Sunday, February 10, 2013

Grand Canyon National Park: Bright Angel Trail

Last night we went back to the Canteen at Phantom Ranch to play some cards and warm up for a bit before heading back to camp for sleep. I slept pretty well last night given the cold sleeping conditions. This morning everyone seemed ready to get moving and head out of camp. After eating a quick breakfast and packing up camp we hit the trail. We would ascend back to the rim on the Bright Angel Trail instead of retracing our steps on the South Kaibab Trail.

At the start of the hike we headed over to the Silver Bridge to cross over the Colorado River.
River and Bridge View photo SilverBridge2_zps32267162.jpg
On the Silver Bridge photo HikersonSilverBridge_zpse9b25c14.jpg
After crossing the river I had expected to start ascending immediately, but instead the trail meandered along the river on a gently undulating trail for a bit
Colorado River photo DeepCanyonView_zps6ca7d950.jpg
Hiking Near the River photo HikersAscending_zpsb52b7e65.jpg
Ascending photo headingUp_zpse4636a58.jpg
Colorado River photo RiverOverlook_zpsdc728e79.jpg
before starting the real ascent at Pipe Creek.
Hiking Along Bright Angel Creek photo alongBACreek_zps4abd7dfa.jpg
The trail along the creek was quite enjoyable to hike with lots of pleasant scenery.

Soon we could see the snow that lay waiting for us when we ascended higher.
Ascending Bright Angel Trail photo IntotheSnow_zps481990ef.jpg
We also found an old mine along the trail that we just had to check out a little bit.
Checking Out Mine photo GregHeadstoCave_zps8b91e206.jpg

After following Pipe Creek for a bit the trail meandered over to Garden Creek.
Small Waterfall On Bright Angel Creek photo AboveSmallwaterfall_zpsdf7baaa8.jpg
We would follow Garden Creek up to Indian Garden. We stopped at Indian Garden for a snack and then hit the trail again. Shortly after leaving Indian Garden we started to make our way up into the snow again.
Nearing the Rim photo nearingtheRim_zps0556ed34.jpg
The closer to the rim we got, the harsher the conditions. Again, I was glad to have my Microspikes. Just before reaching the rim, conditions got really rough. It was very cold, snowy and the wind was blowing something fierce. We passed through two small tunnels and shortly after the second one we were on the rim.
Tunnel photo Tunnel1_zpse18fae8b.jpg
Once we reached the rim it was a short, slippery walk on the paved trail back to the housing at the Albright Center.

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