I have been wanting to do this trip for sometime, and luckily the fall colors stuck around late this year. Headed down with Joel around 9 PM Saturday night and drove into the night to wake early enough for that good lighting. On a driving note, Portal road just past San Simon is a great way to go if a good graded dirt road is your thing. We braved the two cold nights with a schnauzer and an IPA (or two), and a whole lots of guitar playing.
From the hiking standpoint, there really was no plan on hiking distance, just to find a few scenes and go on our merry way photographing them. Only problem, we turned into two giddy kids in a candy store....so we only made it back a couple of miles both days. This place is really rocking this time of year, what a great time. Next year the upper part of the canyon!