The map at the left shows the detailed view of the last part of the virtual hike with the pictures numbered. Most of these locations are fairly accurate, but there are some that I must admit are just "best guesses."
Click on the map to view it full size.
Click to see the entire map (845k).
I hope you've been eating and hydrating because the real "fun" is about to begin. (Yes, this is the new definition of "fun" we've just learned.) The steepest part of the Bright Angel Trail is at hand. The cliffs and their height are certainly intimidating. The first time I encountered this section I joked that if I didn't know better, I would turn back immediately thinking there's no way any walkable trail could exist that could navigate up these walls. There were no signs of any trail even 300 feet ahead. And yet there must be, all these people coming down didn't repel on ropes or jump!
It is often difficult to know exactly where you are on this part of the Bright Angel Trail because there are very few landmarks of note. But there are two that are significant and by definition they tell you exactly where you are: the One and a Half Mile Resthouse and the Three Mile Resthouse (seen here in picture 175 at the left.) That means we have gone 13.7 miles and a very tough 3 miles left.
During the summer months (May-September) water is available at these two rest houses.
Your muscles are aching as you've finally arrived at the One and a Half Mile Resthouse. You are cursing the name of this place wishing it were called the Quarter Mile Resthouse. If you've come all the way from the river, you will now hope that the end is just around the next switchback. On this particular hike, I was carrying a walkie talkie and soon after passing this landmark, Cindy called me and I stayed in communication with her for the rest of the ascent. I got to place an order for a drink that would be waiting for me at the top of the trail!
I arrived at the top of the Bright Angel Trail at 2:30, right on schedule. I was tired, glad the hike was now over, but far from exhausted. Every time I've done one of these day hikes to the river and back I wonder if it's my last. The physical demands are so great, I train a minimum of three months in mountains and heat of Phoenix where the conditions very closely resemble those at the canyon. In order to feel I'm ready for the canyon, I must do laps that total at least 4800 vertical feet on over 12 miles of trails. Even with this training, twice I've been totally drained dragging myself out of the canyon. Yes, you can never take this endeavor lightly.
From the top of the Bright Angel Trail which is right next to the Kolbe Studio, there is very little of the trail you can actually view. For that, the very first stop on the Hermit's Rest Route is Trailview Overlook and as you can see from the photographs, it is aptly named. Much of the trail from Indian Garden all the way to the finish at Kolbe Studio is visible from this point.
Not in good enough shape to click through the images on the virtual tour? Take the equivalent of a mule ride by clicking the play button to start the slide show of the images.
previous next random play stop
|YES!||I'm still doing fine. I want to continue the tour... You're hallucinating! The climb is over and there are no more pages!|
|NO!||I'm exhausted, but I made it. Take me back to the home page.|