Up one level Grand Canyon National Park » Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim (South Rim to North Rim to South Rim)

Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim (South Rim to North Rim to South Rim)
During this trip, we hiked the Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim route over two days. From South to North, the 21 mile trail drops about 4860 feet from the South Kaibab trailhead to the Colorado River and then climbs about 5840 feet to the North Kaibab trailhead on the North Rim. We hiked for 13 hours the first day going from the South to the North, camped at the North Rim after sunset, and then hiked 11.5 hours the next day to get back to the South Rim. We managed to catch a spectacular sunrise at Ooh-Aah point on the South Kaibab trail, but unfortunately missed the sunset on the way up to the North Rim. During our night at the North Rim, the temperature dropped to 12 F according to the thermometer we had with us. As a result, we stayed in our tents past sunrise (which is when we wanted to start hiking back) to let the air warm up a bit before breaking camp. The spigots at the established campsites were turned off a few weeks earlier and so I had to haul about 7.5 liters of water from the river next to Cottonwood camp up to the North Rim. Together with my photographic equipment and water, my pack weighed about 45 lbs or so.
This hike is quite special, especially since the South Kaibab trail follows a "ridge" line down to the river; The views are outstanding and change as you move from the South to the North. My only gripe about the hike is that the trail is shared with mules and hence there's plenty of mule poop and pee all over the trail. Apparently, quite a few people hike down to the canyon bottom, stay at Phantom Ranch, and then take the mules up. The mules are used to supply Phantom Ranch and to ferry these people up on the return trip. In any case, the development at the bottom of the canyon is an eyesore.

crw_2452 South Kaibab trailhead just before sunrise. crw_2459 Pink glow in the sky just before sunrise. crw_2476 Sunrise near Ooh-Aah point. crw_2484-eileen-0060 Serene and Ray at Ooh-Aah Point just before sunrise. Taken by Eileen Woo. crw_2484-eileen-0073 Taking photos at Ooh-Aah Point. Taken by Eileen Woo. crw_2484-ray-3628 Serene at Ooh-Aah Point just before sunrise. Taken by Ray Woo. crw_2484 Serene and Ray at Ooh-Aah Point silhouetted against O' Neill Butte. crw_2489 Sunrise at Ooh-Aah point. crw_2499 Sunrise at Ooh-Aah point. crw_2520 Serene about halfway down the South Kaibab Trail. crw_2529 Big Horn Sheep. Unfortunately, he was hiding behind a bush. crw_2544-ray-3659 Eileen and Serene looking cool on the bridge leading to Phantom Ranch. Taken by Ray Woo. crw_2544 Colorado River while crossing the bridge to Phantom Ranch. crw_2568 Serene tending to her feet about a third of the way to Cottonwood camp from Phantom Ranch. crw_2576 Mini waterfall along Bright Angel Creek. crw_2582 Mini waterfall along Bright Angel Creek. crw_2599 Serene descending on the North Kaibab Trail on the second day. crw_2605 Rock fin along the North Kaibab trail. crw_2608 Serene messing with her stuff at the private residence about 1 mile away from Cottonwood camp. crw_2617 Yucca. crw_2623 Canyon walls along Bright Angel Creek. crw_2632 Young deer near Phantom Ranch. He was looking down at the older deer in the next picture. crw_2636 Older deer staring up at the younger deer. He was tossing some hay around, which explains the bits of straw stuck on his face. crw_2643 Sunset on the South Kaibab trail.