Kaibab-Bright Angel Loop

Kaibab/Bright Angel Loop -17 miles -9000' elevation gain/lossJake and I left on Saturday afternoon for a day trip into the Great Canyon.We spent the evening in Cameron at the Cameron trading post and enjoyed anice trout dinner.We rose at 4:00 A.M. and drove to the South Rim and caught a shuttle to theKaibab trailhead. They now run shuttles every half hour starting an hourbefore dawn. This was Jake's inaugural hike into the Canyon. We leftKaibabat 6:40.A.M. A ranger at the trailhead questioned anyone going down as totheir itinerary and strongly recommended not going to the river and out asthis was an extremely dangerous hike in the heat. After identifying myselfasEl Lobo Grande, the ranger really insisted that we rconsider our travelplans?The hike down Kaibab was great, we saw few people and the canyon lookedgorgeous. We arrived at Phantom Ranch at 9:00 A.M. and went into theInn/Canteen and enjoyed snacks and Lemonade. I bought the boy a PhantomRanchhat to keep this fun experience with him while he is in graduate school.We spent some time at the creek and left at 10:00 A.M. The thermometer wasat the century mark.Jake set a tremendous pace and we arrived at Indian Gardens at 11:30.A.M.This was going way too fast and I expressed concern for saving energy forthelast two miles.The temperature had gone down to a cool 99, and I was really hoping that wewould get some cloud cover for the final 2500' ascent.The familiarity ofthistrail and memories of the arduous climb were overshadowed by Jake'spleasureand appreciation of the experience. We rested at Indian Gardens until noon.We were fortunate to get some cloud cover going out but it was hot! Ialwaysswear that I will never ever go into the Canyon in the heat of summer butalways end up doing it anyway.Jake kept up a breakkneck pace, and we ended up using every bit that we hadto get out the last two miles. The trail from here was cluttered with spenthikers and noisy tourist fools.We finished at 2:00P.M -much too fast. This was done at close to 20 minutemiles.I downed a pint in the bar and we took off for the four hour drive home.This was the real scary part. If Jake was fast on the trail he was fasteronI17. I drove to Flag and from here he flew home. I was white knuckeled thewhole way.Overall, this was a fun trip, but a very long day day. I feel fortunate tobeable to share a part of the world's greatest geographic area with my son.We are delaying our North Bass Backpack scheduled for next weekend becauseof work conflicts, but am planning on a three day trip into the rugged,remote Mazatzals with Bob Shea.I believe that we will start at City Creek, by Payson and go to FullerSeep.This will be a 4500' climb, but should put us in the cool country.

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