I spent a glorious Saturday morning with my family following the Hermits Rest Route along the south rim of the Grand Canyon. We took the park shuttle, stopping at most of the overlooks to take in the spectacular views.
Once we reached the far western end of the drive, Danelle and the kids were ready for a break back at the hotel. I, however, was not.
Enter the Bright Angel Trail.
Black Canyon of the Gunnison in Colorado. My most recent visit hadn't gone so well, but I took some solace in the thought that the Bright Angel Trail was not as steep as Black Canyon -- 1,140 feet of elevation change over the trail's first mile and a half as opposed to 1,800 feet of change over just a mile of trail. And having just done a 14er with Zak a couple of weeks earlier made me even more confident that this would be no sweat.
No sweat? Hardly. I sweat a lot, and it didn't take long. I started my hike at 1:30 when the temperature was about 90 degrees. Sure, there's something to the whole "it's a dry heat" concept. But that only counts for so much when you're hiking under a blazing sun.
While putting this post together I saw a photo of the trail in winter covered with snow. It's stunningly beautiful in those conditions, and without the heat contend with I'll bet covering the full 12 miles is a bit less daunting. Maybe someday... :)