We got up at 6 AM this morning, splashed some water on our faces and grabbed a light breakfast in the hotel lobby. By 7:30, we were on the road, but between driving an hour back to the canyon, parking and taking the shuttle bus to the trailhead, we didn’t begin our descent into the canyon until almost 10 AM.
After reading the trail map, we immediately adjusted our goals for the day. There are about 400 rescues in the canyon each year and we did not want to be rescue #401. We chose a route we felt was appropriate for our fitness levels and timeframe and agreed that we would turn back before we got too tired. Although we didn’t quite make it to our desired halfway point, we still managed to hike down about 1,200’ and got to enjoy some absolutely stunning views before making the 1,200’ climb back up to the rim.
It’s very easy to see how people get into trouble here. Being overly ambitious in this environment can kill you. Accidental injuries aside, too much ego and not enough water or common sense is all it takes to put yourself in a really bad situation.
After a post-hike lunch, we drove back to Williams and visited the wondrous wildlife drive thru preserve that is Bearizona. Goats, deer, wolves, bison, bears… In a word? AMAZING!
And speaking of amazing, if you have never done the drive from the Grand Canyon into Sedona, I highly recommend it. I have a new appreciation for how beautiful this country really is.