15/63 – Grand Canyon National Park | 9.18-20.16

Can you believe that Brady had never been to the Grand Canyon before? The theme of this trip (for me at least) was “remedy Brady’s huge lack of nearby national park experiences.” Haha. But seriously, how did this happen?? I have no idea, honestly.

We left Zion around noon and headed for the south rim. First on the list was Desert View Watchtower, and the Tusayan Ruins. (Which, I was dumb, and forgot to check when the Tusayan Museum closed and we got there about 20 minutes too late, oops.)


Brady was like, “Wow.”


My little (ha, little) archaeologist loves this stuff. He’s my favorite.


Flipping amazing sunset before we headed to our campsite.

The next morning we headed off to do a short hike to Ooh Ah Point on the South Kaibab trail. When I very first planned this trip I’d originally planned on us going to Indian Garden on the Bright Angel trail, but as time grew closer I realized I’m nowhere near in good enough shape to do that kind of hiking (it’s something like 9 miles round trip, which is a LOT in the Grand Canyon for one day). Plus I wanted to experience a little more variety. Ultimately I’m super glad we opted to just do Ooh Ah Point- it was the perfect little taste of hiking into the canyon, without being terribly time consuming or strenuous. It’s a little over a mile and a half round trip, and just over 560ft of elevation loss/gain. (I’m a freak and I tracked the return trip with my watch. Like a freak.)


He’s so… rugged… and chiseled… and great…


The dude you see with the backpack was on our shuttle to the trailhead (around… 10:30?) and he’d already made it all the way down to Yaki Point, which is another 3/4s of a mile or so down the trail. We don’t hike slow downhill, but he had to have been hauling. I’m pretty sure he was going for a rim to rim. His pack was awfully big, though.


Seriously though, he’s handsome. I love him. 🙂


It’s a long and winding road… (duhn duhn, duhn duhn duhn)


After our shenanigans on the South Kaibab trail, we headed to the Rim Trail to hang out, eat lunch, go to the museum (which was actually really interesting), and eventually take the shuttle to Hermit’s Rest. Now, I’ll be honest with you. The shuttle is the crappy way to see everything on the Hermit’s Rest Road. The buses are always a little on the “outrageously full” side, and you might be waiting more than 15 minutes to get a spot on the next bus if you get off. So, feeling slightly lazy, we just stayed on the bus. Given another day, I would have certainly opted to hike the Hermit’s Rest Road, or even (most appealingly) ride my bike along the path and spend as much time as I want at each overlook. I probably should have gotten off for at least one overlook besides Hermit’s Rest itself, but the idea of standing around waiting to get back on a bus was not my favorite. Yes, that’s my “grouchy party pooper” showing. But honestly, I’m a very independent person. I like to do things on my own schedule and on my own time. So walking, biking, or waiting until winter when I can drive my own vehicle is definitely on the list for the next trip back. Brady wants to go back when we can go to the Tusayan Museum and learn about the ruins and such. I want to go back and stay in that freaking awesome campground. (Seriously, one of the best ever.)

I know, this is nothing, but… ew.


When we got off the bus at the end of our trip down to Hermit’s Rest, there was a group of people literally chasing this little guy and his mama down the road. It was ridiculous. We kept walking along, and stumbled upon them again after the mule corral. There were elk EVERYWHERE at the Grand Canyon, and it was fun to get a couple of shots of this cutie from afar before heading on our merry way.


I’m so bummed. This guy was hanging out right by the laundry/shower building when we got back to camp, and we got a bunch of pictures of him, but none of them were in focus except for this one. Apparently the autofocus was really struggling and Brady isn’t super familiar with my camera yet, so he wasn’t comfortable attempting to focus manually. 😦 Oh well. Just know he was a beauty!

That night we decided to make spaghetti, but like a dingbat I forgot any sort of dishes, so we improvised, hahaha. Then, we took a few fun night shots before heading to bed!


MacGyver plate aside, it was honestly delicious.


At about 5 in the morning, I woke up to the sound of rain on our tent. I didn’t think it was a big deal, since rainstorms in the desert usually only last a few hours before passing along. Boy, was I wrong. At about 10 we decided to go shower, and hopefully give the rain time to lighten up. Of course, it didn’t, so we took down the tent in the rain as well as we could without soaking everything, and shoved it in the car before heading out. It eventually stopped raining around 5pm, which was crazy to me, but I was glad that it had rained on a travel day, and not on our day in the park!


Both of my camera batteries died as I was setting up this shot (as in, I set it up, the battery died, I put a new battery in, set up the shot, and another one died) so we had to take this with my phone. Oh well! To the memories.

Our Grand Canyon National Park “Must Do”:

Hike down into the canyon. There are a few different trails and a few different options on each trail that can give you an opportunity to get into the canyon without being too hard on anyone, but it really gives a whole new perspective on the canyon to get below the rim.

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