Grand Canyon 2018

Consolidated rundown of the Grand Canyon trip taken in early 2018.

West 2018 Day 1 – Grand Canyon Rim

Saturday 05/12/18 We flew out of Chicago early (6:20) and got to Vegas just before 1:00.  The only real excitement of the trip being the rebooking of the rental car through Costco to add the second driver and the momentary fear that Avis had charged a $150 fee to cancel … Continue reading

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West 2018 Day 2 – Antelope Canyon

Monday 05/13/18 In our deliberations the day before, we found out that Upper Antelope Canyon had openings for a 4:00 tour on Monday.  So, we knew what our plan was for the afternoon, but first we needed to get to the back country office before 9:00 to get a campsite … Continue reading

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West 2018 Day 3 – Into the Grand Canyon

Tuesday 05/15/18 We got up early to organize and pack for the overnight at the bottom of the canyon.  After breaking down camp and packing the necessary items in backpacks we went to park the car near the top of Bright Angel trail.  Not sure if it was luck or … Continue reading

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West 2018 Day 4 – Out of the Grand Canyon

Wednesday 5/16/18 We stuck to the 5AM plan pretty well.  We didn’t really cook breakfast since the ravens stole the oats and I think we were back at the silver suspension bridge by 5:20.  The only real stop we took before Indian Garden was at the River rest house.  We … Continue reading

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West 2018 Day 5 – Joshua Tree

Thursday 05/17/18 We planned to spend two days in Joshua Tree, but we didn’t know a lot about the park, so the first order of business on Thursday was stopping at the visitor center (very upper left of the map above) to get some maps, figure out what campgrounds were … Continue reading

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West 2018 Day 6 – Joshua Tree Day 2

Friday 05/18/18 We went back to Keys View in the morning to see if there was any better visibility of the San Adreas Fault earlier in the morning.  It was better but still pretty hazy.  We stopped at Lost Horse Mine to hike out and see some of the remains … Continue reading

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West 2018 Day 7 – Santa Cruz Island

Saturday 05/19/18 We had planned two days to visit a couple of the islands of Channel Islands National Park.  Day one was the island of Santa Cruz.  Island Packers is the only ferry operation to the island, and though I think their prices were high, we didn’t have much option … Continue reading

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West 2018 Day 8 – Anacapa Island

Sunday 05/20/18 The second day of the Channel Islands was to Anacapa Island.  Anacapa is much smaller, with only about two miles of trails which more or less covers the entire island end to end.  I guess technically we were on East Anacapa island – it’s all labeled as one … Continue reading

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West 2018 Day 9 – Sequoia

Monday 5/21/18 It took a while to drive up into Sequoia National Park.  We stopped at the Foothills Visitor Center to get a map.  I don’t exactly remember what information they gave us – maybe that all the campsites were all full. From there we drove out to Moro Rock … Continue reading

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West 2018 Day 10 – Kings Canyon

Tuesday 5/22/18 We planned to stay a couple nights in King’s Canyon with one day of hiking, so after making coffee and breakfast we went to register the site and hit up the visitor center and figure out what trails to hike.  Our first hike was to be a quick … Continue reading

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West 2018 Day 11 – Yosemite Day 1

Wednesday 5/23/18 We knew that Yosemite was going to be busy even though it was early in the season, every information website we found told us so.  But, they have first-come camping at Camp 4 that we thought we’d get in line for when they opened as we had done … Continue reading

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West 2018 Day 12 – Yosemite Day 2

Thursday 5/24/18 We could only afford the $200/night yurt for one night, so we checked out in the morning and drove out to the “end” of the valley near the Upper Pines campground.  The goal was to hike one or both of Vernal and Nevada falls, an area of the … Continue reading

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West 2018 Day 13 – Death Valley

Friday 5/25/18 I don’t recall where exactly we stayed that night – some random hotel between Yosemite & Death Valley.  I do recall a late-night stop at a McDonald’s on the way out of Yosemite for coffee and to use their WiFi to find a hotel.  We had a late … Continue reading

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