Thursday, June 8, 2017

Grand Canyon Rim Trail

Route Name: Rim Trail
Start Elevation: 6,817 ft.
End Elevation: 7,117 ft.
Distance: 3.12 mi.
Start Time: 6:30am
End Time: 7:48am

Trip Report:
For our last morning at the Grand Canyon we had about 2 1/2 hours to work with before the long drive out to Phoenix.  We had 3pm flights and I'm usually paranoid about getting there early.  We were up right around 5am, tore down our camp, loaded up the car, and head for the Visitor Center parking.  There we hopped the Village Shuttle to ride it down to the Bright Angel Trailhead.  We actually got off at the shuttle stop titled "Hermit's Rest Route Transfer".  The plan was to hike the easy Rim Trail all the way back to the Visitor's Center.  

The Rim Trail is completely paved the whole way and has only minor changes in elevation.  It stayed within about 20-30 feet of the rim the whole way, sometimes closer.  We would stop here and there for pictures and enjoyed the varying perspectives of the canyon as we moved along.  There was a modest amount of people out this early in the morning.  We even had two runners come by making me think this would be an absolutely gorgeous course for a daily morning run, even if its paved.

One of the things that really shocked us was how heavily the signage on this path was pushing the old-earth billions of years theories.  It seemed as though they were going out of their way to thrust this in the visitor's faces focusing more on just the proposed massive ages than on the actual "how" of what formed this great canyon.  We did enjoy the rock samples of the various observable layers of the canyon, it was interesting to see the various examples up close.  Its a shame they appeared hesitant and afraid to engage the discussion of other theories on the formation of the canyon as well as its age.  My brother and I both happen to subscribe to the more plausible theory of a global flood and its receding waters having laid down the successive rock layers and then carving out the canyon.  We've done a lot of reading from PHD scientists on this and the massively old dating just doesn't add up.

Anyways, this is a trip report, enough on the signage.  We loved the hike and made our way all the way to Mather Point where we left the rim one last time and headed through the Visitor Center complex to our car.   As we considered this hike in hindsight we wished we had hiked it all the way to the South Kaibab Trailhead.   This would have allowed us to "complete the loop" by going from the South Kaibab to the North Kaibab to the Bright Angel and then back to the South Kaibab.  We came up just a mile or so short.   Our hike ended up being about 3 miles today.  This would make for an excellent family hike and with many possible points in which one can bail and hit a village shuttle you can make your own hike and distance.  Temps were just shy of 60 when we started and just over 70 at the finish so we had perfect early morning weather.  I only carried my nalgene bottle and wore a hat and bandanna to keep my fresh sunburn covered.  



I have a track and waypoints from the hike all contained in a KML file that you are welcome to download and use (at your own risk).  

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