A backpacker’s life is probably not complete without a trip to the Grand Canyon. We decided against Bright Angel Trail which heads down from the south rim a the lodge and main tourist area, but, we didn’t really want to take off into the Canyon alone. The solution was REI. http://www.rei.com/ We had gotten most of our backpacking gear, technical clothes, backpacks, and cycling supplies from REI so as members we get their promotional mailers and emails. We were hooked on the 3 day backpacking in the Grand Canyon as soon as we saw it. REI proovided the tents, food, and two guides Tom and Todd who met us at the campground at the south rim. After dividing the gear to be carried and assigning us tents, they prepared the first of our amazing meals and told us to hit the sack because we were starting down early the next day.
And so we did, heading off into the Canyon at Grandview point down the Grandview trail. The first few miles were a continuous downhill with switch backs, amazing views and incessant chatter from the excitement. The first goal was Horseshoe Mesa that we were looking down on and as an added bonus, a cave in the side of the mesa. We reached the Mesa in a few hours and numerous cut backs. The trail further down into the the Grand Canyon passes the remnants of a house and storage area and bears off to the east. A less distinct trail heads off to the west then turns south down to the edge of the mesa. A narrow trail leads around to a shelf where double entrances to the cave are set back from the cliff face. Inside the cave is a log, presumably so that if you don’t come back to the entrance, they’ll at least know where you wound up. Leaving the cave, we headed back across Horsehoe Mesa and drop down 800 feet through the Redwall Limestone. Well, it feels like you are going to drop. The problem is your backpack rubs against the wall and urges toward the empty air that is only inches away from where your feet are trying to land. Don’t let anybody tell you going uphill is harder. Going down a trail like this is far more exhausting.