Of course, not everyone does hike the Grand Canyon rim-to-rim, and there are actually many warnings on the internet not to do this, but my friend’s uncle (who is in his 60s) said he had done it a bunch of times and he was able to complete the 24 miles between sunrise and sunset.
I know you’re thinking “Michelle is nuts to try to do this.” Yeah, well. That’s me.
ME PLUS ONE
We picked a date for the end of April and she booked a flight. There was only one problem – it turns out the shuttle at the North Rim that brings you back to the South Rim (where my car would be) didn’t start running until May 15. We would have to do Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim – which is 48 miles in one day. Um…not even I am that crazy.
HIKING THE GRAND CANYON – SOUTH RIM LOOP
Let me just say it was amazing. We started on the trial at 6:30 a.m. and walked all day. The scenery was incredible, the people we met along the way were interesting, and it was one of the most memorable days of my life. I would do it again in a heartbeat and will definitely do the entire rim-to-rim hike next time.
GRAND CANYON HIKING TIPS:
If you are going to do it, here are some things to keep in mind:
2) Treat the hike like a marathon: You are going to be walking all day up and down a canyon treat it like an intense sporting event. Carb up the night before, eat a good breakfast and bring carbs and water with you on the trip.
3) Bring snacks: The Phantom Lodge does have water, but what they have for food is limited. They have pretzels and cliff bars, but not sandwiches, salads or anything of substance. We were surprised. If going again, I would bring more peanut butter sandwiches, more energy chews and more electrolyte powders, etc.
5) Bring a headlamp or flashlight: We thought we would be done before dark, but we weren’t. We ended up borrowing a light from a group of hikers to help us see at the end.
HIKING AT NIGHT – TOTALLY MAGICAL!
Here’s something else that I learned. A lot of people do night hiking on full moon days. This is an amazing experience as you leisurely hike down or up the canyon with your flashlight and the light of the moon. It is also magical to watch.
We only got to see it for a little while at the end, but when you look out over the canyon all you see are the lights of hikers slowly making their way up. It’s a completely different experience from the day hiking and a must-do if you are into hiking like me. I already have a friend signed up to do a moonlight hike down to Havasu Falls with me later this year. Yay!
Just remember to bring bug spray and a jacket. It gets really cold at night. Also, for extra fun, bring an ultra-violent light to hunt for scorpions on the way. They glow in the dark (under the ultra-violent light). Very cool.