The Arizona Trail, Day 8: Passage 38, Grand Canyon National Park Inner Canyon, Part II (Trans-Arizona/Utah Day 15)

It’s getting dark when I rejoin the trail, so I’ll supplement this stretch with some photos from May. The trail enters the Box for the final several miles to Bright Angel Campground. This narrow section of the canyon is carved out of the Vishnu Schist, some of the oldest rock visible in the world (about 1.8 billion years old). The trail is stuck between Bright Angel Creek and the wall of the canyon, criss-crossing the creek to whichever side affords slightly more room. During the day in the summer, the black schist absorbs and radiates heat from the sun. Official temperature readings at Phantom Ranch are taken in the shade, and can reach 120-130ºF (50ºC+). Temperatures can climb significantly higher in the sun and when accounting for the radiant heat contributed by the rocks; it’s also not uncommon to reach radiant temperatures over 140ºF in the Inner Canyon, including the Box. Overnight temperatures rarely drop below 70 degrees in the summer. Last summer, people’s shoes quite literally melted on the rocks and rangers successfully cooked eggs on them. It’s like a geologic convection oven, a miniature Death Valley. Please do not attempt hiking in the Inner Canyon during the hours of 10-4 from May-September.

Bright Angel Canyon is the widest portion of Grand Canyon, stretching 18 miles between the North Rim, where it separates the developed area from the Walhalla Plateau and Cape Royal, and the South Rim at Grand Canyon Village. Like many side canyons in the Grand Canyon complex, it is formed along a fault line. Faults leads to cracks in the rocks and allow water to more easily erode them in those areas.

Reaching Bright Angel Campground, I set up shop at the stock site as assigned and stretch out on one of the picnic tables. Time to get some good rest for the night to prepare for the hike out tomorrow. I have some friends planning a bit of a welcoming event for me when I reach the South Rim.

(Note: I will supplement this entry with photos that I took on the same trail hiking Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim (R3) back in May.)

View toward the South Rim from North Kaibab Trail in Bright Angel Canyon, Grand Canyon National Park. Yavapai Point in center of image.
North Kaibab Trail in The Box section of Bright Angel Canyon, Grand Canyon National Park
North Kaibab Trail along Bright Angel Creek in The Box section of Bright Angel Canyon, Grand Canyon National Park
North Kaibab Trail along Bright Angel Creek in The Box section of Bright Angel Canyon, Grand Canyon National Park
North Kaibab Trail along Bright Angel Creek in The Box section of Bright Angel Canyon, Grand Canyon National Park
North Kaibab Trail along Bright Angel Creek in The Box section of Bright Angel Canyon, Grand Canyon National Park
North Kaibab Trail along Bright Angel Creek, Grand Canyon National Park
North Kaibab Trail along Bright Angel Creek in The Box section of Bright Angel Canyon, Grand Canyon National Park
North Kaibab Trail along Bright Angel Creek in The Box section of Bright Angel Canyon, Grand Canyon National Park. A pole from the transcanyon telephone line installed by the Civilian Conservation Corps can be seen on the right.
North Kaibab Trail along Bright Angel Creek in The Box section of Bright Angel Canyon, Grand Canyon National Park
North Kaibab Trail along Bright Angel Creek in The Box section of Bright Angel Canyon, Grand Canyon National Park
North Kaibab Trail along Bright Angel Creek in The Box section of Bright Angel Canyon, Grand Canyon National Park
Phantom Canyon joining with The Box section of Bright Angel Canyon, Grand Canyon National Park. Phantom Canyon was so named because it was found in the canyon, but cannot be seen from the South Rim, disappearing like a “phantom.”
North Kaibab Trail along Bright Angel Creek in The Box section of Bright Angel Canyon, Grand Canyon National Park
North Kaibab Trail along Bright Angel Creek in The Box section of Bright Angel Canyon, Grand Canyon National Park
North Kaibab Trail along Bright Angel Creek in The Box section of Bright Angel Canyon, Grand Canyon National Park
North Kaibab Trail along Bright Angel Creek in The Box section of Bright Angel Canyon, Grand Canyon National Park
North Kaibab Trail along Bright Angel Creek in The Box section of Bright Angel Canyon, Grand Canyon National Park
North Kaibab Trail along Bright Angel Creek in The Box section of Bright Angel Canyon, Grand Canyon National Park
North Kaibab Trail along Bright Angel Creek in The Box section of Bright Angel Canyon, Grand Canyon National Park
North Kaibab Trail along Bright Angel Creek in The Box section of Bright Angel Canyon, Grand Canyon National Park
North Kaibab Trail along Bright Angel Creek in The Box section of Bright Angel Canyon, Grand Canyon National Park
North Kaibab Trail along Bright Angel Creek in The Box section of Bright Angel Canyon, Grand Canyon National Park
North Kaibab Trail along Bright Angel Creek in The Box section of Bright Angel Canyon, Grand Canyon National Park
North Kaibab Trail along Bright Angel Creek in The Box section of Bright Angel Canyon, Grand Canyon National Park
North Kaibab Trail along Bright Angel Creek in The Box section of Bright Angel Canyon, Grand Canyon National Park
North Kaibab Trail along Bright Angel Creek in The Box section of Bright Angel Canyon, Grand Canyon National Park
North Kaibab Trail along Bright Angel Creek in The Box section of Bright Angel Canyon, Grand Canyon National Park
North Kaibab Trail along Bright Angel Creek in The Box section of Bright Angel Canyon, Grand Canyon National Park
North Kaibab Trail along Bright Angel Creek in The Box section of Bright Angel Canyon, Grand Canyon National Park
North Kaibab Trail along Bright Angel Creek in The Box section of Bright Angel Canyon, Grand Canyon National Park
North Kaibab Trail along Bright Angel Creek in The Box section of Bright Angel Canyon, Grand Canyon National Park
North Kaibab Trail along Bright Angel Creek in The Box section of Bright Angel Canyon, Grand Canyon National Park
North Kaibab Trail along Bright Angel Creek in The Box section of Bright Angel Canyon, Grand Canyon National Park
North Kaibab Trail along Bright Angel Creek in The Box section of Bright Angel Canyon, Grand Canyon National Park
North Kaibab Trail along Bright Angel Creek in The Box section of Bright Angel Canyon, Grand Canyon National Park
North Kaibab Trail along Bright Angel Creek in The Box section of Bright Angel Canyon, Grand Canyon National Park
North Kaibab Trail along Bright Angel Creek in The Box section of Bright Angel Canyon, Grand Canyon National Park
North Kaibab Trail along Bright Angel Creek in The Box section of Bright Angel Canyon, Grand Canyon National Park
Transcanyon Telephone Line and North Kaibab Trail in The Box section of Bright Angel Canyon, Grand Canyon National Park
North Kaibab Trail along Bright Angel Creek in The Box section of Bright Angel Canyon, Grand Canyon National Park
North Kaibab Trail along Bright Angel Creek in The Box section of Bright Angel Canyon, Grand Canyon National Park

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