Bright Angel Trail
The Bright Angel Trail is the best place for hiking. During the summer, the temperature can range from 40°F on the rim to over 100°F in the inner gorge along the river. Don’t worry about camping as there is a beautiful camping area available at the Indian Gardens, as well as Bright Angel Campground.
The trail is simply amazing and truly awesome. It starts climbing in the desert hills on the edge of Tucson and just keeps going until you get to the top. Once you reach the top you’re rewarded with breathtaking views of the mountains.
West Fork of Oak Creek Canyon
Once you arrive at the creek that’s where the real beauty begins. However, you’ll want some shoes that you don’t mind getting wet since as you hike up the creek you’ll need to walk through some pools. The further you go, you may even be able to do some swimming. Everything about the creek is so beautiful that you won’t even want to leave!
The waterfalls lie within the Havasupai Indian Reservation. For hiking and camping here you’ll need a permit. Be sure to have your permit ready before coming here. Currently it’s $40 for the hiking permit/environmental fee and $17 per night for the campground. It may sound a bit pricey but trust me, it’s all worth it.
The climb to the top gains 1,264 feet in 1.2 miles and a lot of that is going from one giant boulder to the next. This hike is definitely not for beginner hikers (trust me, I learned this the hard way). The best time of day for the hike is early morning or at least an hour before sunset to avoid the peak heat of the day.
The trail gradually climbs through the forest and comes to an old fire lookout cabin that was built in 1911 and makes a great place for a snack. At the peak stands a fire lookout tower that is manned in the summer. The attendants in the summer are usually happy to let people checkout the tower and take in the view from the top of it. They even had a dog bowl with water for the pups and Emma had a drink. The trail is 8 miles in all and gains 2,640 feet to it’s 10,418 feet peak. This also happened to be the first 10,000 foot mountain that Jennifer climbed! (Source: luxadventuretraveler.com).