Arizona Trail – Day 30 (30 miles)
Into the Grand Canyon I go! #thebigditch
I am taking a different route to the Arizona Trail for this section. I will be hiking the Hayduke Route through here instead, which follows the Colorado River for 60 odd miles before climbing up Nankoweap Creek. Who can turn down more time in this amazing park?
The day started with an hour walk to the South Kaibab Trail and then about 5 miles down the ridgeline to the plateau and Tip-Off. It had some amazingly gorgeous scenery and a shit load of people performing this awkward conga line down.
After descending 4,000ft (1,300m), I reached the Tip-Off, everyone continued down and I proceeded right up the river. I left the people behind and did not see another for the rest of the day as I meandered my way along the lowest plateau. It definitely was no straight walk, at every side canyon, I had to walk around the huge gorges that lead into the river.
I think it needs repeating that this place was damn gorgeous. Not to mention how interesting all the layers and how each layer has eroded differently through the eons.
It was so hot in the canyon. The air temp was in the 90s (35C), but there was no airflow and my body could not seem to cool itself down. Bloody thing! I got to the canyon that the ranger who I got my permit off said there was still water – low and behold, there was none!
That solved the dilemma of pushing through the heat. I parked up in the shade and waited for cooler times to hike the 4 odd hours until the next, more reliable, water source. I was in the shade just lounging around and reviewing the photos that I had taken earlier in the day.
I got hiking again at 4 pm with the intention of making it to the next water source and drink as much as I could. The still air had disappeared and a gusty wind had picked up to replace it.
I arrived at the water and drank to my heart’s content. It was about 30 minutes after dark and I spend another 30 minutes drinking around 2L of water. It tasted so good!
I pushed onto the next gorge and possible campsite. It was an hour away but I needed to make a few miles so I could catch up to my schedule.