Grand Canyon Photos III of III: Hiking and Camping at Hermit Creek
We hiked the Hermit Trail to the bottom, which is considered a threshold trail. This means that it is somewhat maintained, but not as much as a more popular (and easier) trails such as Bright Angel Trail. Tim tells me that Bright Angel, which he’s hiked down, is like a big wide road compared to Hermit Trail. This meant that we came across less hikers, but it was a bit more work navigating things like landslides and such. Here are our hiking and camping pictures!
Our rainbow of water bottles! Ready to hit the road. : )
We took off our backpacks for a minute or two to snap this picture by the top of the Hermit Trail sign.
My pack: It was not nearly as heavy as Tim’s, but it was plenty heavy for me.
On a relatively easy part of the trail near the top : )
Our tent at our first camping spot:
This is my first attempt at star trails. I was too tired to go hiking around to find a view with something interesting in the foreground, so all I got was the stars. For those who don’t understand what this is, it’s a 15-minute long exposure of the stars, and the circular motion is due to the rotation of the earth. Neato. Too bad this picture looks like it could’ve been taken anywhere!
You can’t camp down there without one of these:
A shot of our first camping spot from above:
By 7am, the sun was blazing and a huge black bee wouldn’t leave me alone. He kept hovering back and forth in front of me as if he was trying to start a fight. So, mainly due to the sun, we scouted around and moved our camp to this nice shady spot under a rock ledge. It was great, and the huge bee left me alone.
On our way back up- no time to take off the backpacks here! We were racing the hot sun. : )
It’s amazing to look down and see how far you’ve already come up. In this picture, you can’t even see the bottom of the Canyon where the creek and our camp were.
Only two miles from the top is Santa Maria Spring. There is a small shelter built there with this “restbit” bench.
I followed the bench’s instructions and rested a bit.
Tim calls this picture below “woe is me,” but it’s really, “ahh, shade and something other than a rock to sit on- I think I’ll close my eyes for a minute and block the sun.”
Our lunch: oranges and little toasts with cheese. mmm…
Tim made these “gloves” out of his socks for each of us. On the way down, we realized why the expensive trekking poles have cork handles…the plastic ones give you blisters! The athletic tape kept peeling off of our hands, so Tim cut some holes in his socks for the way back up (yes, they were used, but probably at least dunked in the creek and hung up on the line). They worked pretty well, and they made me feel like some punky kid in an ’80s movie.
8 hrs later and we finally made it up to our car! Tim took off his shoes and socks to reveal his anti-blister, sore-ankle treatment…and his sock tan, haha…
Gary and Ruth drove 4 hours to come meet us at the top for Mother’s Day. Awww. They also bought us dinner, and I don’t think I’ve ever eaten that much at one time…and still not been full. I usually split a plate with Tim and let him eat “the big half,” but not this time. I ate every last bit of my food, and Tim and I came back an hour later for more…and I still wasn’t full. I probably burned 1,895,673,548 calories on the hike.
This is the El Tovar lodge. We saw pictures of it from the early 1900s, and it pretty much looks the same now. It was pretty nice. We got an awesome breakfast there- my favorite part was the bright pink prickly per syrup. Yum.
This moose was huge, but of course you can’t really tell in the picture. I have never seen an animal so big…