Saturday, April 30, 2011

Apr 28 - Mule Poop

I don't really celebrate my birthday, but what better way to spend the day than to hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon? I decided to do the Bright Angel Trail up to Plateau Point. The elevation drop is about 3,000 feet and the round trip is about 12 miles. It is officially the farthest the National Park Service recommends you go on a day hike.

Along the way, I spotted this bee. I snapped off a few frames and just as I was about to stop, another bee buzzed its way in. Great timing!

One thing about the Bright Angel Trail - there is certainly a lot of mule poop. Whenever a mule convoy comes through, you have to stand aside and let them pass. Luckily, this only happened to me once.

Another thing about the Bright Angel trail - drinking water is available at the 1.5 mile house, the 3 mile house, Indian Garden, and then this spigot near Plateau Point. You definitely need a lot of water on this hike.

The wisdom of this sign is unmatched. I'm not even being facetious when I say that.

Colorado River! I made it to Plateau Point in about 3 hours. I spent about an hour there before heading back on my uphill slog. It took me about 3.5 hours back to the trailhead for a total of a 7.5-hour hiking day. Not bad considering the guide says it takes 8-12 hours. (I essentially did it in less than 7, but I have a long way to go before I feel comfortable doing Half Dome).