Saturday, September 17, 2011

Bill Hall Trail

Yesterday we went on our toughest and most scenic hike yet. We drove through the forest for one hour to reach the trail head for the Bill Hall Trail. We had a couple of hiking companions this time, Anthony who is the Assistant Manager of the gift shop and Bill who is the significant other of Anna a sales associate in the gift shop.

The Bill Hall Trail is a shortcut to the Thunder River Trail and the top is very steep and rocky as it goes through the Kaibab Formation. One spot requires lowering the packs down and scrambling.
The views from the trail are the broadest and most expansive that I have ever seen. This is Bridger's Knoll looking southeast from the trail. The next picture shows the broad views to the west as the river slices through the canyon
We hiked down the very steep section for three miles and took a break in a shady arroyo. At this point Sherri and Bill thought it would be best to start back up the canyon. Anthony and I continued on over the Esplanade for another 3.4 miles. The Esplanade is a flat and rocky section which feels like and looks like very different from any other section of the canyon.
Anthony and I made it to end of the Esplanade which looks over Surprise Valley and has a view of the Colorado River.
After hanging out on the edge of the of the Esplanade for half-an-hour Anthony and I began the 6.4 mile hike out of the canyon. The three mile Esplanade was not bad but the last three miles is 2,500 feet up. The weather here has been cool and rainy for several days, but today it was sunny and warm in the canyon and we kept looking for cooling clouds. Well, half way up the rains came and we took shelter under a rock overhang and watched the storm.
The cool rain was a welcome relief, but the storm passed quickly and the sun came out. The last mile is straight up hill and was a challenge. Anthony and I made it out; Bill and Sherri were waiting for us at the truck and on the drive back we talked about what a tough and beautiful hike we had just been on. At the end of the day it feels great to have hiked the Grand Canyon.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, what a spectacular hike!! Sherry, you are scaring us a bit. It looked like one false step or slip could be disasterous ;o(( Please be careful!!

    But what marvelous views you had. The photo of the rainstorm was really interesting.

    Keep having fun for us!!