Here are 5 things I'll share about out trip.
1. So yes, there is a half marathon/ marathon through the Grand Canyon, or there use to be anyway. I knew that the race had been cancelled earlier this year, but I got word from someone in that area's running club that their local Chamber of Commerce wanted to continue the event under a different name. So in that case, we decided that we would still go check it out so we were prepared if we wanted to run.
2. There are two ways to enter the Canyon. One is through Leonard Harrison State Park (off of route 660) known as the East Rim. The other is through Colton Point State Park (off route 6) known as the West Rim.
We entered on the East Rim.
3. On the East rim there are only 2 trails. We did not know this at the time. The first trail we hiked was a short loop called overlook trail.
It was down hill and stopped at Otter View and then looped back up. It's only about .6 miles but it's pretty steep on the way back up.
The second trail we hiked was called the Turkey Path. This path was 2 miles down and back and was estimated to take an hour and a half. This trail was the one that would actually take you down into the canyon. It was no doubt challenging.
We were close to the end but didn't actually hike all the way down to the creek. We didn't know how long it would take us to hike back up the canyon and we worried about it becoming dark. Because of all the tree covering, we couldn't tell how much daylight was still left. We made it to this waterfall before hiking back up. Turns out it only took us an hour not an hour and a half that was estimated. My Garmin recorded the total elevation for this hike 799 ft.
4. Now THIS is something I wish I would have known BEFORE we went to the Canyon. It turns out that the West Rim of the Canyon has 7 trails and over 14 miles of hiking path. THIS is the side we should have visited because this is where the Grand Canyon Marathon and Half Marathon took place. I didn't know this until we were ready to leave the East rim and by then it was getting late. We would have had to get in our car and drive over to the East rim and it was quite a few miles away in the opposite direction of the way we would go home. I guess I'll have to check it out next time.
The canyon is actually called Pine Creek Gorge. The reason I was confused on how to get here is because it actually spans several state parks. In additional to hiking other activities include biking, camping, horseback riding, fishing, and boating. I also saw a sign for covered wagon rides through the canyon. The day we were here there were actually people in the water kayaking and canoeing.
There is also a rail trail that spans 62 miles. As we were trying to find our way to the canyon ( we stopped at the wrong trail head at first) we met a group of bikers who were biking the entire rail trail over the course of the weekend. I definitely want to make a return visit next summer with my bike and check out the rail trail (or at least part of it). -M
We are linking up with the gals from the Friday 5.