Almost two years ago was the first time I laid eyes on the Grand Canyon. It was during a three day two night expedition from the North Rim to the South Rim. Seeing the Grand Canyon during the trek was an amazing experience. It really was tough to digest!
The expedition was more than an experience, it was an emotion. When we started the hike from the North Rim at / about 5:30 am, it was 28 degrees out with snow flurries in the air. Within a very short period of time as we descended into the Canyon, we started to warm up.
By the early afternoon time frame and 14 miles from the top of the North Rim, we made it to the Bright Angel Campground at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. We were hot, dehydrated and tired out. It was 130 degrees at the the bottom of the canyon.
The hike down, the time spend at the bottom of the Canyon and the 9.9 miles hike up the Bright Angel Trail to the top of the South Rim 1 1/2 days later was unbelievable and beautiful! After the hike, I wanted to really experience the Grand Canyon again for a longer period of time.
About a year ago, I went on one of the most enjoyable and beautiful expeditions that I have ever taken. I received the opportunity to take a 10 day extreme hiking & whitewater rafting trip down the Colorado River through the majestic Grand Canyon National Park from the Bright Angel Trail to Diamond Creek (approximately 137 miles).
The trip was truly awesome and breath taking! It’s very difficult to fully explain and communicate to friends what the expedition was truly like. From going to bed at night, staring up at an unbelievable dark, star filled sky and then waking up on the beaches of the Colorado River at the bottom of the Grand Canyon each morning to the breathtaking views is truly an amazing experience. The only way to truly experience the Grand Canyon is to get down inside it, feel it, taste it and live in it for a period of time.
There are no guarantees when it comes to what might happen while in the Canyon. Being in the bottom of the Grand Canyon on the Colorado River is a very peaceful and relaxing place. At the same time, one needs to know that their in one of the most remote and most difficult places in North America to reach. One needs to always be aware of their surroundings. When it comes to the Grand Canyon, it seems to always be one extreme to another, from the rapids of the river to the weather and everything in between. While rafting down the river, we hit records size rapids with 12 foot holes that actually swallowed a raft to extreme freezing cold to blazing hot temperatures. One most be prepared for the the worst case scenarios while in the Grand Canyon.
One of the things I enjoyed most about the trip other than shooting the the rapids was taking side hikes to explore the cracks & crevices of the canyon after a day of rafting. It’s unbelievable the number of boulders to climb & scramble over. Exploring the endless number of nooks & crannies and creek beds winding down through the side canyons is a remarkable experience. While exploring some of these very remote areas of the Grand Canyon, I really got the feeling like I might have been the first person ever to walk and see some of these beautiful areas.
Within the walls of the canyon, the wildlife is amazing and abundant. One can find all kinds of amphibians, birds, crustaceans, fish, insects, mammals, mollusks and reptiles.
Living on the Colorado River within the Grand Canyon for 10 days is an experience that I wish everyone could have! I’m looking forward to visiting the Grand Canyon again for an another extended period of time. I would love to spend a month exploring the interior of the Grand Canyon National Park. It’s one amazing place!
Get out and discover the Grand Canyon National Park. You’ll love it. Additional pictures of my trips to the Grand Canyon can be found in my Photo Journal.