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The Grand Canyon swallows you. It gulps you down, down, down. And then, once you’ve been digested, you have to fight your way back up out of its’ colorful gullet.

We hiked the South Kaibab trail down to a little past the ominous Skeleton Point. It was everything I hoped a hike into the Grand Canyon would be–picturesque, memorable–but it was definitely not easy.

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Do not underestimate the Canyon. Going downhill lulls you into a false sense of security. This is easy! We can go all the way to the river–a bright ribbon beacon below. Resist it. It gets hotter the deeper you go.

The views are dizzying. Spectacular. It almost feels surreal. You’re reminded that you are small. An eyeblink. A flea tiptoeing down the spine of a dragon.

Hiking back up, while not exactly agony, was difficult. If you are from a place with mild temperatures, be careful, because the heat will sneak up on you.

Respect the mule trains, whether they are carrying passengers or packs. And of course, care for your fellow hikers. There are steep dropoffs, and overwhelming views. There is very little shade and the sun is brutal so be sure to start early.

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From the rim to Skeleton Point and back is 6 miles. Bring lots of water, food and sun protection. Heed the signs that depict someone vomiting from heat stroke. You don’t want it to be you! But most of all, have fun. It’s worth every step.

 

 

 

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