Russell Johnson Grand Canyon artist

Tanner Trail hike of The Grand Canyon

Lucky me, another Grand Canyon hike! This time a group of us took to the Tanner Trail for a late October adventure for a three day, two night stay in the Grand Canyon. Anticipation of this hike started weeks if not months prior and it always seems like there isn’t enough time to fully prepare. When we arrive, I was ready to go regardless! We carpooled to the trailhead arriving at about 8am. The days were forecasted to be warm and the nights cool, perfect weather for this wide-open views of a trail. Personally, I was worried it would be too hot. Our group of guys were ambitious and we only took short breaks along the way. The Tanner Trail is one of the roughest, not well maintained and in one stretch, clings to a steep slope. We made great time, and arrived about 2pm to the river for a refreshing swim. We found a campsite open near the rapids to fit our group size. The roar of the rapids became a relaxing white-noise effect for us. For the first time, I brought along oil paints to do some plein air painting! So, I set up at a quiet spot on the river to catch the sunset. The light was spectacular and overwhelming to capture. Later in the evening, and after the bright half-moon set, we were in awe of the endless star-filled sky. Sunrise the next morning was a slow event for this time of year, and I enjoyed having time to capture photos with my tripod. Later, we ventured upriver for some exploring and enjoyed the big views of the s-curve of the Colorado River. The day was hot and we took to the frigid river water to stay cool and refreshed. Some clouds moved in later and the second night’s sunset didn’t show up. We prepared for an early wake-up to head up the trail. We awoke at 5am, and hit the trail about 6am. This amazing group of guys were fast hikers and we shaved off the miles in quick time. The early morning light was subdued by some wispy clouds. It warmed up soon enough for me, and we took a lunch break above the red-wall where we could see an expansive view of the river. This is where we took our group photo and then marched on up to the top, arriving by 11:30am with me as the caboose. I pretend I’m taking lots of photos, but really I want to take my time and soak up the views, filling my creativity tank for possible future paintings (oh, and I was feeling over-heated from the exertion). Plus, the last 1/2 mile was tough, those switchbacks seemed never ending and mind numbing. Overall, the hike was enjoyable: big views, great visits, and a wonderful escape from day to day worries. Here are some of my favorite photos from the hike, enjoy! (Click on thumbnails for full image)

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