Photo from North Rim

Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim

On Saturday, October 4, 2003 a group of eleven hardy hikers crossed the Grand Canyon from Rim to Rim. This web site was put together as an informational resource for that expedition. We started as two groups. One group left from the North Rim and one group left from the South Rim. We exchanged cars for the return trip. We did the entire hike in one day. There were two big advantages to this approach. First, we could travel lighter without overnight gear. Second, we did not need backcountry permits.

Each group drove from the San Diego area to their side of the canyon—two cars to the South Rim and a minivan to the North Rim. We intended to start the hike in the morning at daybreak, but both groups got a late start. The South Rim group didn't quite have the shuttle-bus system down and started at 6:30. The North Rim group waited for daybreak before they left the hotel so that they could see the scenery en route.

The weather was perfect. There had been thunderstorms the day before our hike, so the inner canyon was not too hot. The two groups met in the bottom of the canyon where we exchanged car keys and information. Only two of the eleven hikers finished before dark, but we had chosen a night with a favorable moon.

The next day, each group made their way to Barstow to exchange overnight bags and stories.

You can see our expedition planning site to see how we planned and organized our hike. That site has been updated to include information for another trip in May, 2005. If you're planning a hike of your own, then you may find some useful information.

I'll post the story of our expedition soon. We had a wonderful time, but no one came out unscathed. It is the kind of experience that is both grueling and exhilarating. At the time of this writing, we are all still recovering, and everyone is in pain. We are all glad that we did the hike, and some of us have even expressed a willingness to do it again. (Permanent brain injury is one of the possible outcomes if you attempt a rim-to-rim hike across the Grand Canyon. There have been several comments made about permanent brain injury and choosing to do the hike a second time.)

Valid HTML 4.01! Steve Schaefer
Last modified: Date: 2005/19/06