This is a report on hiking to the bottom of GC and back to the top again in one day.
First of all, I would like to thank all those people on this forum who helped us to prepare for this hike. We could not have done it without their help, or at very least we would not have been as prepared for it.
Originally we planned to do the hike in July. However, when we did our final itinerary we ended up doing it on 13th of August. Part of the reason for August hike was less likelihood of a hot day than in July.
We got to Grand Canyon at 5.00 pm on 12th of August. We got our food and drink supplies and by the time we had dinner, it was 9.00 pm.
We took water and electrolytes powder to keep hydrated. For food we took cereal and milk for breakfast. For snacks and lunch we took canned tuna, bread, loose trail mix, trail mix bars, pretzels and bananas.
We caught the 4.00 am bus to South Kaibab trailhead and started the hike at 4.30. There was only 1 other couple, young couple, on the bus and they were only going as far as Ooh Aah point.
It was raining lightly, very dark and the trail was quite slippery. It is not well maintained. We had head lamps and we took it very slow until the daybreak. The rain stopped around the sunrise and the trail got much better. It rained again sporadically until we got away from the River.
After the daybreak, we stopped occasionally to enjoy the views and to rest. We had snacks and water roughly every half hour. It took us almost 4 hours to get to the bottom and had breakfast at Colorado River. We spent over an hour at Phantom Ranch, including having coffee and delicious lemonade at the canteen.
We then continued up the Bright Angel Trail and got to Indian Garden just after noon. I realized that I left my glasses about 1 km back. Ran back to get the glasses, had lunch and an hour later we were on our way towards the top.
We had many stops along the way enjoying magnificent views and had decent breaks at 3 mile and 1.5 mile points. We were at the top at 4.15.
By the time we got to the top, we were tired, but at no stage did we feel that it was a very strenuous hike and that we would struggle. The last part from Indian Gardens to the top was the hardest part as it was quite steep, quite warm and we were getting tired. We were very lucky that it was not a hot day. We would have cancelled the hike it was a very hot day.
We felt that we were prepared physically and mentally and we had the right gear, water and food for this hike. Anybody thinking about doing this hike in a day, needs to think extremely carefully as it is not an easy hike by any means.
We talked to 3 different people the day before the hike. They where from the visitors centre, the book store where we bought the maps and the general store where we bought our food supplies. They were all horrified when we told them what we were planning to do. Maybe we didn’t look young enough or fit enough for this. I am 62 and my wife turned 60 today. We keep in good shape and do a lot of hiking on a regular basis.
I hope this report helps those that want to hike to the bottom and back in 1 day or more. I also hope that it discourages those that are not in top shape physically and mentally, from doing this hike at all.