Grand Canyon Awaits

Grand Canyon Phantom/ Crystal Creek Cross-Country Loop
Grand Canyon Phantom/ Crystal Creek Cross-Country Loop

Destination…Grand Canyon National Park.

Dan and I are on our way to meet Arrow, my good friend for a 6 day backpack. Arrow spent a good amount of time planning this adventure in the Grand Canyon. The trek is mostly off trail, winding through canyons, passing by Indian ruins, and dipping down to the Colorado River 4 times. Because of the difficulty and lack of water sources of the trip, she communicated with the Backcountry Rangers quite a few times for them to issue the permit.

The Google Earth screenshot above is our general route plan that I created using Viewranger’s online mapping software. Pretty cool, huh?

This is the perfect opportunity to not only train for our upcoming Scotland trip, but to also test some new gear choices. I am again back on my phone posting journal blog entries realtime from the trail (or in this case, from my car). It is not an easy task writing on a tiny little keyboard at the end of a long day. I am trusting that once I get back writing on this limiting little screen as I am doing right now, it will be great! I think it is so important to share during an important trip, rather than coming home and reflecting back.

We are looking forward to using and testing: Gossamer Gear Gorilla and Mariposa backpacks, ZPacks Duoplex cuben tent, Viewranger GPS app, Golite Crome Dome umbrella, Sawyer Squeeze Mini, Cascadia 9 trailrunners, EZ Share SD card, iPhone 5s with Lifeproof case, map navigation skills, variety of new hiking clothes, Smartwool toesocks, and Sea to Summit long spork.

With excitement I am writing this, in anticipation of traveling on foot with all I need on my back. We hit the trail tomorrow morning.

Thank you readers for following along on my treks and constantly encouraging and amazing me. I am looking forward to you all sharing your stories and thoughts in blog comments during the upcoming months!



  1. Looks like a great hike, would it be worth taking some water purification tablets with you so if you do struggle for water you can get some from the river?

    When I go out on short 2-3 day hikes with my friends and family I always carry some just in case we need to get some water and don’t have a clean source.

    • On this trip we all carried a Sawyer Mini filter because we had so much water to filter at a time. We did get water from the river. Sometimes the Colorado River can be full a silt. We were lucky and it was running pretty clear. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Looking forward to reading about your Grand Canyon trip. It’s one that my brother-in law and sister-in-law want to take.

  3. Melinda Lusmore

    Enjoy and stay safe!

  4. That loop looks pretty awesome, especially from the aerial. Water does look sketchy and like others would be a concern for me. But I know you’ll do fine. I hope you and Dan have a great time. -My wife and I were to go to the GC last October and it wound up coinciding with when the Federal Govt. shut down the parks. So, we went to Sedona instead. And promptly fell in love. We’ve been there another time since (Jan 1-5) and it is just an amazing small town with an amazing fine art community and 105 hiking trails in town! If you can squeeze it in, definitely go there. You can go to the Hike House on the 179 and they’ll fix you up with a hike. I already can’t wait to get back there. Hoping for August or September. Here’s hoping you have an excellent adventure in the Grand Canyon.

    • You must go!!!!! I think everyone should experience it first hand. It is such a humbling experience no matter how many times you look over the edge. Stay on a trail though!!!!!!

  5. Looks like a nice loop. Enjoy!

    • Barefoot Jake, Yes Arrow spent hours planning. The Grand Canyon is a very interesting and different park to plan a trip. Thanks for posting.

  6. Linda Tufolgoat

    Sounds like fun! Can’t wait to see pics and read all about your journey. Linda Date: Sun, 13 Apr 2014 19:06:02 +0000 To:

  7. Been awhile since I’ve posted on your site. Love the map. Will be following you daily and covering you with thoughts and prayers. Hi to Arrow.

    • Ahhhh you noticed the map. I have never used Google Earth before to create a map of a trip. Super easy and useful to visualize the terrain. Keep posting!!!!!!!

  8. I’ve only been off-corridor once and it really opened my eyes to the lonely beauty of the GC. Your route looks like a beast due to water issues. Hopefully the weather won’t be too hot. Be safe and keep us posted.

  9. Will be with you reading each day, every step of the way. Be safe and have a grrrrrreat time!

  10. Cheers to off-trail adventures, although the lack of water would be a bit intimidating for me. I’ll be curious about your experience with the Viewranger app. I’ve been using the Trimble Outdoors Navigator app, and while better than many, it’s still not the cat’s meow. Happy trails, I’ll look forward to your posts.

    • BTW, I’ve been using the Smartwool toe socks exclusively for a couple years now. Also interested in your experience with the EZ Share SD card in conjunction with our Sony cameras.

    • I am thinking Gaia would be closer to the ideal. I love it but does not support Ordinance Survey maps we are using in Scotland, so we are sticking to Viewranger to become very comfortable. There are quite a few perks to using Viewranger though like it has a Routebuddy function that sends a beacon locator to on an online map, kind of like a SPOT, but works only when you have cell service. It even keeps track of multiple locations on a trip.

      Yep, hauling water and trusting sketch water sources is a bit scary. Ahhhh the desert.


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