. Get an early start.
THIS was the trail that hooked me on hiking for good. I spent my spring break with 4 friends on a 3-day trip down the S.Kaibab and back up on Bright Angel 2 days later. For an east-coast guy like myself, I was completely blown away by the views. Took a short climb on the Utah Flats route the next day, and spent hours just exploring and gawking. There are plenty of spots to rest and fill up with water on the way, and Phantom Ranch is a surreal touch of civilization in the middle of the 'ditch'. Temeratures wierded me out- low of 20 on the S.rim, but highs of 80 at Bright Angel campground. By the time I crawled out, I was completely exhausted, I had twisted my ankle... and I had loved every minute.
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