The Grand Canyon appears on so many itineraries when travelling the west coast of America, and with good reason. At 446km long, 29km wild and almost 2 miles in depth, it’s an inspiring sight that’s almost hard to believe.
I’d been to the Grand Canyon over 10 years ago, but my memories are rather tarnished by heatstroke and deydration (I’ll spare you the story, but it involved my Dad deciding we could hike further than the recommended distance in one day with a serious lack of supplies…Thanks, Dad!) So, when Charlie and I were organising our trip to Las Vegas to take park in the RocknRoll Marathon Series, it was the perfect opportunity for a return trip. Luckily, Charlie was keen to go too and we booked an overnight stay at the South Rim.
You can drive to the South Rim of the canyon from Las Vegas in around 4-5 hours. We’d not really accounted for how long it would take to get there, which made our trip short and sweet! We arrived at the canyon in time for a beautiful sunset and decided to do a morning hike the following day.
We headed out relatively early to the trailhead, although if you’re going during the summer months you’ll probably need to leave before sunrise to miss the heat of the day as it can get unbelieveably hot.
The trail is well signposted, and you can ask for directions or suggestions for other hikes at the visitor centre. The canyon leads you down into the canyon via lots of switchbacks- with incredible views as you go! It’s important to remember that going downhill is much easier than going up! The return uphill hike may take you twice as long, and it’s likely to be much hotter, so be careful! We did a short hike to the 1.5 mile resthouse and back again, which probably took us around 2.5 hours. The furthest recommended distance for a day hike is the 4.5mile descent to the Indian Garden. I have sneaky suspicion this is where we continued on the dreaded hike 10 years ago, but my memory is too hazy!
The trail is easy to follow and well maintained. I’d definitely recommend wearing trail shoes- I was wearing trainers with hardly any grip and was skidding all over the place- not great when there are some edges you’d rather avoid!
Despite it being a short hike, it was definitely worth the trip over from Las Vegas. If you have more time there are so many trails to explore and adventures to be had. I’ve had my eye on this trip with Action Challenge for a while, so who knows, maybe I’ll be back one day for round three!!
Have you hiked in the Grand Canyon? Which trails would you suggest?