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South Rim - Colorado River Loop, AZ
mini location map2020-08-11
14 by photographer avatarLJW
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South Rim - Colorado River Loop, AZ 
South Rim - Colorado River Loop, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 11 2020
Hiking23.55 Miles 5,340 AEG
Hiking23.55 Miles   9 Hrs   20 Mns   2.91 mph
5,340 ft AEG   1 Hour   15 Mns Break
1st trip
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Like Twain and Halley's Comet, my twin brother and I were born in the midst of the Perseids. I try to see them every year, and this year I ran back my Perseid hike from last year. Same hike, only started a half hour earlier and added Phantom Ranch. Down year this year, too bright a moon or something. Don't know that much about them, mostly just like to watch.

Last year it seemed cool to walk the Rim Trail from BA to SK. It's easier, however, to crane your neck and stargaze when walking on a wide, paved surface like the highways along the South Rim. So I forewent the Rim Trail dreams and stuck to roads between the trailheads. Left PHX at 11pm to make a 3am start time happen. Parked up from BA and off I went into the dark. Only saw about two dozen shooting stars, way down from last year.

Walked the highways and watched the stars. Didn't really need a headlamp on the roads' reflective surface, used it anyway. Interestingly no elk or deer out. When I passed the visitor center, I locked silvery eyes with something in the monochrome glow of my headlamp, twenty yards from the road under a juniper in the forest. Round, flat face. Didn't take it for a deer or elk. I'd read about Eric York and the tracking info on the lions he tagged, and I remember being surprised at the range of many of the cats that live on the South Rim. Probably imagining things. Comforted myself the rest of the walk to SK by singing tunes of the late John Prine and thumbing the plastic safety clip of a bear spray canister.

S Kaibab down. Only passed two people, and I was the only descending hiker when I got there. TH is closed except to rangers and residents. Beat the sun by quite a bit, and it wasn't up until 6am when I was already past O'Neil Butte. Cool the whole way.

Crossed the black bridge, dunked my head in the river, and soaked my shirt at the boat beach before poking around Phantom Ranch. Had never been there before, must be nice. Lots of friendly deer. 80 by 8am in the shade of the canyon.

Crossed back over to River Trail and enjoyed the bottom while it lasted. Passed no one the whole length of the River Trail. Green water with a stronger flow than last year. Started to get warm working through the sand, but it was shadier than I remembered.

BA up after a short break at the Pipe Creek Beach. Again, got real wet before carrying on. Started to see folks after a couple miles, but I cannot remember a less busy trip up BA. Only the last mile was busy, and not really Grand Canyon busy. Mercifully, clouds started to form over the canyon by the time I was at Indian Gardens and they only got shadier the rest of the way up.

No shuttle means a long walk to make this one work. Even just SK, closest parking is the visitor center. Without all the services of GCNP and the closures of just about all trailheads and pullouts, it's going to be prime for some solitude in the Corridor where it can otherwise be hard to find.
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