Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Zoning Out In Arizona - My Faux Hike in the Grand Canyon Western South Rim (Part 2)

Faux hiking? Oh yeah! I'm not really into outdoorsy stuff. Perhaps you've noticed that. I mean I guess I'm not really destined for it. Having grown up in a Black working class neighborhood in New York City in the 80's and 90's, sleeping in a tent in the cold with no bathroom wasn't exactly what many considered a vacation. Just sayin'. Even Oprah noticed the lack o' folks o' color during her recent trip to Yosemite. (By the way, I love the name of that blog link, Outdoor Afro.) While Husband J grew up doing more outdoor related things than me, even he likes the comfort of a warm bed (hence, our stay at the El Tovar).

One of the most popular and challenging ways to see the Grand Canyon is to hike to the bottom of the canyon itself. It's recommend that you do a two day hike with an overnight camp. If you do try to hike to the bottom in one day, make sure to carry more than enough food, water and plan accordingly for the day's weather conditions. The temperature at the canyon bottom can easily reach over 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

During our full day in the Grand Canyon, we decided to see the western portion of the South Rim and make an attempt at a faux hike. Husband J and I walked to one of the bus shuttle stations for access to the western portion of the South Rim. You can't drive to this area of the park. Only shuttle buses, walking and bikes are allowed. The bus shuttle stops off at scenic points along a prescribed route going west towards Hermit's Rest, a rest area.

I say that this was a faux hike because we really didn't go to far off the beaten path. Even though we were on a walking trail, it was right next to the main road. You could always see the buses passing by through the trees. It's not like we went off somewhere by ourselves. :)

Even if it wasn't that far into the wilderness, there was a portion of the walking trail that did get a little rough and required some work.

There were several crazy steps along this portion of the walk. It kinda got a little hairy.

Here are some of the beautiful vistas that we saw along the way:

I actually got Husband J to take a picture of me. How about that?

Can you see the Colorado River?

After quite a bit of walking (and another hop onto the shuttle bus), we finally made it to Hermit's Rest!

It's really just a cute little rustic souvenir shop but still worth the effort. It was designed by Grand Canyon architect diva, Mary Colter.

By the way, you don't have to do our faux hike. You can take the shuttle bus the entire way to Hermit's Rest.

If you have a chance while you're in the South Rim, take a trip to its western edge. It's totally worth it!


nellie said...

What amazing views! I hear you on faux-hiking... being a city girl myself, I always say the payoff of a hike is never worth it for the hours of sweating and climbing. That said, I've never been at the summit of an amazing breathtaking view... so who knows. Your trip photos are putting Arizona on the map for me!

BigAppleNosh said...

I love your faux-hike! Looks like you got to see some really cool views!

Rue said...

This is great! Thanks for the mention and I would LOVE to repost to OA? What do you think?

Have a great day!


M and C said...

My family didn't do nearly as many outdoorsy things as my husband's. My dad still thinks it's weird that we sleep outside (camping). He always says only poor people in Sri-Lanka do that.


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