The most fun part (for me) of prepping for our Grand Canyon hike was thinking about food. Meal planning four days of camp food was a new challenge for a city girl like me. No sandwiches, as cold cuts won’t last out of the fridge and bread is easily squished. Canned goods are heavy, raw eggs are delicate, hard-boiled eggs go bad too fast, and don’t even think about fresh veg and fruit. Moose goo, S informed me, was the hard core hiker food of choice, but the idea of eating dry pellets of peanut butter and corn flour dough wasn’t too appealing.
As summed up on a sign in the visitor center: “After your first experience backpacking in the Grand Canyon you will be left with one of two reactions: either you will never hike again in your life, or you will find your life up to this moment has been meaningless and you are forever enslaved by thoughts of returning to this tortuous paradise.” I laughed when I first saw this, but sometime during the 4 days of our hike into/out of the Grand Canyon, I felt both reactions…and at the same time. What can I say? It was Grand, and as promised, here’s our plan for a perfect first exploration of the Grand Canyon.
As Teddy Roosevelt, one of the great champions of the National Parks said of the Grand Canyon – “This is the one great sight which every American should see.” And people all over the world, not just Americans, seem to have taken this to heart – in 2016 the Grand Canyon had over 6 million visitors. But did you know that 90% of people visiting the Grand Canyon only spend a half day there? And only 5% ever leave the rim to walk any distance into the canyon? An even smaller 1% make their way down to camp at the bottom.*