The Grand Canyon is one of the seven natural wonders of the world. In the trail running community, running across it and back again - a route known as the Rim to Rim to Rim (R2R2R) - is a rite of passage. Depending on the route you take, it's about 42-46 miles with around 11,000 ft of vertical gain.
The R2R2R starts on the south rim of the Grand Canyon. You can descend one of two ways down to the Colorado river by taking either Bright Angel Trail or South Kaibab Trail. The Bright Angel Trail is about 9.5 miles down to the bottom of the canyon and the famous Phantom Ranch campground and general store. South Kaibab is only 7, but it's much steeper. From there, the trail follows the Colorado River along the canyon floor until it starts ascending the North Rim via the North Kaibab Trail. It's an out and back, so after that you simply reverse the route!
Not only did I want to run the R2R2R for the first time, but I also wanted to run to the tallest point in Arizona, Mount Humphreys, located about 70 miles away, near Flagstaff. To make it more of an adventure, I decided to connect the Grand Canyon and Mount Humphreys by bike. Then run up Mount Humphreys.
So here's a layout of the adventure:
Day 1: Run the R2R2R
Day 2: Ride my bike from the Grand Canyon to the Mount Humphreys trailhead
Day 3: Run up Mount Humphreys
This route, known as the Rim to Rim to Rim (R2R2R) - is a rite of passage as an ultra runner. We started at 4am to avoid the heat at the bottom of the canyon and decided to go down Bright Angel Trail for a less technical descent in the dark. We brought a good amount of food and layers - temperatures…
This was day #2 of my adventure: riding my bike from the Grand Canyon to Mount Humphreys’ trailhead.
I camped in Grand Canyon National Park and the route started from my campsite. The official starting point is however at the South Kaibab trailhead, since that's where I ended my run! From there we went…
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This is a serious climb up Mount Humphreys! The trail is beautiful and switches up the mountain through aspen groves and volcanic rock. This time of year, the trail had snow and ice so bring appropriate gear to do this.
After winding up through the forest and pines for the first three miles, it starts…
Collection by Jonas Deichmann
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