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We decided to get out of LA for a weekend of hiking at Grand Canyon. From LA, it took us roughly 6-7 hours to get to Williams, AZ on a Friday night. There, we spent the night at a motel and in the morning we got up early to go hiking! This was our first national park hike of the year so we were so excited! Looking back, we probably should’ve prepped our bodies just a little more because the hiking at Grand Canyon was NO EASY ADVENTURE. Different Hiking Trails in Grand Canyon include: Rim Trail, Bright Angel Trail, South Kaibab Trail, Hermit Trail, Grand View Trail. We decided on doing the South Kaibab Trail.
Tips on hiking the South Kaibab Trail (pdf):
1. Parking: While the park recommends that you park at the Visitor’s Center, there is a little parking lot at Yaki Point (the beginning of the trail). The plus side of parking there is that you don’t have to wait for the free shuttle. However, the upside of parking at the Visitor’s Center is there are clean restrooms there. Something to think about if you’re going to spend 6 hours hiking.
2. Steep: This hike is very steep! The first half was very easy seeing that you’re going downhill for most of it. But the second half is KILLER.
Ooh Ahh Point: This point comes up very quickly. On the day we went, the weather was beautiful and had mild temperatures. We were able to go past this point and continue on. However, the BF and his friends got to this point 3 summers ago on a very hot day and this was their turn around point. Consider the weather before you go on.
Cedar Ridge: Most day hikers seemed to stop at Cedar Ridge. There is a port-o-potty there and it’s a great place to rest. Lots of hikers stopped to eat and rest at this point. The view is gorgeous here. The return hike up is tough at this point, so consider that if you are hiking with small children.
Skeleton Point: This is our farthest point. The park does not recommend hiking from Rim to River in one day. We hiked for 6 hours round trip (including picnic lunch) and we barely saw a tiny section of the Colorado River from this point. I can only imagine how much farther it would have been. On the day we went, this section of the trail was pretty empty.
4. Bring Water and Salty Foods! I can’t stress this one enough. I saw a lot of new hikers with little tiny bottles of water. The park recommends 1/2 to 1 liter of water an hour per person. Between the 2 of us on a mild day, we brought 5 bottles of water and we drank it all! I can’t imagine what it’s like in the middle of summer. Also, it’s always good to carry some food. It makes for a nice picnic overlooking the view. But, most importantly, you need to recharge. Bring some trail mix or sandwiches. You’ll thank me later.
Additional Reading and Resources:
Hiking Tips- Grand Canyon National Park
The BF has been talking about Grand Canyon forEVER. For the longest time, I really was just not that interested in going at all. I mean everyone already has a picture of standing in front of a giant hole. How great can it be?
Let me tell you.
A few general tips on visiting Grand Canyon:
1. South Rim and North Rim: There are two major parts of Grand Canyon. The South Rim and the North Rim. The South Rim (the most popular area) is open all year round. The North Rim is at the southern end of the Kaibab Plateauonly and it is only open in the summer seasons (open May 15, 2010).
2. Hike: We love hiking! This trip was our first hike of the season and we were super excited. However, if you visit their website, they have a whole section on tips and warnings about hiking Grand Canyon in the summer. We’re pretty good hikers, but it was really good that we took a lot of their warnings seriously and brought a lot of water. Between 2 people, we brought 5 liters of water for one of the more moderate hikes. It was not a hot day and we still finished all 5 liters easily. Also, there are lots of people who think they can hike from rim to rim (South Rim and North Rim) in one day. Be very prepared with all the hiking necessities and be in very good shape. Read up on the warnings on the website. This is not easy.
3. Lodging: We tried to get lodging in the park, but it was sold out really fast! Do this early! We ended up staying in nearby towns, Williams and Flagstaff. For some reason, we love staying at Super 8 hotels. For no other reason than that’s our budget road trip motel of choice.
Summer is around the corner and for many people, that means it’s time to check out the state fair(s). When I was a kid, I remember going to the California State Fair at the Cal Expo in Sacramento, California to eat candy, see a bunch of animals and just hang out with good friends during summer break. If you have kids or little nieces and nephews, you might want to take them for some fun too.
Here at Wanderus, we’ve done the research for you and here are the links to this year’s state fairs with dates:
The Grand Canyon is a must see for everyone. That’s what I keep telling my girlfriend, and I think she’ll be in shock when she finally sees it. Really, it’s that jaw dropping. But people often ask: “what’s there to do besides looking at a hole in the ground?” Well, here are my suggestions.
1. See it from different points of view – If you’re going all the way out to Arizona to see the grand canyon, please do something more than just walk around the south rim and take pictures. If that’s all you’re going to do, you’ll run out of fun real fast. There are numerous hiking trails that take you to different parts of the Grand Canyon. There’s even one that takes you down to the bottom, where you can camp and cross rivers and valleys. If you’re not in any shape to hike that far, you can rent horses to ride on the trails too. Also, check out the less visited north rim for another point of view. Or, if you have a little more money, there are small airplane tours you can take to view it from up top. Either way, leave the comforts of the parking lot and do some exploring.
2. See it last – this is kind of hard to do since you are definitely going there to see the grand canyon. However, nearby is the world’s largest preserved crater (above) and Sedona, a beautiful little town with great rock formations. Going to those places should be a part of your trip, unless you’re doing the 4 day hike down into the grand canyon. But the thing is, when you’ve seen such a jaw-dropping scene, the crater just doesn’t do it for you anymore, when normally, it would be a great sight by itself. So, if possible, I would save the best for last. I made the mistake of seeing the crater the day after the grand canyon and it was like drinking a sweetened tea after eating ice cream.
3. See it on a clear warm day – this might be pretty obvious but it’s really important. The Grand Canyon is located in a desert in Arizona and it gets extremely hot during summer time. Hiking will be an arduous task when the sun is beating down on you without the cover of trees. And like other national parks, there are no street lights to help you find your way when the sun goes down. (One time I had to hike down Half Dome in darkness with a tiny flash light for 5 hours. That was not fun). So plan accordingly and don’t forget the sunscreen.