On the last day of our October visit to the Grand Canyon, I decided it was time to take a hike down off the rim and explore. After a taste of hiking down the Bright Angel Trail, I agreed with everything I’d read. Getting below the rim was the way to truly see the magical colors, depth and splendors of the Grand Canyon.
Although we had seen some families with children hiking below the rim, I personally did not feel comfortable bringing my children. Not only was it incredibly steep, there was no protection. One slip and down you go. Thus, I decided to do a short 1.8 mile hike myself, on the South Kaibab trail to the OOH AHH Lookout Point.
My husband and kids dropped me off and away I went, elated to be doing one of the things I love most: Hike! I had the next hour and a half to hike before they would come back to pick me up. I could hardly wait.
It was so beautiful that I kept stopping to take pictures. I realized I could never tire of this view especially because it was always changing due to the position of the sun and clouds. As the late afternoon sun began to lower into the horizon, new shadows began to form along the ridges and layers of the pink, purple and blue-hued canyon. It was amazing.
When I first saw the trail, I panicked a little bit. It looked so insanely steep. But it wasn’t as bad as it looked. I knew my hike would only give me a small taste of what it felt like to be inside the canyon and walking down its steep path. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to hike the entire way down and back up. Yet I realized that someday I would love to do it.
Once I started, I realized that the trail really wasn’t as bad as it looked. It was steep but manageable. Going down wasn’t too bad. But I knew that what goes down must come up! Going back up would be tough on the legs.
I was shocked how quickly I found myself lowering into the canyon. I took the above shot only a few minutes or so down into my hike. Unfortunately all the other shots looking back up at the steep canyon walls were overexposed. But that didn’t matter because in my opinion the views looking the other way, deep inside the canyon, were better. This photo below is one of my favorites.
I didn’t see many other hikers on the trail. I enjoyed the peace and solitude of the hike. Perhaps that is what I love the best about hiking. Being outside in nature, with beauty surrounding me and no noise. It gives me time to reflect and relish on one simple moment in time.
In a little over a half an hour, I was almost there, to the Ooh Aah Lookout Point and my turning point. Would it be as spectacular as its name implied?
Then, I was there. The view took my breath away.
I enjoyed taking a few photos of other hikers admiring the view. It put the whole place into perspective and reminded me of an advertisement in a hiking guide.
I stood there for a few minutes and simply took it all in. The grandeur of it all. The wonder of Mother Nature. It was simply spectacular.
As I headed back up, I sped past other hikers feeling a “hiker’s high” of euphoria. What a day it had been. The Ooh Aah Point was definitely worth the sore muscles.
A few more steps and I’d arrive on top once again.
As I waited on a bench for my family to pick me up, I smiled. I made a promise that someday when the kids were a little bit older we’d have to come back.