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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

#35 - Bright Angel Trail - GCNP

Bright Angel Trail from the Rivers Edge
Bottoms up! While many are inclined to hike all, or a portion of, Bright Angel Trail from the top down (access at the South Rim), our opportunity was from the bottom up! We were at day 4 of our raft trip, so this stop was intended for those departing the raft to hike the 10 miles out - and those joining the raft to hike the 10 miles in!

While this transition took place, part of our group enjoyed a hike along portions of the Bright Angel, River, and South Kaibab Trails; exploring the river area and Phantom Ranch. My brother and I took off with the group that was hiking out, hiking 4 miles along the river, streams, and up Bright Angel Trail, meeting with the new group coming in, and hiking the 4 miles back.

River Landing at Black Bridge
Black Bridge - looking toward the river landing

Silver Bridge - our crossing for Bright Angel Trail
We started off at the two bridge crossings that allow for North Rim to South Rim travel. Black Bridge ties to the South Kaibab trail, whereas Silver Bridge is part of Bright Angel. These are the only river crossings for hundreds of miles.

Tom and I shoved off, not certain what we were in store for. However, for the first mile or so, the trail hugged the river and made for some beautiful views - and cooler temps as we had got an early start.

The start - Bright Angel Trail

We cut away from the river to begin our ascent. There were a couple of streams nearby which allowed for a cool down as necessary.


We then hit the area of switchbacks, which provided for a good workout and some nice views! At this point, we were still unsure how far we would go before we met the group coming down. We expected a minimum of 5 miles.

The four day raft group hiking out

Point where we had accounted for all of new rafters coming in

4 miles out - turn around point!
We made our way back down to join the others. A cold beer, our group together, and now some new friends on the raft. Let the journey continue!

“We have an unknown distance yet to run, an unknown river to explore. What falls there are, we know not; what rocks beset the channel, we know not; what walls ride over the river, we know not. Ah, well! we may conjecture many things.” 

~ John Wesley Powell - Led the first expedition through the Grand Canyon

We made camp at RM110. While tents went up, we slept under the stars each night. The rushing river and shooting stars made for a great nights sleep.

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