I’m neither a competitive nor sporty person by nature and I hate running because my body cannot understand what’s going on. So you’d never imagine that I’d put on hiking boots and hit the mountains but I have, on numerous occasions. I don’t remember the first time I ever went trekking, but I’m sure I’ll remember this time forever.
Before embarking on the Vegas trip and the stay over on The Grand Canyon, many squealed over the thought of my going there. “It’s beautiful. You will never see anything like it.” “Bring all your cameras: DSLR, compact, film, polaroid, iPhone.” – I think this might have been me to myself. True to the incessant raves and build up, the Grand Canyon was a sight to behold.
We did a two-night stay on Yavapai Lodge, just one of the many accommodations on the mountains, and I would describe that experience as Are We Outta The Woods. (You can quit this blog now if you didn’t get that reference, thanks!) (#swiftyforlife) This was on the South Rim of the canyon, which is more popular I’d think. The North Rim, while seemingly close by, is a painful 5 hour drive away.
Staying overnight was one of the best decisions we made. We’d wake up to the sight of white snow, towering trees, falling branches and crushing footsteps each morning. Our aunt even saw a herd of deer gnawing on the branches one morning, right outside her door! Deer? Snow? Mountains? Disney movie right there. Sadly we only caught sight of this lonesome moose on our way back from our hike.
On our second morning, we did the great Grand Canyon trek. There are many starting points to choose from and we did the South Kaibab Trail. The way down took about 4 hours before we hit a midpoint-resting zone. We could’ve gone further but getting our butts back up would have been a real cow. (Read: getting our assess back up would have been a real bitch.)
“Unbelievable sights, indescribable feeling~~~” couldn’t define our view enough. The canyon was vast beyond what our eyes could see and almost painting-like. I found myself going This Can’t Be Real, No Way with every turn and new experience of the canyon. Being Winter meant that we hardly broke a sweat or felt any fatigue. The flip side is that you may experience occasional bouts of breathlessness from the cool air, but that didn’t interfere with our physicality too much.
The great news was that the climb back to our starting point didn’t feel as treacherous as I imagined. That’s not to say it was an easy feat though. By the end of the day, I’d removed three articles of clothing and was strolling around in one layer in below freezing temperature. Talk about a workout. The rest of the time on the canyon was spent chasing every sunrise and bowing to each sunset. We’d laze in the room until time, jump into the car and race to various parts of the rim to witness the sky shed its color.
And imagine how excited we were to see these amazing trees. Photo moment!
Getting to the Grand Canyon
We did a 6 hour drive from Las Vegas (Nevada) to Arizona and headed up from there. Because it was Winter season and everyone was on holiday, the lodges were pretty packed out and we had a bit of a wait in line (in our cars) to get in. A car is essential and without one, getting around the canyon would be out of the question.
Accommodation on the Grand Canyon
As I mentioned, there are loads of choices for staying overnight, which I’d highly recommend. The experience of waking up on the cliff with serenity all around is something I wouldn’t exchange anything for. The lodges are wooden and very simple, with cable TV in each room. Which totally helped – Wi-Fi ceased to exist for the two days I was there. Every lodge is within driving/walking distance and there’s a designated cafeteria or restaurant in each district too, although I have to say, the cafeteria food was terrifyingly artificial. Hit the restaurants instead.
There are many routes to choose from, and we went with the South Kaibab trail as we were comfortable with the distance and the starting point was close in proximity to our lodge. Do research on what you want to achieve from your hike and pick the most best suited journey. There are several photogenic pitstops for you to catch your breath and soak in the beauty around, but there are no water stations: we packed a bottle each and a bag of sandwiches. This is absolutely essential as a recharger for your climb back up!
More detailed information can be found on the linked pages.
I miss this so much.