By walking the Rim Trail we were able to get a feel for the vast size of the Canyon. The length of the park is over two hundred miles. Our thirteen mile walk was just a taste. On Friday we ventured down into the Canyon to sample its depth. Forgive the clichè, but this was like strolling into the vestibule of a fabulous cathedral. Just a taste, just a peek, but amazing.
The most popular trail to the bottom of the canyon is the Bright Angle Trail. It is the one the mule riders take. Hiking to the bottom and back in one day is not recommended. For those that choose to go to the river, there is a hotel at the bottom to overnight in. We did not want to, nor thought we were capable of going all the way down. The top part of the trail has three rest stops. One at a mile and a half, one at three miles, and one at four and a half miles down. We aimed for the three mile stop, which turned out about right.
Although it was only three miles one way, it was 2100 feet down. That means a lot of switch-backs.
Craig stayed ahead of me most of the way down. I purposely went slow in order to save my knees. The trail had a lot of rough sized steps made with logs imbedded in the dirt, and each was a small jolt to my knee joints.
When we walked along the rim we looked down or across the canyon and marveled at the many rock towers. As we hiked down the Bright Angle trail, we got a different perspective and viewed some of the huge rock formations and canyon walls from below.
It's hard to know the actual size of the feature in the next image. It's a large, natural amphitheater created long ago.
As we hiked on the trail to the left of this feature, we heard delicate music on the wind. If you look at the blow-up of the image you will see someone far to the right who was at the bottom making the music we heard.
The hike was hard, but satisfying. We did it! Three miles down, ten miles back up. Well, not really, but it felt like it.
Oh, the robbery. When we reached the three mile rest house we stopped for a picnic lunch. We found a nice place along a stone wall and had our sandwiches and fruit. There are many signs around that advise people not to feed the wildlife, so when a fat squirrel came begging, we ignored him. Our backpack was open on the wall behind us. We heard a rustling sound, and as we looked back this guy was dashing away with a snack bag containing some sweet onion and cheddar tortilla chips.
We were robbed!