We started out on our hike at 7:35AM. It was a beautiful day for the hike overcast skies and comfortable temperatures - about 45 degrees starting out and soon warmed up to 50's on the hike down. Right at the top we put on our crampons because the trail was snow and ice covered for the first two miles (thank god for crampons or Kathi wouldn't of even started the hike). We met a mule train about 1 1/2 hours in to the hike. There were a number of mules lead by one wrangler who said he had been doing this for 7 days a week for 7 years. Either he spent his night at Phantom Ranch or he would of had to of started out from the rim about 4:00AM in the morning. We are not sure which! He said he carried luggage for guest on the way down and some luggage and garbage, etc on the way back up to the Bright Angel Trailhead.
We arrived at Indian Gardens about 10:15 and took a couple of breaks along the way. We made it a point to take our time so we wouldn't burn ourselves out because we knew we had 6 miles to get back up the Bright Angel Trailhead (3,100 feet of elevation to climb). We continued on from Indian Garden to Plateau Point which is another 1-1/2 miles and arrived there around 10:50. We sat down and enjoyed our lunch and took a few pictures before we headed back up. At Plateau Point a hiker is still 1500 feet above the muddy and murky Colorado River. The water level was high and the rapids are running wild and the water is very muddy from spring run off. We only spent about 1/2 hour at Plateau Point and then headed out for the long and grueling climb back up Bright Angel Trail. We stopped numerous times to catch our breath and eat some snacks and arrived at the top at 3:15. The last 1-1/2 miles was really tough as we had already hiked 10-1/2 miles and still had that last 1-1/2 miles to go and about 1000 feet to climb..
It felt so good to walk on level terrain once we got to the top and walked to our car. After changing our boots (felt good to put on tennis) we hopped in the car and drove to Williams where we are staying at a Howard Johnson's with a HOT TUB! Boy, did that feel good!
Life is still good but we are really tired! (We can't believe we call beating ourselves half to death fun)
|John is excited and ready to hike! Plateau Point trail is in the background only 6 miles away!|
|Bright Angel Trail! Snowcovered for the first couple of miles and then we hiked a mile or so in real muddy conditions!|
|It's a long way down! You can see the trail in the back ground of exactly where we went!|
|We are ready for a long day of hiking! Thank god for crampons (you can see them on John's shoes)|
|Rest Stop on the way down!|
|Wrangler coming up from Phantom Ranch!|
|On our way down Bright Angel Trail - next stop is Indian Garden!|
|Leaving Indian Gardens and heading to Plateau Point! We were on this trail 10 years ago with Deb & Greg Stoiber!|
|View from the trail!|
|Looking from the Trail at Plateau Point up to where we have to hike to get to Bright Angel Trailhead!|
|John standing at the edge on Plateau Point|
|Plateau Point - Muddy Murky Colorado River 1500 feet below Plateau Point|
|Only 1/2 mile to go to the top - it was a long 1/2 mile!|