Day 13 – May 31, 2024 – Williams, AZ

Day 13 – May 31, 2024 – Williams, AZ

Today was an early start and after a big breakfast, we were out the door by 7 a.m. By the time we got to the park, found a spot, and did a quick bathroom break we were on the Bright Angel Trail by 8 a.m. It’s a maintained dirt trail that is steep, yet well defined. There is some shade (thank goodness!) mostly from the canyon walls and the time of day. It has great views along the trail making it very easy to lose track of how far down you’ve hiked. It is very steep going down, so it is known to take double the time to hike back up.

It is all downhill, which is not too bad, but somewhat hard on the knees, yet the kicker is the climb back up. As the saying goes, “Down is optional, up is mandatory.” Our goal was to get to the 3-mile station and then come back up, which is what we did. We packed a lot of water and a few snacks but could have used more of both. We made down to the 3-mile station, had a snack and a bathroom break, and then started the climb back. It was very slow going, especially for me. We were already at a higher elevation than NC, and even though we’ve been out in AZ for a two weeks now, the elevation difference is still tough at times. We did a lot of stops, usually where there was a bit of shade and trudged on. We got to the 1 ½ mile station, had a break there and continued up. This was one of the toughest hikes I’ve ever been on and I’m glad it’s over, lol!

When we got back to the top, we hit the water refilling station, chilled for about 15 minutes then headed for a well-deserved beer at the beer garden. We bought a charcuterie board and had nibbles as well. It was a great rest! We then headed out and back to the BNB. You should have seen the red dust come off our legs when taking a shower, it was unreal!

We will cook dinner in tonight, and it is Fish Friday, so salmon, rice, and Brussels sprouts. It will be an early night tonight. Tomorrow is our mule ride along the south rim and that starts at noon and lasts about 2 hours. One more day at the GC then we head to Zion National Park for another adventure. Night all!

On the way down, the first tunnel.
Notice I’m still smiling, lol!
The trail below us.
One of the many shade breaks we took, even going down.
Looking back up at the top of the trail.
Some beauty among the dirt/dust.
First stop – they didn’t have the water refill stations open at this point as they were working on the lines. It was good we brought as much as we did!
Notice the old telephone lines running through.
Can’t remember the type of yucca this is, but look how tall it gets in comparison with John. It has tiny flowers on it, which the bees were loving.
Still a hint of the moon up in the sky.
We made it to the 3 mile stop! We took a 20 minute break to eat some snacks and water up and then started the climb back up. They had no water here, but if you went another 1 1/2 miles down, they had some at the Indian Garden stop. We decided not to go further, thank goodness!
My face dreading the climb back up, LOL! Trust me, it’s a long way up……
Smiling because we are finally at the tunnel and I know we don’t have much further to go!
We forgot to take a picture of the sign on the way down so got it when we came back up.
Yes, we went down 2030 ft and then climbed back up that far. The hardest hike I’ve ever done!!!!! As you can see, it took almost 5 hours to complete and that was with lots of stops along the way.
Finally able to sit and chill out for a bit.
A picture from the top after we returned.
I circled the 3 mile station where we went down to and then came back up.
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