Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Grand Canyon National Park

As far as the Grand Canyon goes I think I could just put pictures here and nothing else and my point would still be proven! It is stunning, every direction you look there is something beautiful to see. However, I will try and do justice to my experience here with words as well as photos!

I went to the Grand Canyon as part of a partnership with intrepid travel. I was lucky enough to be taken along on one of their Wild West tours and you can read all about my adventures on it in my blog, but this one is for the Grand Canyon. The first day we arrived in the park we headed straight to our camp site, we where in Mathers camp ground. After pitching our tents half the group left to go for a helicopter tour while the rest of us explored the south rim. The first time you see over the edge your breath is taken away, it is so vast and beyond what you can imagine.

Now there is a marked path, however you are able to go beyond this out onto the ledges at your own risk which I did although I urge caution if you visit and do this. As you can see it is just incredible the sky meets the ground uninterrupted and really shows how incredibly huge the Grand Canyon is.

That night out tour leader Izzy collected pizza for us and drove us to a view point to watch the sun go down. This was an amazing experience the Canyon was lit up with golden light showing us everything and provided us with some amazing photo opportunities.

We then headed back to the camp site for a early night as we would be getting up before the sun the next day for our hike! As you can imagine it is very hot at the Grand Canyon, it is a dessert and due to the Canyon itself trapping heat the further down you go the warmer it gets. Temperatures at the bottom of the Canyon can be up to 20 degree celsius higher than on the rim! Therefore we set of at 6am to the head of the Kaibab trail to beat the heat. We used the parks bus service to get to the trail head. 

We where going to be hiking to Skeleton Point which is over 2,000ft down into the Canyon. Unlike some trails the one did not have any water points meaning we had to go prepared with all our water and food. There are 2 check points along the way which provided amazing photo opportunities. The important thing about the trail is to know your limits which is why 2 girls turned back at the first check point while 2 of us carried on. 

We arrive at Skeleton point around 8am an hour and a half after setting off and as you can see from these photos the views are amazing! We stopped for 'lunch' or breakfast however you want to put it and took in the beautiful scenery. The temperature was already soaring at this point and with no shade in the Canyon theres no escaping it. 

Hiking back up the Canyon was a lot less pleasant experience than going down, the way back up is brutal. You don't realise how steep and winding the trail is on the way down but after only a few minutes of climbing our legs where burning. It took us 2 and a half hours to get back up with many more breaks. At points it was a grit your teeth and power through situation as stopping then starting again was worse than carrying on! However, when we did eventually reach the top, and the sense of achievement was amazing! When we realised we'd hike over 4,000ft in total and looked back at the trail it was amazing! It was also great to head back firstly to the village shop for ice cream, and then to camp for showers! 

The rest of the day consisted of relaxing at camp until the whole group had made their way back and then another trip to the rim for our last view of the Canyon. Here we sat as a group taking it all in and getting out last photos.

We headed out early the next morning, but not before stopping at the south entrance for our picture with the Grand Canyon sign doing our best elk impressions. 

Have you visited the Grand Canyon or would you like too? Let me know in the comments what you think!

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