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Trip Report - Sedona & the Grand Canyon - Day 3 & 4

Waitsfield, Vermont
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Trip Report - Sedona & the Grand Canyon - Day 3 & 4

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Coffee Pot was so good our first morning that we decided to head there again for breakfast. This morning we both had the “TakeTwo” ($5.50 each). Two pancakes, two eggs, and a choice of sausage or bacon. We don’t usually eat large breakfasts, but we justified it based on the fact that we’d be hiking and using those morning calories.

Our hike today was a circular route starting at the Soldier Pass trailhead. We went straight out the Soldier Pass trail climbing to Brins Mesa. Then we turned right continuing along the mesa and down the trail, and finally finishing off the loop by hiking the Cibola Pass & Jordan trails to get back to our car. The loop was nearly 6 miles long, and offered varied terrain. The first half climbed through a cool pine forest, the middle of the loop had expansive views, and the second half was a pleasant descent. I think it took us around 3 very enjoyable hours.

We were ready to eat again after the hike, and headed down to Bodacious Burgers. We both order the Basic Bodacious Burger with Sweet Potato Fries. Hubby was annoyed that they didn’t have a liquor license, because he really wanted a beer with his burger. None-the-less, we enjoyed our lunch, but were a bit overly full when we left there. We drove into town to play tourist for a bit. We’re not good shoppers, but went to Tlaquepaque to have a look around. It’s a beautiful shopping/dining area, but we just didn’t need anything that they were selling. We continued south out of town, visited the Chapel of the Holy Cross, and walked a mile of the trail that starts just below the chapel.

Dinner on this evening consisted of cheese, crackers and fruit that we’d bought at the supermarket. The Bodacious Burgers were so filling at lunchtime, we couldn’t even think about going out to dinner.

Friday, March 23, 2012

We checked out of the Sky Ranch Lodge, and went to our breakfast place – The Coffee Pot. Once again, we had the “Take Two”. We scoped out a hike to the north, as we were heading to the Grand Canyon in the afternoon. The decision was made that the West Fork of the Oak Creek sounded right for the day. The hike along the West Fork is fairly flat and straightforward, with the exception of the first stream crossing that requires some balancing on rocks and logs. After that, there are 12 more stream crossings as you head up the trail, following the stream. The further we got up the trail, the more snow we encountered. Just before the three-mile mark, we made the decision to turn around. The snow was getting so deep at this point, that the hike was becoming more work than fun. We re-traced our morning journey back to the car, and had a picnic lunch at the benches provided near the parking area.

In the early afternoon we headed to the Grand Canyon – our destination for the next four days. We arrived at the South Rim around 3pm, and went straight to a Ranger’s discussion about the California Condor. I wanted to find out where we might be likely to see a condor while in the canyon. The ranger’s talk was interesting and informative. We then went to check in to our Bright Angel Rim Side cabin. We had #6145, a historic cabin with a fairly decent view of the canyon. The room was comfortable with two comfy leather seats and a queen size bed. It was clear that the room had been updated in the last few years.

In the early evening we headed to the General Store to rent hiking poles for our trip into the canyon, get some items for lunch on Saturday, and drove as close to the South Kaibab trailhead as you’re allowed to drive to, and walked to the trail. We were curious to know what the state of the top of the trail looked like, to assess whether we’d need to bring our traction devices with us because of the snow earlier in the week. We made the decision that it wasn’t bad enough to warrant bringing our YakTrax. Having seen the starting point of our hike into the canyon, we returned to the car, drove back to the Bright Angel Lodge, and had dinner in the Arizona Room. The food was fine. We headed to bed early.

NH
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1. Re: Trip Report - Sedona & the Grand Canyon - Day 3 & 4

Thanks for the review, we (hubby and I) will be in GCNP (1 night) and Sedona (3 nights) later in April, first trip to the area, and looking forward to it. We have reservations at SRL - in a garden view room. How did you like the room and any tips from there? We also have the Coffeepot on our list, sounds like you really enjoyed it.

I'm not too much of a hiker because of some minor arthritis issues (the ascents are a little difficult) but definitely like a nice long walk- especially to stop and enjoy scenery - was the Courthouse Butte / Bell Rock trail pretty even?

-Sherri

Waitsfield, Vermont
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2. Re: Trip Report - Sedona & the Grand Canyon - Day 3 & 4

SRL was a good match for us. I believe we must have had a Garden View room, as we didn't have any view. We paid $102 per night (that included the tax), and I think that was great value. The grounds are nice, and the new-ish patio overlooking the Red Rocks was a great place to enjoy a drink. We hadn't thought much about bringing our swimsuits, but there is a hot tub next to the pool that looked inviting had we only been prepared.

The Courthouse Butte/Bell Rock trail had some small "technical" sections, but nothing like a big White Mtn/Green Mtn hike. The scenery is gorgeous all the way around. If you're happy with a 4 or 5 mile walk, you should be fine.

Edited: 30 March 2012, 16:32
NH
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3. Re: Trip Report - Sedona & the Grand Canyon - Day 3 & 4

Sounds great. Getting more excited the more I read your TR's, thanks so much. Our "cool" down aka regular temperatures (:)) in new england this week is getting me even more anxious to get on the road to - hopefully - warmer temps. Although I think they've had more snow in Sedona than we've had all season!

Chattanooga...
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4. Re: Trip Report - Sedona & the Grand Canyon - Day 3 & 4

Agree with you on Tlaquepaque; I can't remember ever buying anything there but it's a little mini-vacation in itself. Love the old village look and feel, and the flowers, and one time we spent a good half-hour just watching tiny hummingbirds working the flower beds.

Chapel of the Holy Cross is a really special place too.

You seem to have really gotten a good in-depth Sedona experience.

Naples, Florida
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5. Re: Trip Report - Sedona & the Grand Canyon - Day 3 & 4

Disregard my questions on the earlier thread about SRL you answered them. Sounds like I could follow your exact itinerary . Anything you would omit in Sedona or do differently?

Thanks again for the great trail details.

Waitsfield, Vermont
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6. Re: Trip Report - Sedona & the Grand Canyon - Day 3 & 4

Quote "Sounds like I could follow your exact itinerary . Anything you would omit in Sedona or do differently?"

Well, we're not foodies, so we didn't worry too much about where we ate. But, if that was important to me, I would have paid more attention to food related posts on this forum. Other than that, I really liked our pace. We brought cycling clothes, thinking we might rent bikes, but that didn't happen. Mostly because we enjoyed our hikes so much.

Madison, Wisconsin
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7. Re: Trip Report - Sedona & the Grand Canyon - Day 3 & 4

Awesome trip report! We are doing a similar trip next April- only Grand Canyon first, thend Sedona. Question- where did you keep your car the nights you were at the Phantom Ranch? Also, did you find both trails (South Kaibob down and Bright Angel up) easy to navigate? I'm always a little nervous with directions and finding my way places.

Waitsfield, Vermont
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8. Re: Trip Report - Sedona & the Grand Canyon - Day 3 & 4

We left our rental car in the parking lot in front of the Bright Angel Lodge, with our extra bags in the trunk (with laptops, iPads, and clothes/shoes we weren't taking down into the canyon.) There is a bag check in the lobby of the lodge that could be used too. If you're not staying at one of the village lodges, you could do the same making use of the Visitor Center's parking lot. Drive there, park your car, and catch the Hiker's Shuttle to the South Kaibab trail head.

The trails are VERY straight forward. We're map geeks, so we always study available routes and have a very good feel for where we're going ahead of time. That being said, I just can't imagine being lost on these trails. There are good signs, and the trails are very clear. You'll have no problem... I'm sure.

Madison, Wisconsin
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9. Re: Trip Report - Sedona & the Grand Canyon - Day 3 & 4

We are staying at the Bright Angel Lodge, so will plan on parking in the same location. Thanks for the info!

Sedona
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10. Re: Trip Report - Sedona & the Grand Canyon - Day 3 & 4

Great trip report. You can tell how helpful this is to people who are planning their trips. It's always nice to get a fresh perspective.

Sorry to hear your husband was disappointed about Bodacious Burgers. For future travelers Bodacious Burgers has applied for a liquor license, but in the meanwhile you can BYO. There is a Basha's Grocery Store where you can purchase your beverage and bring it over.

I'm glad you liked Coffee Pot. Their food just seems to be consistently good, including for lunch. And I had pretty much forgotten about Desert Flour in the Village. I will have to remember that when meeting a friend for lunch!