Sunday, April 8, 2012

4/8/12: Grand Canyon Part 1

The Grand Canyon was all that I could have possibly hoped for. Jen, Dad, Mom, and I had an amazing time out there.

On Thursday I woke up early and hit the trail at 5:40am to catch sunrise and run the following route:

  • Started at a parking lot about 1 mile from the South Rim

  • Ran down the South Kaibab Trail a little over 7 miles to Phantom Ranch, which is just past the Colorado River at the base of the canyon

  • Went about 3.5 or 4 miles past Phantom Ranch on the beginning of the North Kaibab trail that climbs to the North Rim

  • Turned around and ran it back!

The route is no joke, and you lose 5,000 of vertical of 7 miles going from the rim down to Phantom Ranch. The climb back up was all sorts of fun. I ran 1:20 down from the rim to Phantom Ranch, 2:10 back up from Phantom Ranch, and 4:50 for the whole ~24 mile route.

Jen and I hiked a similar route the next day. We had Jen's awesome camera for the trek, so start getting excited for the next post, which is going to be killer!

In the meantime, here are a few pictures I took on my phone:

This is a creek that feeds the Colorado River. I ran along this after passing Phantom Ranch at the bottom. This picture is really out of order, but the blog was not cooperating, so oh well.

The sun is just started to hit the south rim of the canyon

Sunrise looking out to the east

Toward the bottom of the picture is the plateau before the big drop down to the river. The plateau is probably around 3,000 feet down with another 2,000 or so to go after that.

This was a really awesome section. You can see the trail running down to the plateau, and this was by far some of the flattest parts of the trail.

One of the first views of the Colorado River. This is just after you crest the plateau.

There were some awesome views as the sun started to hit more of the North Rim.

Descending below the plateau down towards the river.

This is right by Phantom Ranch. It was amazing lush down here and seemed like an oasis thanks to the creek that ran off to the left.

This climb was just insane. So steep and so many switchbacks. You hit a sign partway through this climb that says you are about halfway up from the bottom of the canyon. Not exactly encouraging ...

View from the top on the next day


Christine said...

that's a really strong finish, since I would assume running back up would take at least 100% more effort than the way down!

Christine said...

also the change in vegetation is insane!

Will said...

Yeah, it was nuts! We were there at a great time of year, and everything was much lusher with the desert in bloom. Cactus flowers are pretty awesome!

Koushik Das said...

While I don't condone your run back and forth from North to South rims (you should include a picture of all the signs saying, "you will die if you try doing this"), that's pretty awesome! I am surprised that you don't have more pictures of Agave - when Joanna and I went last May there were just so many dotting the Kaibab and Bright Angel trails. Great pictures!

Barbara said...

Will and Jen, After reading these great travelogues and seeing the beautiful pictures, I feel like I was in the Grand Canyon with you, and I don't have blisters, either!