Monday, November 4, 2013

Hiking the Grand Canyon - Hermit Trail to Granite Rapids

We began hiking at sunrise on Friday morning, November 1st. The air was chilly yet perfect for hiking. This was my third time backpacking this trail and my first time to Granite Rapids. No matter how many times I hike a trail, there is always something new and different about it. The time of year was different, the group of people, weather... and the time away fades past memories. I feel I can't get to the Grand Canyon enough to experience it's many pages of an endless book of wonders. We desceneded through the different layers of rock and watched the environment change. Down at Tonto Trail, it felt suddenly warm. The trail wrapped around to drop into Monument Creek and followed a zig-zag course through the wash to the Colorado River. We relaxed, fueled up, and played at the beach until the following afternoon. As a group, we decided to hike 3 miles up the second day to make our final climb less difficult. It worked out nicely and we enjoyed the evening close to the junction of Hermit and Tonto Trails. Our climb out began at 7:30am and ended just after 1:00pm. All went well! Everyone enjoyed themselves and gained much from the shared experience of being in one of the most amazing places on earth. What trail should we hike next? I haven't hiked the Tanner Trail lately...
 
cobblestone section of Hermit Trail




the Cathedral Staircase

Hermit Rapids




The Monument, the namesake of Monument Creek



Dean and Keilah moving through the gravel bed of Monument Creek

at the Colorado River





morning light

first touch of morning light on the rim

golden crown

Granite Rapids at early morning on Saturday



Sunset from Friday night


morning rays



Hermit Rapids again, late afternoon on the Tonto Trail

vibrant trail-side

young hikers waiting


sunset near our second campsite



looking down at our campsite from my sunset viewpoint


Sunday morning

on our way up

second to last steep climp up through the sandstone layer

the group

2 comments:

Kirk Johnson said...

Really nice Russ. It

Kirk Johnson said...

Sorry bro...I wanted to say that you did a really nice job with the light in the photos. The one with the large monolith of rock in the sunrise and the one of river with the very green plants are my favorites. This really brought me back and made me miss the Grand Canyon. Thanks for the virtual hike bro...I feel like I was there with you after seeing the pics. Love,
Kirk