In April 2005, I backpacked the Grand Canyon for the first time. I was accompanied by my friend, Gary Leister, and my son, Jason Tompkins.
We hiked the South Rim routes, descending the South Kaibab Trail on Day 1 of our 2 day backpacking trip. As we descended the 4,740 ft. elevation loss from the trailhead to the bottom of the Grand Canyon we encountered snow, then hail, and finally rain.
The top photo of me was taken during the hail storm with O'Neil Butte in the background. In the bottom photo, I am standing at the "TipOff", just below the Tonto Platform. You can see the Colorado River on the left side of the photo.
We camped the night at the Bright Angel Campground, and slept the night in an all-night downpour.
On Day 2, we hiked back out of the Canyon on the longer, but less steep Bright Angel Trail under sunny skies.
Two years later (May 2007), I backpacked the Rim-to-Rim trip (23.9 miles) across the Canyon with my son, Jason Tompkins, and my daughter, Kristin McClintic, and 3 others.
Grand Canyon to many hikers is the holy grail of backpacking. Hiking the Canyon twice has been one of the most rewarding experiences for me as a hiker.
I am hoping to tackle the Hermit Trail in a couple of years.
Thanks for reading. Dwight