On the Road is a weekday feature spotlighting reader photo submissions. From the exotic to the familiar, whether you’re traveling or in your own backyard, we would love to see the world through your eyes.
This series was created by Alain Chamot (1971-2020).
Beauty takes many forms, and some of today’s stunning pictures feel like they might be from another world. A very grand canyon, indeed! Our photographer, a lurker until now, wonders whether we might want to see pictures from other trips. I would love to see more, how about you? ~WaterGirl
Hidalgo de Arizona
Hi, I’m a long-time lurker from Tempe, Arizona – I wanted to share some pictures I took on a backpacking trip to the Grand Canyon at the end of 2018.
A friend of mine has made it something of a tradition to spend New Years Eve in the bottom of the canyon, and I’ve accompanied him on the trip a couple times now, in addition to my own adventuring in the Canyon. The trip in 2018 was particularly spectacular because it snowed on New Year’s Eve, meaning that when we hiked out (very, very hung over) on New Year’s Day, it was in a beautiful desert winter wonderland.
I’m sharing it now partially because memories of winter are nice when summer starts to grip the desert (which is happening right now), but mostly because I’m slowly going stir-crazy cooped up at home. Looking at pictures of the Canyon helps me with the pent-up wanderlust, and I imagine some of y’all would feel the same way.
If there’s appetite for it, I have pictures from a bunch of other trips I’ve made over the years, both to the Canyon and around the rest of the state.
The snow storm from the bottom of the canyon – we got some flurries at Bright Angel, but nothing that stuck around.
I *think* that’s Brahma Tempe off to the right in this picture – though I’ve never been good with remembering the individual formation names – and off to the left you can see the Colorado. This is just before the turn into pipe creek, which is where the climbing really starts.
You can see the temperature progression very clearly here, by the time we started at about nine in the morning, the snow had already melted off the inner gorge.
This is looking up pipe creek towards the South Rim. The clouds flowing off the rim were magical all morning.
This is looking back along the trail towards the Devil’s Corkscrew. The lower rock layers are Vishnu Shist, the metamorphic basement rock of the Grand Canyon, while the yellow cliffs are Tapeats Sandstone.
This is what the trail looked like when we turned onto Garden Creek. I’ve hiked the Bright Angel dozens of times, and I’d never seen it look like this.
A little further up Garden Creek, getting close to Indian Gardens. We were early enough that the melt hadn’t really started, so we got to enjoy the beauty of the trail and we didn’t have to deal with the sloppiness! Win/Win!
Not entirely sure where I was when I took this one, but it’s looking up towards the South Rim again, with the snow-coated desert in the foreground.
This is a view looking north from above Indian Gardens – must’ve been around noon-ish at this point, and you can see that a lot of the snow is already gone. This is my favorite picture of the bunch.