Grand Canyon – Part 5

The plan – the requirement – was to camp at Indian Gardens Sunday night.
It was a simple plan, hike back from Clear Creek to Phantom Ranch, and from there up the South Kaibab trail about half way (the way we came down) and then hang a right at the Tonto Trail and take that to Indian Gardens.

Since there was little sleep due to the wind and rain, we were up at sunrise – even Lloyd was awake – we got a good start on the day.

The view while heading back was just as amazing as the view heading out the day before.
The trail was quiet at that time in the morning, the light on the rocks was amazing, the air was clear and cold after the rain and so it was just beautiful.

Before we knew it we were back at Phantom Ranch, filling our water bottles – there was no water between here and Indian Gardens, some 8 miles away – going to the toilet and heading off.

We headed off back the way we came and hiked our way up a fair bit up the South Kaibab Trail. You have already seen photos of that bit, so we will spare you from much the same view heading the other way.

Around half way up, we got to our turn off.
Up till this point, I had my headphones in, there was some traffic as usual on the South Kaibab and I was not feeling the need to talk. Not only that, but hiking the Canyon while listening to Trance is a… well…. it’s up there with my list of all time amazing life experiences.
Once we got to the Tonto Trail, we could tell it was less traveled and so I was happy to take them out……

The views were just astounding.
Even Lloyd who has seen a lot of the Canyon over the years was blown away……
Hard not to be with a view like this;

You see the Canyon from a totally different aspect. One side is further away, but just as towering, there is the plateau and then down the slope is more of the Canyon.

No one photo can make it clear just what it was like hiking along this trail. It was further than we expected, but the weather was so nice and we were in such good spirits that it really did not matter, in fact, I was a little disappointed when we got to Indian Gardens.

Here is the track profile. You can clearly see the hike up the Canyon and then along the plateau.
clear creek to indian gardens

We ended up doing around 10 miles.
We made camp just before sunset and then headed out to plateau point to watch the sunset… It was only three miles… So yeah, in one day we hiked a half marathon. Hehe, I was pretty stoked.

That night was cold. A bit below zero but thankfully no wind or rain, so it was bearable.
There was a little presentation put on in the Rangers station that we attended. It was a silent movie about the surveying of the Colorado River in 1923, the Ranger provided narration while it was playing.
It was really well done and very worthwhile to attend. I understand that the society we live in requires power – I’m using a laptop to write this and you are viewing it on a computer – other than my Dad, all of us are plugged into the grid – some removed from the Colorado, some close – anyway, I understand that we need power, and the river can provide a lot of that when we dam it and tame it, but it was sad to see the movie of how it used to run.

Read Part 6 here.

Click on the photos to make them bigger.
Click on ‘Trips’ in the categories to the left to see other parts of the Canyon story.