Jun 21, 2009 at 1:51 am #1237238
My wife and I have been doing an overnight once a week over the last month or so. We have been working up in mileage to get ready for a trip to the white mountains next month. We decided to do the West Rim Trail in Pennsylvania's Grand Canyon this week.
We left Tuesday morning and drove 3 hours to the trail head. We purchased a car shuttle from a local rafting outfit for $40 and hiked north to south.
The trail is 30 miles long and we had 14 of it the scheduled for the first day. We got a late start and hit the trail around 1 pm.
The trail starts with a mild ascent to the rim through some young forest covered with ferns. The weather was a pleasant 70 with clear blue skies, a rarity for our trips.
The first overlook came early in the day. The views were nice but few and far between. Most of the rim is private property so the trail spends a lot of time snaking around these areas.
The scenery on this trail varies greatly. We were constantly surprised.
The view from our campsite at the half way point. We rolled into camp around 7pm.
The second day started out with gray skies. We packed up and headed out around 9 for the last 16 miles. Again it was later then we had planned but sometimes the sleeping bag is hard to leave.
We ran into more ferns on day two. Here is a pic of me sporting my Ion :)
We only had a couple of overlooks, the south portion of the trail spends most of its time in dense woods and away from the rim. We also ran across about a mile that had been burned.
Much of the trail on the second day was through dense patches of ferns, wild rhododendron (laurel), and prickers.
It started raining about 11 and is still raining 3 days later.
We saw this near the end:
We made it to the car around 4:00.
We both made it under the 10 lbs mark for base weight. I consider it cheating though because we split the weight of our shelter, a BA Seedhouse SL2.
My base weight was 9.95 lbs and my full skin out weight at the trail head was just 19.35 lbs.
Amy's base weight was 9.5 lbs and her full skin out weight was 18.35 lbs. Amy will NOT let me carry anything for her.
We met 3 other couples on day 2, all traditional hikers who were doing the trip in 3 days. We got some pretty interesting comments about the size of our packs.Jun 21, 2009 at 2:28 am #1509587
We saw a lot of interesting bugs and such on this hike.
This one secretes cyanide.
Here is a shot of our food for the trip.
It was a great trip and we both had a very good time. We weren't even THAT sore afterward. I have some muscle soreness on the back of my legs but that is it.
edit: forgot to include a pic of the dog who also had a wonderful time:Jun 21, 2009 at 3:52 am #1509589
Great photos Scott, but I have to ask. Surely that's your food each? Not for the two of you?Jun 21, 2009 at 5:12 am #1509592
@joegeibLocale: Delaware & Lehigh Valleys
Nice to see you found a sunny day to start on.Jun 21, 2009 at 10:49 am #1509609
@tomclarkLocale: East Coast
Oh, I remember those foggy/overcast views into the river valley. Great photos, particularly of the centipede.
You might want to edit the posting by adding some extra "returns" between photos to get thtem to line up in a column.Jun 21, 2009 at 11:30 am #1509615
yeah, that was food each. came in at about 1.5 lbs for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a snack.
The first day we brought lunch, one trail snack, and dinner.
The second day we had breakfast, lunch, and two snacks.
Breakfast was oatmeal with walnuts, dates, and extra brown sugar.
lunch was flat bread with peanut butter and 1/2 cup trail mix that I added chocolate chips to.
Snack was an Odawalla(?) bar
and Dinner was a Knorr side with olive oil and snickers for dessert.
Also a shot of Lagavulin.
Came in about 2500 Cal I think. I am not very good at estimating other then adding what is on the package.
We were expecting to not make such good time on the second day because we thought we would be really tired from the first day. We avg. just over 2.25 miles per hour without trying to rush.
On our shorter days we normally make close to 2.75 MPH but we wanted to take our time on this hike since it was our first time doing two 15s in a row and we did not know how we would feel.
We have another hike planned for Oct. on the Laural Highlands Hiking Trail. PA was surprisingly nice.
–scottJun 22, 2009 at 5:22 am #1509686
Glad to hear that you had a nice experience with your PA trip. The West Rim Trail is one of my favorites and I've spent the first night of every trip at one of the sites just north of the Bradley Wales picnic area as well.
If the logistics of the Laurel Highlands Trail become too much (reservations, shuttling cars, etc.) here are two other great PA trails for you to consider:
– The Old Loggers Path – a 27 mile loop starting/ending in the old logging ghost town of Masten PA.
– The Allegheny Front Trail – either a 30 mile loop or a 40 mile loop that encircles Black Moshannon State Park (northwest of State College near I-80)
Both of them offer nicely graded trails that allow you to, because they are loops, to take just one car.
Let me know if you'd like more info about either trail.Jun 22, 2009 at 8:15 am #1509707
Thanks for the suggestions. Both of these look great and we are always looking for 2 – 3 day hikes within a 3 hour drive.
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