Benefit of Arizona is Having the Grand Canyon In Our Backyard

One of the many benefits of living in Tucson, Arizona is having the Grand Canyon in our backyard.

If you live in Arizona or are going to be visiting the state seeing the Grand Canyon with your own eyes is a must!

For many years, I was one that grew up in Tucson, Arizona and even went to Northern Arizona University which is only about one hour from the Grand Canyon but had never been to the Grand Canyon.

On my 40th birthday my wife asked me what I wanted to do for my birthday… on a whim I said, “lets go hike the Grand Canyon.” Ever since then, hiking the Grand Canyon on my birthday has been an annual event of ours.

So on November 6th, 2016 we did our annual Rim to Rim trek. It never gets old! 

There is something about the Grand Canyon that is hard to explain unless you have been there and witnessed one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World yourself. Going to the Grand Canyon and looking down is one aspect of seeing the canyon but if you really want to experience the Grand Canyon to get the full experience hiking to the bottom of the canyon is the ultimate.

There is an energy and beauty to the Grand Canyon that is absolutely amazing. Life comes to a standstill with NO phones, internet, TV, radio… just peace and quiet of your own thoughts and Mother Nature.

The easiest way to hike the canyon is to do Rim to Rim on the south side of the canyon. Below are directions.

  • Park your car at the Backcountry parking lot and take the Hikers Express shuttle bus to the South Kaibab Trailhead. Once you get to the South Kaibab Trailhead it is super easy.
  • Just head down the trail to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and take it all in.
  • Once you get the bottom of the canyon you will cross the Colorado River which is where Phantom Ranch is located.
  • From there you will cross the river again going over another bridge where you parallel the Colorado River heading west.
  • Then you will head south up the Bright Angel Trail to the top of the canyon.
  • Once to the top of the canyon you can walk back to your car.

Many people split it up into a two day hike and stay at the bottom of the canyon at Phantom Ranch. To stay at Phantom Ranch you have to book your reservation way in advance.

We have never stayed at Phantom Ranch and have always done the trek in a day. Staying at Phantom Ranch is next on our bucket list if we can just remember to book the reservation in advance. The total mileage of Rim to Rim on the south side is about 17 miles and doable in a day if you have some fitness.

Click below to check out the map of the hike.

Getting yourself ready and in shape to hike the Grand Canyon Rim to Rim will be one of the best experiences and memories you will ever have. Words can not describe the beauty of the canyon you need to witness it with your own eyes.

Below are some pictures of our trip on November 6th, 2016. This year the weather was warmer than normal. Usually there is snow on the top of the rim. The hike can be done year around but in the winter months be prepared for colder temps and snow on the rim.