Location: Grand Canyon National Park
We found the Grand Canyon to be much more crowded than Zion. It’s really like a small town, with its’ own post office, grocery store and the other amenities you’d find in community. It also has many more places to stay with a wide variety of lodges and hotels, as well as several large campgrounds. All of this means crowds of people and it wasn’t even the busy time of year yet. We’ve heard (and read) that the vast majority of people never hike anywhere below the rim and also, to really experience the canyon, you need to hike down into the canyon. It doesn’t take very far down the trail to find yourself in much more peaceful surroundings.
After much investigation and reading different web sites, I picked out the South Kaibab trail as the one we’d attempt to hike. We had to take several of the Grand Canyon shuttles to get to the trail head and arrived at the starting point at around 9:00am. Not the earliest start, but the weather was cool which would make for good hiking conditions.
I didn’t know how difficult hiking into the Grand Canyon would be, so I had picked out two points along the trail as potential destinations. I wanted to at least get to Ooh Aah Point (1.8 miles round trip) or push on to Cedar Ridge (3 mile round trip).
After a short time we had made it to Ooh-Aah Point where we stopped, had a snack and drank some water. We were still feeling good, so we decided to continue on to Cedar Ridge.
After about a little over an hour we arrived at Cedar Point which was a popular resting area for many of the other hikers. But it wasn’t too crowded. We hung out for awhile, relaxed and took many pictures!
Well, Cedar Point was my chosen turn around point since I didn’t want to over do on this hike, but we took a group vote and decided to continue on further down into the canyon. The next point along the trail was Skeleton Point which would be the last turning point before the trail makes a rapid decent down to the Colorado River.
We made it to Skeleton Point and still had smiles on our faces!! It was another place that we hung out for awhile, rested and fueled up before heading back up the trail.
One thing that we all found amazing were all of the flowering plants we came across as we hiked. The canyon is mostly dry, sandy and rocky. But amazingly, flowers find places to grow and thrive in this challenging location.
The hike back up to the rim was extremely challenging. The sun was now higher in the sky and there was very little shade for our frequent rests. And the trail was very steep in places. In many sections, we’d hike for a hundred yards and then rest for a short time and then do it over again. Remember, we are from Florida, the land of no elevation! At times thoughts that maybe we had hiked too far crossed my mind. But we were not alone, all of the hikers heading back up were sucking air and struggling. We slowly made our way up and made it to back to the rim. It was yet another amazing hikes, and even though we struggled some, I’d want to do it again some time in the future.
Grand Canyon - West Kaibab Trail to Skeleton Point at EveryTrail