This Grand Canyon Trail Map is a must have. Not just to carry with you on your hike, but more importantly, for planning your trip. Some of the what this map covers are the popular trails (where 99% of visitors travel), mileage between landmarks, and trail difficulty. You’ll find that this is important when planning your hike.
Why do I recommend this map? When Juan and I originally planned our Grand Canyon hike, we knew which trails we wanted to take and how long they were, but that was it. We figured the trails would be clearly marked and we would find our way. We felt a map wasn’t necessary. For the most part, it worked. Until our second day…
Where we went wrong? We didn’t plan correctly.
We were on on way to find the next campsite, Horn Creek. It was supposed to be 2.5 miles from Indian Gardens. We found Indian Gardens, but then, we literally hiked all day and into the night and Horn Creek was nowhere to be found. Since Horn Creek is a secluded campsite, we were the only ones on the trail. It turned out that we completely missed the turn off that led to the campsite. By then it was too late, too dark, and we were too tired. We ended up setting up our tents (in the dark) right off the trail. Naturally, it started to rain, complete with lightning, and at the same time the wind made it twice as hard to set up our tents. Not to mention the eery feeling that we were being watched by the hungry native Grand Canyon animals. Oh, did I mention the cacti?
We should’ve had a better idea of where we were going, how long it should take us, and a Plan B or even C in case something went wrong. As we got deeper into the trail, not being sure where we were going really dropped our moral. Once that happened, it was even more difficult to make decisions to either trail back, push forward, or stay put. It wasn’t our happier Grand Canyon moments. I did, however, capture a great picture of the sunset.
Who would’ve thought that something as simple as a map could’ve saved us in so many ways?