(c) July 2000,
Grand Canyon was probably the place to go on this trek. Would you go to the south west of the US without going to Grand Canyon? Never! So it was absolutely necessary to stop for two nights again.
From Monument Valley we took "160" to Tuba City and from there "64" to the park. We entered from the east side at Desert View. The view was fantastic. But don't forget to visit the tower. It's an old building with a lot of native paintings on the inside walls. And enjoy another great view from the top.
After a short introduction to our camp site at Camper Village campground, we drove to the nearby airport. The flight was included in the tour. You just must not miss it. It's one of those about 25 seats planes, which are constucted for Grand Canyon. They are able to fly much slower and make less noise than normal planes. That's just what they need to get flight licences (they are limited) and offer the passengers the best views.
After the flight, we went straight to Grandview Point to enjoy yet another sunset. The colors were just so wonderful.
Next day we planed an early rise, at least the crazy core of the group. And early really means early. We had to get up at 4:30 and be ready by about 5:15 to be early enough for our hikes. The official plan was to hike to Angels Landing. This is about 6 miles one way and you can easily extend it by 1 or 2 more miles to the rim. All park brochures say, that this is the furthest you can go in one day. Water supply is available every about 1.5 miles from tabs. You must start early to avoid the big heat on the way back. It's perfect if you arrive in Angels Landing before 8 and leave before 9. Noon temperatures will easily be over 100 farenheit. So drink a lot (1.5 liters per hour or more, no joke)!
Against all advices from the brochures, Paddy and me decided to try to make it down to the river. We almost ran down. Angels Landing 7am, Colorado River 8:15. It was worth the effort. The canyon is impressive from the bottom. And there's much more wildlife. The way back was harder though. Heat started when we left the protecting shade about half way back to Angels Landing. We were back at Angels Landing by about 10am, early enough. And we were back at the top at about 1pm.
We then spent the afternoon at the rim. Take the free shuttle bus and get in and out at any of the many stations on the way. Enjoy the views. Get around in the village.
We finally spent the evening in Tusayan, the place where our campground was. Go dining out, bowling, ... and enjoy wildlife on the campsite.