Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Great American Road Trip - Day 4 (5/28) - Grand Canyon

We got going a little later this morning, not catching the shuttle to the park at the National Geographic visitor center until 9:00.  The purple shuttle line took us to the Grand Canyon Visitor Center, where we decided to hike part of the Bright Angel Trail.  We then boarded the blue Village Route shuttle, which ended its route near the trailhead.

The hike down to the 3-Mile Resthouse on the Bright Angel Trail is listed as a "difficult" 4 to 6 hour hike - a 6 mile round trip and a one way elevation change of 2120 feet.  It only took us about 1.25 hours to descend, including stops to take pictures.  The ascent, however, took a couple of hours, though that included a 15 minute stop midway for a makeshift picnic lunch.  We kept a pretty steady pace, and Galen even jogged up a good chunk of the bottom half.  Overall, we made the round trip in about 3.5 hours - not too shabby, though I was absolutely drenched in sweat (as in through my pants in the entire crotchal area) afterward.

After wandering around the rim near Kolb Studio at the top of the trail for a bit, we boarded the red Hermit Route shuttle to check out some scenic spots on the western side of the South Rim.  We got off at Maricopa Point and then walked over to Powell Point to catch the view and board the shuttle again.  Out next stop was Mohave Point, which turned out to be Judy's favorite (perhaps because it offered a view of the river).  Last was Hermit Point, before boarding for a return trip to the village.  On a timely piece of advice from a friend of Judy's, we walked over to the Bright Angel Lodge to grab a drink.  After that, we took the blue shuttle back to the visitor center, then the purple Tusayan Route back to town, returning around 5:30.
Back at the hotel, we showered off and then relaxed for a while.  Around 7:30 Galen and I headed out to grab dinner - Judy had a leftover tamale from the night before.  We shared a large pizza at Canyon Pizza, then walked back to the hotel.

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