So here is the plan. Take my boys on their first Grand Canyon Hike! To add some fun invite a couple of friends & their parents. So 4 boys 2 Dads and a Mom made the trip for a total of 5 first timers.
Could only get permits to Cremation Creek off the Kaibab South for night one which made for a leisurely start off the hike. We got a late start off from the valley and for various reason didn't hit the Trailhead until 4 PM. We put in as fast as we could go while still daylight but still took about an hour in the dark until we hit the Tonto Crossroads @ Tip off. Temp had dropped fast so we chose to call it a day and dry camped at Tip off on the hardpack. Weather made for relatively light traffic. Canyon was clear and crisp. Stars were incredible and active. Some of the most beautiful starry nights in recent memory. Woke up to a beautiful sunrise packed up and had a leisurely stroll to Phantom Ranch.
Because we got in so early we had our pick of sites and picked a prime creekside spot. Two in our party got reservations at the dorms (no it wasn't the Mom and son) Weather was bright and sunny I even was down to shorts and a tshirt for several hours. Had a blast exploring the Ranch and surrounding area. Couldn't believe that my Mom & Dad came to the Ranch for their honeymoon 55 years ago. (My dad quite enjoyed it, my mom not so much)
I treated the boys to Phantom Ranch Steaks for dinner at the canteen. Settled in for a windy but restful night.
Up early for Breakfast at the ranch packed up and on our way by 7:30 Cruised to the first rest house in about 45 mins. Then up to Indian gardens. Kind of had to drag one of the boys along. Interesting how each member had their ups and downs on the trail. For the Mom it was downhill from the tipoff that had her hurting. For me it was just before 3 mile rest to 1 &1/2 that was my challenge. Each of the boys had challenging time in different areas. But we all made it. I loved hiking in the cold and light snow. The Storm squall heavy snow flurries and huge wind gusts not so much The views of fresh snow on the vistas and clear & cloudy skies was breathtaking. We made it! and celebrated with dinner at Bright Angel Lodge