It's a long way down
Trip Start Apr 02, 2009
123Trip End Sep 09, 2010
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The canyon is just stunning – it's impossible to express the depth, the size or the scale of this vast natural phenomenon. We arrived as the sun was setting, but there wasn’t a 'sunset’ given the cloud cover. We had 2 full days in the Canyon and the only way to properly see it and feel the size is to trek - miles downhill
At the top of the trails that descend into the canyon are signs that are clearly designed to frighten you to death. They have tails of people who died trekking, warnings about how the heat will fry your brain and ‘helpful’ advice about carrying gallons of water. Do these guys know how much water weighs? Just carrying the weight of it will probably kill me.
Plainly, no one takes any notice of the dire warnings as we came up behind someone whose gargantuan size blocked the narrow trail. A body like a bag of spanners and legs like overfilled shopping bags, going down would not be the problem but a Chinook helicopter would be required to get them back to the top.
Following a trial trek to the 3 mile point halfway down the Canyon, we decided that the next day we would get up at 5am and hit the trail at first light. Our aim was to get to a point 6 miles down where we could peer down to the Colorado River at the bottom of the Canyon
Words can’t describe how impressive this place is – the size and power of it is quite overwhelming. A few facts and dimensions: The canyon sprawls across 1.2 million acres, aged at only 6 million years, the stratas show a well preserved 2 billion year old slice of geologic history. 227 miles of Colorado River flow through it. Also home to 1500 plant species, 305bird species, 76 mammal, 41 reptile and amphibian (20 species being snake), and the frogs make a hell of a racket at night-time, 26 fish species. Following a turbulent history , today the stewardship of the canyon is a delicate balance of water management, preservation of the park’s pristine places and contemporary issues of native American survival.