Where do I even begin when trying to write a blog post about the Grand Canyon? I mean seriously. Major bucket list moment. And something I never thought in my lifetime I would have the opportunity to see.
I can remember the exact moment I looked out into the canyon for the first time. Our tour leader made us all stand in a line, hands on each other’s shoulders with our eyes closed – kind of a Trek America tradition – as she lead us from our van, out towards the edge.
Now, if you ask me, that’s what you call a REAL ‘trust fall’, but luckily nobody wandered off the edge. Thank god. And instead, after counting down from three, we all opened our eyes and stared out into the Grand freaking Canyon.
It was incredible.
Because the weather was a little muggy the first evening, we decided to postpone one of our excursions till the next morning. For this activity we wanted a clear sky.
I’m talking about: MY FIRST EVER TIME IN A HELICOPTER!
Which required being weighed (kinda awk), to determine where we were going to sit in order to balance our weights .. and a hefty fee. But, hey. It’s not everyday you’re faced with an opportunity like that.
You can read all about that here: The Grand Canyon (IN A HELICOPTER).
So, after grabbing our day bags, we decided to head back into the National Park and go for a hike in the Canyon so we could experience it on foot as well as in the air.
There are dozens of hikes you can do, all varying in length, which is something we found at all of the National Parks we went to. There’s something for everyone; whether you want a hike that will last all day or a half hour wander.
We followed the ‘Bright Angel Trail’ down into the Canyon, which has several stop off/view point areas on the way down, until it reaches the Colorado River at the bottom. Personally, I was still shattered from hiking Angel’s Landing a couple of days before (exercise really isn’t my forte), so decided to keep it short but sweet.
“Ooh Ahh” point. Kinda says it all, doesn’t it really?
And, lucky for us, there was a handy plateau looking out across the Canyon that also offered a perfect photo spot. Though – as I seem to keep saying in all my blog posts – the photos never seem to do the moment justice.
The ridge also offered a handy photo spot for taking photos (priorities, honestly). But looking back now, I wish I took hundreds more than I did. It’s one of those moments that I pretty much took for granted. Even later that day as we watched the sunset behind the surreal rock formations that form the Canyon, I wish I’d captured more!
And here’s some handy (and kinda crucial) tips:
- ALWAYS carry a decent amount or water (one bottle just isn’t going to cut it).
- Remember that however far you hike DOWN into the Canyon, you’ve got to hike that same distance back UP.
- COVER yourself up: and I’m talking sun cream, a hat, sunglasses – the works. Cause when in the Canyon you’ll be hella exposed to the sun with little shade, so it’s going to get hot, hot, hot.
- Make sure SOMEONE knows where you are (telling someone the hike you’re doing and expected time back gives you that lil bit extra security).
- Pack SNACKS and PROTEIN BARS to fuel you along the way.
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