Sunday, April 20, 2014

Grand Canyon climb: Bright Angel Trail to Plateau Point and back up again

I started this hike at 11:00 am on Saturday, April 19th. There was a 30% chance of rain and partly sunny and since it was a free park admission day and I am moving away soon, this seemed like the perfect time. This is a tough hike, starting elevation is 6724' and the lowest I got (about 1000' above the Colorado River) was 3695' at Plateau Point. Elevation change of 3029', which made for a loooong climb back up. I finished at 5:00 pm, 13 miles round trip in 6 hours. Here we go, doesn't look so bad, does it?
My destination is Plateau Point where the arrow is pointing:
Making my descent, weather is still good:
Made it to Indian Gardens:
Nice cool creek:
Looking back at Indian Gardens, looks pretty and green amid all these cliffs and rocks:
Finally made it to the Plateau Point at 1:10, incredible views of the Colorado River.


Time to start the big climb back up, started drizzling a bit, but nothing major.
The squirrels were very friendly and completely unafraid of all the hikers. They probably knew we are all too tired to bother them.
Climbing. Started forming a support group of hikers ascending, we would all cheer each other on and offer support and encouragement. Met a bunch of really nice people from all over, North & South Dakota, North Carolina, Michigan and Wisconsin.
Guy behind me said this was a female elk? I thought it looked like a mule deer. Still not sure.
They were doing helicopter cargo transports above us all day:
This is me right after the drizzle and right before the sleet and heavy rain hit about 1.5 miles from the rim. It was a tough mile and a half climb, soaking wet being hit by sleet, but I did it. I tested my new photochromic sunglasses all day and they really worked well, darkened when sunny and lightened when cloudy. And they protected my eyes from all the allergens and debris that the winds were kicking around all day. I noticed alot of the (serious) hikers were wearing them that day.
Goodbye Grand Canyon. I take home my first heel blood blister (ouch), a few aching muscles and satisfaction that I did it! Not a hike I'll soon forget.
If you ever have a chance to hike this national treasure, do it!! Have you ever done this hike or one like it? Let me know in the comments, I'd love to hear from you!

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