The Grand Canyon is well worth a weekend visit.
On our trip, in March, we encountered blazing hot sun, rain and on our
third day we even hiked in a white out that dumped 3 inches of snow. We
hiked the south Kiabab Trail down to Phantom Ranch and spent the night in
the campground. Then we hiked up to Indian Gardens and endured a wind/rain/snow
Contrary to what we planned- I would suggest
mailing in and getting reservations before you go, you must a reservation
in a campground to stay there.
We arrived at the park in
the afternoon, enjoyed the scenery and the 'great' general store and we located
the hiking reservation center. The next morning we got up at the crack of
dawn to get in line to try to get a hiking permit--no luck they ran out of
permits a good 3 parties before us. So instead of hanging around the park
to wait for the next morning, we jumped into the truck and headed down
for a day at Baseball Spring Training, Mariners vs Angels. The next morning we did get our
Day one hiking : We we caught the first bus of the morning, it had been blazing
hot the last couple of days. The trail heads steadily down, down and
down. We set out early enough to where we had the trail almost all to
ourselves. We did meet a couple that were planning on going down to
Phantom Ranch and back out the same day--I hope they made it they were in
tough shape on there way down alone. We got to the Bright Angel campground
and picked out our spot, then we played a bit of frisbee in the Colorado
river. Believe or not there is running water and flush toilets.
Day two hiking: We headed to Indian Gardens campground. It was a pretty
easy hike that day. We were the first ones here so we picked a great camp
spot out of the valley, near the bathrooms. A wind/rain/snow storm came in
that night a took one groups tent and put it up in a tree, the craziest
thing I think I have ever seen--we heard some screaming below us and we
watched a medium sized dome tent fly up into the air like a kite. Also
with all the rain we received this day most of the people who camped in
the valley had there tents flooded.
Day three hiking: After a miserable windstorm we awoke to a dusting of
snow. it was so beautiful but that beauty soon faded when you waked out of
the canyon in 5 inches of slush. This days hike was no walk in the park it
is strenuous anyway then with the biting cold. But hey we were in the
Grand canyon and there are so many things to look at I soon forgot about
the hiking part of it.
One small note: take plenty of water, some sunscreen and allow as many
days as possible in the canyon-there are numerous side trips to take and
the views are well worth soaking in for hours of relaxation.
Do it again? Yes, probably a south rim to the north rim route.
When we went there was about 5 feet of snow at the North Rim.