Take a Load Off: Mule-Assisted Backpacking (Members Only)

text: The Grand Canyon Field Institute

Take a Load Off: Mule-Assisted Backpacking (Members Only)

With a little help from four-legged friends, participants in this class descend into the heart of the Grand Canyon for a two-night camping adventure beside picturesque Bright Angel Creek. This class begins with a thorough morning orientation after which camping gear is taken to the nearby mule corral for next-day delivery to the canyon floor. The afternoon is spent on an educational walking tour along the breathtaking South Rim. On the second day of class, participants hike seven miles down the South Kaibab Trail, enjoying a combination of sweeping views and intriguing facts about geology, ecology and human history. Because pack mules are hauling the bulk of the group’s camping gear and food, participants can devote more time and energy to uncovering the canyon’s secrets. Upon retrieving their camping gear at historic Phantom Ranch, the class will set up camp for a two-night stay at Bright Angel Campground. For the remainder of the day and all of the next, the focus will be on learning about the geologic formation of the canyon from the inside out.

The diverse flora and fauna of the canyon, and the human inhabitants it has sustained for millennia, will also be discussed at length. Destinations will likely include the refreshing pools of Phantom Creek, ancient archaeological sites and the tranquil shoreline of the Colorado River. The class will return to the South Rim via the 10-mile Bright Angel Trail, which reveals its own array of biotic communities and geologic wonders.

Day 1 Introductions and orientation
Day 2 Descend South Kaibab Trail to Bright Angel Campground
Day 3 Exploratory day hike near Phantom Ranch
Day 4 Ascend Bright Angel Trail to the rim and wrap-up session

Class Documents:
Gear list for this class View
Syllabus for this class View

Monday, May 15, 2017 to Thursday, May 18, 2017
Hike Level: 
Member price: $845.00

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