Bright Angel Trail, Grand Canyon NP

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

We hiked Bright Angel Trail to the 1.5 mark, where there is a spring and a restroom! It was certainly easy enough walking down. It was about 7:30 when we started – not early enough! there were a lot of people already at the spring when we got there, and I had to stand in line to go to the bathroom. 

As we started back up, we talked with a nice lady ranger. I asked how far it was to the edge of the mesa below. We could clearly see the trail below us, and it didn’t appear to be a bad walk. She said, “It is 6.5 miles to that overlook. You have been a mile and a half.” I quickly acknowledged we could not hike back up 6.5 miles. She said a lot of people walk down to Indian Garden, a green area we could easily see. They would often spend the night there, walking out to the end in the evening. Then hiking back up in the morning. 

Martha asked about shade going back up. She said it is mostly shady in the morning, so round-trip hikers will sometimes walk down Kaibab Trail, spend the night, then hike back up Bright Angel, taking advantage of shade going down and coming back up. She said we were smart to start back up. 

We might have been considered smart if we had started at 7:00, or even 6:00, but it got hot as we made our way back up. We had to stop many times to rest and catch our breath. I had soaked my shirt in the spring water before starting. By the time we got back to the top, we were exhausted by a tough 3-mile walk!

We went back to Bright Angel Lodge for lunch and a lot of water! Then back to our campsite for a nap. It was very hot, so we turned the air conditioner on, set to 85 degrees. It cut back on in 20 minutes, and we did that for three hours. We were not plugged in, so this was an extreme test for our batteries. It ate up all of the charge, by the time we turned it off in the evening. I hoped the Arizona sun would help regain power tomorrow. 

In the evening we went to Grand View to watch the sun set. It was interesting to follow guides, listening to their talks. I cringed as parents crawled over the wall with their kids too get to a “better” spot. One guide noted buzzards circling below us. He said someone probably fell down there. “It happens all the time”, he said. They might have a broken bone or worse.

We decided to leave a bit early to beat the crowd. Driving back, the whole sky lit up! 

It was too hot to cook, so we went out to dinner. It was just OK, but it beat cooking on a hot day. Fortunately it had turned cooler and was fine for sleeping. Worried about battery power, I cut off the fan at midnight and closed the vent. It was 60 degrees when I got up!

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