Accomplishing a 20-miler in the Grand Canyon

Over the past weekend, I had the opportunity to hike the Grand Canyon from rim to rim for the second time (north to south this time)!  What another grand experience – even after having done it before.  I would even say it’s better the second time around because you can take it all in with far less adrenaline and much more awareness.  A once-in-a-lifetime experience for some, a backyard adventure for others… like troop 708 from Snowflake, Arizona.

As my group made our way out along the Bright Angel Trail up to the south rim, we caught up with these Boy Scouts working on their Hiking merit badge!  It was impressive to see this young troop tackling such a challenge in one of the most awesome locations I know.

First of all, how cool is that to be so close to this canyon that you can hike here as often as you want.  People travel from all over the world to get that experience.

Second, you’re in the GRAND CANYON knocking off a requirement for your hiking merit badge.  What a memory, and story, that is for a 12 year old scout to have for life.

All I could say was “WOW, nice job guys!!  We have incredible hiking destinations in Utah but doing a 20-miler here would definitely make my troop jealous.”  I don’t know how long it took them to complete this, but props to your leaders for making that happen and encouraging you to do hard things.

Whether you’re a scout or not, this elevation profile and distance chart was the best single-page resource we found for visualizing our trip’s overall expectation.  From this overview, I could see a couple of different options for making a rim to river to rim route that would meet this badge’s 20 mile requirement.

There is so much more of this canyon I’d love to explore, I could only imagine being that close and accomplishing it with a group of young men for their annual High Adventures!

So, troop 708… yeah, we’re jealous!!


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