2012-2015 – Return to the Grand Canyon

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I first visited the Grand Canyon in 1970 while on a driving trip with my parents and two brothers. The views were spectacular and I never realized how long it would be before I returned to this magical place again! My first return visit was 42 years later in August 2012 and even that was only for a few hours … I actually stayed in Flagstaff, then drove to the Grand Canyon before heading to Las Vegas.   When I took the photo below I never thought that I would actually hike out the trail to Plateau Point … but I now have.

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Even though I wasn’t there for very long I knew I had to return again! And I did in 2013 when I actually stayed one night at Kachina Lodge, right on the South Rim of the Canyon … but still only had just over one half day at the Canyon.

Then, 2 years later in 2015 I returned again and spent 2 nights at Kachina Lodge which gave me a full day to explore the Canyon rim.  In my previous trips I hadn’t explored that much of the rim but stayed fairly close to the El Tovar area but in 2015 I decided to walk west from my hotel, along the rim, to Hermits Rest … a hike, mainly along the rim, for a distance of 8+ miles.  With stops for viewing the canyon, photos and rest I hiked for around 4 hours … I took the free shuttle bus on the way back.  Even though I found the hike somewhat challenging at times (my fitness wasn’t the greatest then) and I was quite tired from this hike I was also inspired to return again and hike down into the Canyon.  A few of the many photos I took are below.

 

The views at the Grand Canyon are spectacular and never ending … the light and shadows are always changing … highlighting one area and then another.  You could visit the Canyon for days and always see something different.  While some areas around the Village can be crowded at certain times of year, other areas are much less travelled … the day I walked along the Rim I saw very few other hikers (most take the free shuttle buses and get off where they want to stop).

When I left the Grand Canyon in 2015 I knew that I would return again in 2016 and hoped to hike down into the canyon which would require a lot of planning and training.

I returned home from the 2015 Driving Trip on May 28th, and while planning for the VFAC Summerfast 10k in July, I also started planning my 2016 trip … on August 4th, 2015 I reserved my room at Kachina Lodge on the rim … this time for 3 nights duration which would allow 2 full days at the Canyon and give a better chance of good weather.  A description of the 2016 and 2017 hikes will follow in another post.  Until then, enjoy the view …

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