We started our day 2 at grand canyon national park by 8.30am. Weather was mix of clouds and sun but nicer temperatures . Unlike day 1 which was sunny but chillness in the air ,could not spend the day without a light jacket .
This day was planned to cover the 64 East . Mainly the South Kaibab trail and the Desert view tower . The orange route shuttle from visitor center takes you to 2 points yaki point and south kaibab trail .
There is no connectivity to the Desert view tower using shuttles .Own vehicles are allowed in this stretch of the park , Hence we decided to drive ourselves .
We stopped at 3 viewpoints before reaching Desert view tower . Grandview trailhead – you can hike down this trail if u prefer do to some hiking . There are few other points on this route where you can stop by for canyon views.
Lipan point & Navajo point – here you get a much closer view of the upper part of the Canyon and Colorado River .
By 11am we were at the Desert view tower . The Desert view tower gives a much closer and clearer view of the top layer of the canyon descending to inner layers . The tower building itself is a historic native Indian architecture .
After capturing all possible views , we stopped by to pick up something for lunch at snack bar . Pizza seemed like best option .We had a healthy and heavy breakfast at yavasupai restaurant which kept us full .
On our way back from desert tower, we parked closer to the south kaibab trail head. Authorities don’t allow private vehicles to this location . Hence we had to park away and walk down .
South Kaibab is a moderate trail without any water filling stations.Carry water as needed.The first stop on south kaibab trail is Ooh-Aah point which is 0.9 miles down into canyon.
Arvind and I decided to do cedar ridge .Cedar ridge is 3 miles round trip from top of the canyon. As we started our hike , we saw people reaching up huffing and panting . It gave us an idea of how the hike would be on our way back . We were hiking down to 1500 feet to get to cedar ridge . Hike down the trail was relatively easy by being a little careful at the edges .
On our way down the trail we met couple of families sharing their stories of where they are from , what are their plans and other things . One family had booked their reservations at phantom ranch a year ago . Phantom ranch is a resort or accomodation campground for people who are hiking down to the Colorado River which is 6 miles down . It is suggested u never do a round trip hike to Colorado river in one day unless you are extremely fit . Book your reservations a year before if you want to camp down at phantom ranch .
We all hikers reached at first point of the trail . Ooh-Aah point . It probably is Aah point for people who are trekking down . Here you get to see the 270 degree view of the huge canyon from within . We all clicked pictures for each other’s families . Most of them where excited that it will be the picture for their Christmas card since Christmas is around .
We continued further down the trail .In about 30-40 mins we reached the Cedar ridge . Feeling deeply sourrounded by the majestic canyon walls. We went to tip of the ridge . It felt like a different planet in itself . At one point there was no hiker around , just Arvind and me sitting at the edge of a rock and admiring the canyon . Arvind said this is how it would be if we were the last 2 creatures living on this planet .Not sure if I like that feeling. After relaxing our feet a little bit and soaking in all the beauty and peace around , wondering and admiring about lot of things that are above our everyday life , we started back .
The hike down felt so easy only when we started to hike back to the top. Now we know why people were panting so much . Because of the steep trail, getting back up against gravity got the heart pounding like drums in the ears . We took breaks where possible and made it to the top in 2 hours . So basically it took double the time to hike up .
It felt like mission accomplished after we reached the top of the trail . The humongous walls of the canyon makes u feel so small . We are those tiny shrubs in these canyons .
We sat down in peace , relaxing and cooling off , admiring the path , feeling good with lot of pains here and there .
We called it a day after having dinner at yavasupai restaurant .
Good night .