WRITTEN BY: DANIELLA A. COLOMBO-DOUGOVITO
PHOTO: DANIELLA A. COLOMBO-DOUGOVITO
LET DANIELLA TAKE YOU THROUGH THE BLISS OF THE GRAND CANYON
GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK IN THE US STATE OF ARIZONA is pure, unadulterated freedom, and pure magic for trail run lovers. Although most people think of only desolate desert when they hear of Arizona, the landscape is actually dotted with areas of high and low elevation deserts (with some elevations reaching over 8000 ft) as well as volcanic mountain ranges, and you can camp amongst carnivorous forests, waking up surrounded by elk or wild horses.
Running is emotional and cathartic here, especially the Rim to Rim to Rim (R2R2R) in the Grand Canyon. A total of about 70km, this is an ultra runner’s dream. The wildlife you can see on trail is phenomenal, and it includes Desert Bighorn sheep, Kaibab squirrels, Ringtail, the Grand Canyon rattlesnake, and scorpions.
Most runners prefer to start the R2R2R from the South Rim on either the South Kaibab Trail (SKT) or the Bright Angel Trail (BAT), then head down into the Grand Canyon, cross over the Colorado River on a suspension bridge, run back up and down North Kaibab Trail (NKT) on the North Rim, and finish their journey back up and out of the canyon on the shaded Bright Angel (BAT) trail.
For runners who love the heat, mid-May is the time of year to hit the trails here, however those who enjoy cooler weather, then October to November is ideal.
For more information visit nps.gov/grca/index.htm
THIS DREAM RUN STORY AND ALL ITS ACCOMPANYING STUNNING PHOTOGRAPHY IS FEATURED IN TRAIL RUN MAG #44 (AUG/SEPT 2022).