Our last day in the Grand Canyon involved starting at the river and climbing up the New Hance Trail to the rim. The first half is completely open without a lot of vegetation and the last is through what constitutes a forest in the Southwest. It was also one of the more rugged trails we encountered during our entire trip, especially as you got closer to the rim. We passed a couple of parties on their way down that really seemed to be struggling. Including an older gentlemen with a decent amount of dried blood on his arm.
On a separate note, we talked with a fellow down by the river who volunteered to take our picture. He was certainly friendly, although he was convinced we were grossly unprepared for the hike out, with only 7 liters of water between the 2 of us. He said he had 5 liters just for him coming down and ran out. We showed him up by ending up on the rim with more than a liter to spare.
Aslo, Davy found his description of the hike out as “fucking brutal” quite amusing, and it became an often repeated phrase. It wasn’t that it was the easiest hike in the world, but it wasn’t the Ho Chi Minh either (I’m assuming that would be really hard) We were done around 1 in the afternoon. .