For the fifth time in the last six years (we
did not make the trip to New Mexico and Arizona in 2007), we made a visit
to the Grand Canyon our primary extracurricular activity. This year,
because of the scheduling of the FE exam and our need to return home right after
the contest ended, we went to the Grand Canyon at the beginning of the trip,
rather than at the end.
As in past years, different groups of us took
different hikes. Most took what has become the standard hike for
first-time hikers with a reasonable level of bravery and stamina, the
South Kaibab/Tonto/Bright Angel trails into and out
of the canyon. All together, this is about a 13 mile hike that
sees about a 3,000 foot drop in elevation.
Another group took a new hike for us on the
Grandview Trail to Horseshoe Mesa to see the old
mines and mining equipment. This is about a six-mile round-trip hike with
among the steepest trails we've hiked on. Total elevation change is about
A third group stayed on the rim and walked
about six miles in total along the Rim Trail.
As has been the case each year we have visited, we had excellent hiking weather, with temperatures at the rim
starting out in the upper 30s when we arrived about 8 a.m. and reaching about 65
by the middle of the day. April is one of the best times of the year to
hike in the Canyon. We did see some snow on the Grandview Trail near the
top, but nothing we couldn't navigate around.