I did not think I would ever get to the Grand Canyon but actually it was a very nice 8 hour drive. My husband and I went at the end of May and glad we stopped off in Sedona over night. We stayed at Sedona Rouge which was well priced but the next time we'll do the L'Auberge which is so wonderful and worth every penny ( we had cocktails and hors d'eouvres there...magical !)
The biggest question I had was what on earth to wear for 6 days in the river and I could not find a good answer to that. We got a check list from Arizona River Rafters who are fantastic but it was still hard to imagine the conditions and what would be quick-drying and /or comfortable.
Looking at the guides I realized all this high-tech water repellent stuff is a waste. They are all wearing sandals ! (can't see in this picture unfortunately). And regular cotton long sleeve button up shirts to keep the sun off and dry relatively quickly (sun was very hot !). The water was around 50 degrees tho so you do not want to be wet for too long. Also the skirt for women is brilliant because sitting in a raft your knees tend to burn and shorts are not long enough to cover them.
The bandana was the best thing I brought ! It was indispensible for dipping in the water and wrapping anywhere you need to keep cool.... head, neck, etc. Also I liked the more airy straw-type hat with large brim over the rain hat. Breathes so much better !
Hiking out of that canyon was intense but I did not need all the water containers that some people thought were imperative. A one-litre bottle was fine. They have refill stations every 2 or 3 miles. Some high- carb fuel like trail mix always gave me a second wind. Or beef jerkey, even better !
Once we got up the Bright Angel Trail and back to civilization it was heavenly to relax in the El Tovar Lodge or the Bright Angel Lodge. Food is much better in the former with pan-seared Brook Trout on the menu.
What an adventure ! It's too bad we weren't able to get the mules to help us up the trail with our duffle bags as we had thought from the travel brochure. We found out you need to wear a back-pack and carry out everything you carried in to the park. The mules surely are a beautiful site however and are such a historic part of the Canyon as the Kolb brothers who built this house made a living photographing.