Saturday, April 21, 2012

Halfway UP…..Bright Angel Trail to Indian Gardens

Wednesday, April 11- We had been fortified with another wonderful breakfast of pancakes and eggs at Phantom Ranch, but, unfortunately, it was time to hit the trail. With more than a bit of reluctance, we shouldered our backpacks and started our journey out of the canyon. We were hiking up Bright Angel Trail, 4.5 miles to Indian Gardens Campground. Rain was predicted for the afternoon/evening, so we wanted to get an early start.
The trail begins with 1.5 miles along the river.
Then, the trail turns and begins to climb up the canyon, following Garden Creek. As we climbed higher….. the views of the canyon….spectacular, both large…..
And small….The cactus flowers were in bloom… pretty, I think, because of the sparseness around them.
As the trail follows Bright Angel trough up the canyon, we see a small waterfall….and increasing lushness.
Approaching Indian Gardens…..the Redbud tress were in bloom!
We arrived at Indian Gardens in time for lunch. The hike up had not been too bad. We covered the 4.5 miles and 1,500 feet elevation gain in 3.5 hours, and felt pretty good.
We set up camp, and rested a bit…..then found ourselves glad for the shelter over the picnic table, as it poured down rain! Fortunately,  the rain only lasted about 30 minutes. Windy…. with threatening skies….we decided to go out exploring.

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