Hiking with Amy and Jessica

Hiking at Grand Canyon Grandview to Horseshoe Mesa

I am so glad that I met Amy while working at Rp’s Stage Stop during the day. Up until recently, I didn’t have that many opportunities to interact with the international students on a visa and working at Grand Canyon for the summer. When I first came to the park to live, I worked in concessions and had many opportunities to connect with students from all over the world.

Amy and her friend Jessica are from Taiwan. They came to work for the summer just outside the park in Tusayan and that is how we connected. Amy expressed an interest in seeing the river, an in general hiking into Grand Canyon. I really love to hike and even guide here and there. I have plenty of gear and decided to help her pursue her dream of hiking into the canyon. We decided to try for a permit hiking at Grand Canyon Grandview to Horseshoe Mesa.


We went to the Grand Canyon Backcountry office and applied for a couple of permits. One was for Grandview to Horseshoe Mesa and the other Tanner to Tanner Beach. The latter maybe a little aggressive or optimistic but still a permit that was available to the river when all else was booked.

Amy, Jessica and I volunteered for the Grand Canyon Music Festival the night before, stayed up until about midnight with the music festival’s after gathering and a couple of friends of mine arriving late in the night from Phoenix for sunrise engagement photos the next morning (the same day that we planned to hike to Horseshoe Mesa).  The girls got up with me well before sunrise to watch the sunrise at Yavapai Point while I took my friend’s engagement photos down the way.

After the photoshoot we laid out all of our gear and got prepared for our overnight hike. Horseshoe Mesa is only 2.5 miles down on the trail so I wasn’t in so much of a rush to get our thing together. We hit the trail a little while later and as soon as we hit the mesa, we got some rain as well.

weather in the canyon

We climbed into our tents in the late afternoon, and we fell asleep to the sound of rain on the tent, tired from our night of Music Fest anyway. The storm was right over us and the thunder cracked and lighting was obvious, We slept on and off finally waking. We climbed out of the tents. Mine and Amy’s was full of water. Luckily the thick Big Agnes air mattresses that we were on kept us dry. We took apart the tent and hung the pieces in the trees to dry.

The sun was coming through the clouds and I hoped it would be warm enough to dry our things before nightfall. We all took a walk out to the big thumb of the Horseshoe Mesa and watched the sunset from out there before returning to heat water for mountain house meals. We ate our meals and then chatted with a friendly ranger that stopped by. We went into the tents and Amy and I stuck our head out to look at the stars that we could see quite clearly. She gasped at the shooting stars and was amazed at what she could see, considering the light pollution in Taiwan. We fell asleep and it rained again, harder and it was wet inside the tent.

We slept on and off until morning then we watched the sunrise and made some hot water for the Starbucks via’s that I’d brought. We also had some bagels and cream cheese. As soon as the sun was up we packed up the wet tents along with our other things and prepared for the hike out of the canyon 🙂


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