Walking/hiking approx. 5 miles throughout the day: morning approx. 2 miles roundtrip; about 2 hours along rim, mostly flat paved trail. Practice hike is approx. 2 miles roundtrip; about 2 hours; steep, uneven, rocky trail; elevation change of roughly 2,000 feet, with packs. Attendance and performance, with all necessary gear, to Group Leader’s satisfaction is required for participation in subsequent hikes. Failure to satisfactorily complete practice hike will prohibit continued participation.
In the lodge café, we’ll have a breakfast buffet featuring a variety of hot and cold items, plus a choice of coffee, tea, juice, or milk.
Remaining in the café after breakfast, we’ll gather with our Group Leaders for a short discussion session that will cover gear packing techniques, "leave no trace" ethics, and hiking safety. Afterwards, we’ll join our Group Leader for a hike along the rim to acclimate to the elevation and prepare for our upcoming hike into the Canyon. Along the way, we’ll engage in a discussion of the area’s geologic and natural history.
At the lodge café, we will have a buffet including soup, salad, entrees, dessert, and non-alcoholic beverages.
With our Group Leaders, we’ll set out on a practice hike down into the canyon with full packs. Descending over 1,000 feet into the canyon along the Bright Angel Trail, we’ll reach our turning point, and hike back up to the rim with minimal stops to rest. Along the way we will see the Historic Kolb Studio, several geologic layers in the rocks, and continue our discussion of both human and natural history at the Grand Canyon. Upon reaching the top, we’ll have time for independent exploration. You may wish to return to the Historic Kolb Studio to look around inside. Please note: The practice hike is important for the Group Leaders to assess everyone's ability to safely complete the hike. If you do not attend and complete the practice hike to the satisfaction of the Group Leader while carrying the weight you will be carrying on subsequent hikes, you will NOT be allowed to hike to Phantom Ranch the next day.
This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions for you to explore.
At leisure. You may want to walk a short way to the Shrine of the Ages Auditorium where a National Park Service Ranger will give a presentation on a Grand Canyon-related topic. Alternatively, you may wish to go to bed early in order to rest up for our big hike down tomorrow. Be sure to prepare for an early start in the morning.