From the hotel we followed the paved hiking trail to the Grand Canyon Visitor Center, but it was closed due to lack of staff. So we drove straight to the Backcountry Information Office, where we met Aspen. She raved to us about her tour, and we basically planned the exact same tour, only in reverse.
After planning, we got some food and groceries for the tour at the Grand Canyon Shop, although it was quite expensive. While you can find almost everything there, if you have the option, you’d better plan on a mail drop.
Being a Thruker, it was very easy to get permits for a nice hike in the canyon. Afterwards we went to Mather Campground, where we spent the night for $6 on the Thrukiker site. There we made a campfire with other hikers and drank beer until 10pm, even though we had an early start planned for the next day.
Early in the morning we packed up our tents and took the shuttle bus from Mather Campground to Hermits Rest Trailhead at 5am. From there we hiked the beautiful Hermits Trail to Monument Creek Campground, a distance of only 8 miles (about 13 km). But despite the short distance, it was not an easy, fast hike. Above all, one had to stop again and again to enjoy the view.
The Monument Campground was a little paradise. From there you could follow a small slot canyon that led into the trail down to Grand Rapids. Since we had arrived very early, we made this detour.
From Monument Creek Campground we hiked the West Tonto Trail to Havasupai Campground. The trail was not particularly difficult, but very beautiful. We didn’t see a single person until we arrived at Havasupai Campground. There it felt like we had landed in Disneyland. Due to the close proximity to the very popular Bright Angel Trail, the place was bustling. The campground itself was a beautiful green oasis in the Grand Canyon, and I can well understand why so many people hike here.
We pitched our tents and walked lightly down the Bright Angel Trail to Phantom Ranch. There we met other hikers and spent our time. Then we went back up via the South Kaibab Trail to the East Tonto Trail. From here we came back to our campground. That was 40 km in the Grand Canyon, and luckily we didn’t have to carry all our gear.