Trip report

Grand Canyon Rim to Rim

Hiking Vacation DATE: 05/13/2024 - 05/18/2024

Trip/Event Location: Grand Canyon, AZ

Trip Leader(s): Bobcat

Max # People: 9

Trip Guiding / Event Fee: No, I will not be asking participants for money

Difficulty Level: Very Strenuous

Kick off the Summer Hiking Season with one of America’s most iconic & scenic hikes- The Grand Canyon “Rim to Rim”!  

Our adventure will begin with an evening in

...
Driving directions to the location and spot to meet at:

TBD


Trip Report/Photos
Featured Photo

Nine GO hikers completed the awesome Rim-to-Rim hike in the Grand Canyon! (The total distance of the Rim-to-Rim hike is about 24 miles with a total elevation gain of 6000 feet (going South to North) & 5000 feet (going North to South). 

We met in Las Vegas for the first night and toured the Las Vegas Strip and Fun Hog Ranch Gay Bar. The next day, we headed to the Grand Canyon, with a quick stop at the Hoover Dam. At the South Rim, we headed to the Rim viewpoints to see the route of the trails we would do. We enjoyed pizza while enjoying the evening views.

The next morning, we started hiking at 2:30 am down the South Kaibab trail.  After about 2 hours of hiking in the dark, we enjoyed a beautiful sunrise as we descended into the canyon to Phantom Ranch for breakfast.  After our hardy family-style breakfast at Phantom Ranch, we headed up to the North Rim. 

During the hike up to the North Rim, we experienced major extremes in weather and temperature. Conditions were sunny and hot for the first half of the hike, and then a thunderstorm moved in with hail, wind, torrential rain, and cloud-to-ground lightning as we approached the top of the North Rim. We were well prepared, though, and enjoyed the beauty of a canyon storm! The next day was a rest day on the North Rim to explore the area & resupply.

The next morning, we headed back to the South Rim- some opted for the Shuttle & others completed the Rim-to-Rim hike again back to the South Rim.  After a cool start, we hiked down to Phantom Ranch. After a refreshing break at Phantom Ranch, we headed back up to the South Rim in 100+ temperatures.  The trail went along the Colorado River for about 2 miles and then headed up the Bright Angel Trail to the South Rim. Much of the trail has water access, so we could keep our shirts wet to stay cool.  After about 5 miles, we reached Havasupai Garden & took a nice break before ascending the final 3000 feet of climbing to the South Rim.  It was still very hot until the sun had gone behind the canyon walls at 4 PM. We passed one hiker who developed a medical emergency (probably heat-related) & had to be airlifted out by helicopter.  We all successfully reached the Rim & then enjoyed a final group dinner to celebrate the completion of our hikes!

Some trip highlights:

  • Don’s first drink at a gay bar in Las Vegas!
  • Jason and Carl went for a morning run in Vegas, which included parts of a mall and casino.
  • Jason, Bob, and Carl's pink shorts!
  • The Irish girls who took our group photo at 2:30 am at the South Rim then joined our group photo at Phantom Ranch. 
  • Watching light slowly start to illuminate the canyon as we started down South Kaibab 
  • Bob eating salad: all dressing, no fork. 
  • David against the mules.  He was on the bridge first!!!!
  • The century plants (agave) that were blooming throughout the canyon.
  • The oasis that is Ribbon Falls.
  • Canyon ducks following Carl for hours after his lunch of egg salad sandwiches
  • Mark slipping the restaurant host on the North Rim $20 so that we could get all 9 guys to the celebratory dinner on Thursday, defying their eight-person max.
  • Kevin gave everyone a rim-to-rim keychain with a handwritten note to remember our trip.  
  • Rain, hail, and lightning on the North Rim! 
  • The waiter at the North Rim Lodge brought every check after the previous person had paid, yet he still messed up Ricardo's check. 
  • We saw rattlesnakes, mule deer, and Chuckwalla lizards, among others 
  • JT’s diligence in making sure everyone got out of the canyon safely 
  • The mule train stopping for a piss and Carl finding out the cowboys had too
  • Carl getting promoted (or demoted) to Junior Trip Leader
  • The incredible breakfast buffet on the North Rim
  • Meeting Mary Badass at the General Store on the North Rim and hearing her work towards completing all of the 11 National Scenic Trails.
  • Squirrel food lock boxes: because apparently, squirrels are to Arizona what black bears are to New Hampshire.
  • The smoking hot skinny dippers!
  • The deep emerald green of the Colorado River.
  • Kevin’s lessons on how to get the perfect picture—including leaps!

Trips like this bring out the worst or the best in people and, without exception, it brought out the best.  Together, we confronted fears, shared food and water, and helped keep spirits up when the trail got tough.  I can’t imagine a better group of guys to share this experience with!

What Members Are Saying About This Trip/Event

  • oops....refreshed my screen and it posted again..... - Mark C.
  • Great trip report! Thanks Bob and Carl for an incredible trip with a group of awesome guys! Best all, Mark - Mark C.
  • Great trip report! Thanks Bob and Carl for an incredible trip with a group of awesome guys! Best all, Mark - Mark C.
  • Thanks to Bob and the junior trip leader Carl to put on a trip of this size! I look forward to the next adventure with you both. - Twigs

Members That Participated

Bobcat

Outdoor Fitness Level: Strenuous


Upton, MA


United States
Carl

Outdoor Fitness Level: Strenuous


Leominster, MA


United States
HPC72

Outdoor Fitness Level: Moderate to Strenuous


New Taipei City , OT


Taiwan
nhclimber03264

Outdoor Fitness Level: Moderate to Strenuous


Plymouth, NH


United States
Twigs

Outdoor Fitness Level: Moderate


Townsend, MA


United States
Mark C.

Outdoor Fitness Level: Moderate to Strenuous


Salem, MA


United States
sustaining member
Don59

Outdoor Fitness Level: Moderate


Rivesville, WV


United States
dpbyrnes

Outdoor Fitness Level: Moderate to Strenuous


Ipswich, MA


United States
Ricardo

Outdoor Fitness Level: Moderate to Strenuous


Boston, MA


United States
Mark C. May 22, 2024 at 4:38 PM

Comment: oops....refreshed my screen and it posted again.....

Mark C. May 22, 2024 at 4:35 PM

Comment: Great trip report! Thanks Bob and Carl for an incredible trip with a group of awesome guys! Best all, Mark

Mark C. May 21, 2024 at 5:27 PM

Comment: Great trip report! Thanks Bob and Carl for an incredible trip with a group of awesome guys! Best all, Mark

Twigs May 21, 2024 at 5:21 AM

Comment: Thanks to Bob and the junior trip leader Carl to put on a trip of this size! I look forward to the next adventure with you both.

<
GayOutdoors has a 25 year legacy of being the premier outdoor network for gay and gay friendly men in New England with a national reach. We are transforming lives, building a community and promoting visibility through outdoor recreation for gay and gay friendly men. We invite you to join us on our events, to post events for other members to join you and to share your adventure photos, stories and advice.