Backpacking in the Grand Canyon
For the past several years, several members of the hiking club have challenged the August heat in what has become an annual backpacking foray in the Grand Canyon. Why August you might ask? Well, since it tends to be very hot, there is much less competition for campsite reservations. So, on August 18, six hikers headed for the South Rim to begin a 46-mile adventure which involved almost 10,000 feet of descent and ascent (going down is optional, climbing out is mandatory), all the while carrying 25 pounds or more in their packs. This year the destination was Clear Creek, an off-the-beaten-track area on the north side of the Colorado River, approximately ten miles east of Phantom Ranch (the trail was built by the CCC in the 1930s for mule trips but these were discontinued during WWII). The trail provided beautiful scenery since it is on a plateau high above and parallel to the river far below, but was a strenuous workout because of the distance and elevation, as well as a confrontation with some monsoon weather. The club hikes extensively around the valley with occasional adventures such as this in other interesting areas; visit the club’s website at pchikers.org for more information and pictures.