Grand Canyon Hotel check in – No Parking pass needed – we came by boat !!!  ?

After our amazing 6-day rafting trip in the canyon,  the guides all pulled over to a bank and we had to gather our things together, and we were told to follow the trail to the south rim.

Wait, what…..?

We had to hike up over 10 miles from Fantom Ranch to the south rim on an exhausting hike in brutal heat and no shade, and on top of that…. We had to carry everything we had, our closing, shoes, water, cameras…. Everything we had with us… Heavy is all I can say here!      This is not meant for Florida girls. Actually it’s not meat for a lot of people. Then we can take the heat pretty good, but it is 115f and no ocean to jump in and cool off. But we all had to do it, there was no other option. No hidden elevator or helicopter or mules to take us up :)…. Nothing but our feet. So, no complaining and just do it. 

Note to self, book a helicopter next time or have a horse ready to take you up. Or better yet, book the second half of the trip where you hike down at 5 am in the shade.

But we did it!….    Slow and steady is the key. Don’t take to many breaks, just keep on plowing through it and don’t think too much about it. Don’t wine, then that is not helping either and just making everything worse. It’s with pretty much everything in life if there is a task that needs to be done, just do it, stop thinking about anything else, and just get it done. You will feel so much better at the end.

We started our hike up at 9 am and made it out at 3 pm. That is actually a pretty good time and we were so proud of us. We hiked up with the doctor who was one of the guides rowing, the young 8-year-old boy, who’s father was the captain of the Sandra, and his uncle. Everyone else was behind us, we lost sight of them. I was just hoping they will make the Bus that will take them back to Flagstaff onetime. I had booked a room at the south rim, so I was not worried about us.

Finally, we made it to the top, the south rim, where we stood inline with all the other tourist buying an ice cream. We where listening to people saying how beautiful it is up here to look at the Canyon,  but how hot and they could not wait to get an ice cream. My daughter and I just looked at each other thinking the same as the other. (Her and I are so like minded, we only have to look at each other, and we know what the other is thinking. That is a sole mate) Its so rare to find, and I am so lucky to have that with my daughter. I hope one day I will have it with a Partner. People where hot and exhausted. Really?  You are hot and exhausted? We just hiked out of the canyon, have not slept in a bed for 6 nights, and just hiked in 115degrees weather out of the canyon with the sun brutally beating us up.  and you guys are exhausted? LOL…. I had sympathy for them too, I knew it was hot. But I wanted to tell everyone, you think this is beautiful from up here what you see? No, you all need to go down there for a couple days, then you see the real beauty of the Canyon!!!!!………

It’s funny how the perspective changes when you are on the other side for a change. I know we where the tourists before, thinking what we are seeing is beautiful, but if you don’t really go into that place and really spend some time there, you have not seen anything.

After we got our ice-cream, we just all crashed next to a building, took our shoes off and enjoyed our ice cream we had to stay in line for 25 min.

It was a great feeling of accomplishment to think what we have overcome and done, thinking that all these people had no idea what is really down there. They think looking down the canyon they have seen it. Not knowing the beauty and adventure that is laying right below them. The wild rafting….. The canyon looks so calm from up here, you don’t see the thrilling 15-foot waves crashing over your boat wile you are trying to go through them. The trilling adventures and the stillness and calmness at night. Words can truly not describe this.

We were the only ones from our rafting trip that booked a Hotel at the south rim. Everyone else needed to catch the 6 pm shuttle to go back to Flagstaff to fly home.

It is a really good idea to stay for an extra night at the top, you are exhausted from the hike and should really stay and experience the Grand Canyon from the top as well.

No Parking Pass needed – “We came by boat!” 🙂

My daughter and I check into the Bright Angel lodge and the man at the front desk asked us if we need a parking pass for our car.  My daughter just looked at him with big exhausted eyes and said “No, we hiked here” We looked at each other and laughed of exhaustion, the I added, “actually, we came by boat!” We both bursted out in laughter, because how many people check into a hotel at the Grand Canyon that came by boat. Not too many!  🙂 The hotel receptionist looked at us and started smiling, then he quickly gave us the room key so we could go relax. We took a little nap and then went to the lodge to eat something.

There we ran into all the people that were on the same rafting trip with us. They had a 6 pm bus to catch, but it was already 7 pm. “What happened?” I asked. “We just got here,9 am” they said. It took them fr9 am till 7 pm to hike out. “It was exhausting” they replied. Yessssss we know!!!  It was one of our most exhausting and frustrating hikes ever.

It was really nice running into each other again up here, because we did not say goodby when we took off on the hike up to south rim. Non of us had a clue  that we would get separated and not see each other again. We all ended up eating dinner, took some pictures, exchanged contact info and said our goodbyes. They had called a Taxi from Flagstaff that would take them back to Flagstaff, the only way to get back this evening, since all the hotels and rooms where booked.

Thank good we stayed that evening.

I wanted to stay one day longer anyway to show my daughter the beauty of the canyon from the top looking down into where we just rafted, hiked and slept under the stars for the past 6 days. What a different world that was down there. Words can not even start describing it. You have to do it yourself. Peaceful, serene, enlightened, enchanting, spectacular …. I don’t know what else to call it. Just absolute breathtaking.


I would suggest to go on the second trip though, where you hike down from the south rim at 5am and raft the lower part of the canyon. You get more bigger rapids and the hike down is easier then the hike up!


That late afternoon we caught the train to Williams.

During our train ride we got attacked and robbed by cowboys. 🙂 This was a cute little touch for our younger travelers. And even my daughter and I enjoyed it


In Williams we had a couple hr wait  for our shuttle bus to bring us back to Flagstaff where we left our luggage in the hotel before our rafting trip.

We grabbed something to eat and shopped a little.

Left by the shuttle pick up…..  Really???!!! …….Now what !!!??

We waited and waited at the pickup place for our shuttle. Nothing. We waited some more and still nothing.Wait, we do have to right place right? …..   I went into the hotel by our pick up place to ask where the shuttle is. We were told that the shuttle just started to pick up people on the other side of the hotel….. Seriously? We waited for our shuttle pick up for 3 hr, just to get left anyway?  they changed the pick up location? And no one told us? mmmm…..  lol oh well.  The hotel was kind enough to call us a cab who brought us back to Flagstaff airport where we rented a car for the second half of our Arizona Trip. No harm done, just a minor inconvenience to our adventure. The shuttle company reimbursed us for this trip, and apologized. Its all good, mistakes happen.

Next trip Flagstaff and the Walnut Canyon