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Trip Report - May, 2004 - Bright Angel Campground, Phantom Ranch & Phantom Canyon

The primary purpose of this trip was to bring my friend, Maggi, for her first visit down to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. She expressed a desire to do this during the first little day hike we did, down to Cedar Ridge on the South Kaibab Trail, last October. Actually at that time she said she wanted to go over to Clear Creek but that trip never materialized and this one was the best we could pull off as a backup. This was not only Maggi's first Grand Canyon backpacking trip but her first backpacking trip ever... period. That being considered I think she did amazingly well.

We ended up having two nights at the bottom of the Canyon, at Bright Angel Campground, and did a lot of wandering around during our lay-over day down there. We spent the morning at the boat beach watching a river party come in, watching mule trains coming down and going up the trail, watching lizards, and playing around in Bright Angel Creek. In the afternoon we visited Phantom Ranch and also did a nice little day hike up the North Kaibab Trail to Phantom Canyon and then about a mile up Phantom Creek. We found a really cool frog, a leopard frog, up near one of the waterfalls in Phantom Creek. Later that afternoon we brought the food and cooking gear down to the beach and had dinner down there while watch the sun fade away in the inner canyon. It was glorious and I am pretty sure that Maggi had a good time, in spite of some sore muscles. I know she is again looking forward to the next trip, which hopefully will be over to Clear Creek or perhaps Thunder River.

This trip was not without its little screw ups though. The first mistake was not checking the shuttle bus schedule in advance and ending up on the wrong bus, which caused us to miss the sunrise from Cedar Ridge. The second mistake was starting the hike out from the bottom too late and having to spend quite a bit of time hiding out from the heat at Indian Garden. The third mistake was not spending enough time hiding out from the heat at Indian Garden and starting back up the trail too soon. We managed to overcome all of these little problems and since Maggi was still smiling at the top of the Bright Angel Trail I guess I would have to consider the trip a success. She'll be back, I know it.

Oh, yeah, we also ended up with free breakfast at Phantom Ranch!


camera Photo map

Day 1 - South Kaibab Trail to Bright Angel Campground
Day 2 - Lay over day, day hike up Phantom Canyon
Day 3 - River and Bright Angel Trails back to rim

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