A Bed Is Waiting For You At The Bottom Of The Grand Canyon...
Can you imagine waking to the sunrise at the bottom of the Grand Canyon with coffee in hand? As you watch the morning sun splash multitudes of colors agains the sandstone rocks and formations you actually feel restored after your long ten mile hike in the previous day. After a good nights sleep in a comfy bed, the restorative yoga the night before, and a good, hearty meal you feel like a million bucks and ready to explore more.
Sounds amazing, right?
Well, this could be you! There's this hike in lodge at the bottom of The Grand Canyon called Phantom Ranch that can only be reached on foot. It's magical and of the 5 million people that visit The Grand Canyon each year only 1% make it to the ranch. If you want to be a part of that 1% keep reading!
I love hike in lodges. A hike in lodge is a lodge you can only reach on foot and there are only a few of them in The United States. They are a nice yet rustic way to spend time in nature and sleep in a snug bed. Hike in lodges provide the perfect combination of challenge, magic and unique experiences. Each lodge has unique qualities and the trails to each vary in distance and difficulty.
I remember my first visit to a hike in lodge in The Smoky Mountains in 2015.
I visited Mt Leconte Lodge and I think it’s one of the best. I was 25 (12 years ago - eeks!) and on a girls getaway weekend when I visited Mt Leconte. We decided to head to The Smokies and didn’t really know the beauty that awaited us. Being in nature and having a new, invigorating experience was the main goal of the trip and something that would send us home feeling rejuvenated and like strong badass chicks.
We definitely got that and so much more from the weekend!
After making it to our stream side hotel which was a little dicey, we quickly discovered the awesome hot tub which made up for the outdated and tired looking rooms. We were there to be together and be outside, so the room was easy to overlook. We totally took advantage of the hot tub while sipping champagne, overdoing it on stuffed olives and laughing hysterically over girly stuff I can’t even remember now. One thing I do remember was the exciting and anxious anticipation of our big hike up Mt Leconte the next day.
On Saturday we found ourselves at one of the five trailheads to the summit of Mt Leconte. We wanted to go big or go home and so decided to hike all the way to the top and back, an 11-mile trek roundtrip. It was only 5.4 miles to the top via Boulevard Trail, but we didn’t anticipate the difficulty. The elevation gain combined with rocky terrain was tough, but a challenge we knew we could tackle and just the spark we were looking for.
Our bodies woke up and became stronger with each step.
We fiercely wanted to get the to the top and trudged onward and upward digging deep although our stomachs were grumbling. The amazing vistas and deep desire to get to the top kept us going. Perhaps, another part of what kept us going was ego. I certainly didn’t want to return home without saying I made it to the top of Mt Leconte. Though we were not totally prepared with enough sustenance, we made it up the 6,593 foot tall mountain.
The trail opened up and revealed to us not only a breathtaking view of the mountains, but also a magical lodge. We didn’t even know this cute, historical lodge sat atop the mountain. I wondered what would it be like to stay there?
It is super difficult to get reservations at Mt Leconte Lodge, so we couldn’t stay even if we wanted to. Getting reservations at Phantom Ranch is equally difficult if not more difficult. Mt Leconte lodge was completely booked. I knew I wanted to come back especially after finding out about the llamas ;) There is no service road to the lodge and all of the bedding, food and supplies are carried up weekly by these cute little llamas. Plus, each cabin has cozy queen size bunk beds complete with Hudson Bay blankets.
It took us all day to hike up Mt Leconte and back to our cars, but the view at the top and overall experience was totally worth it. I remember coming down the mountain feeling perfectly exhausted, but exhilarated. Our experience on the trail and at the top was whimsical and unique. Since we didn’t have much food with us on the hike we were starving when we got back to our cars.
Dinner was so good. Somehow food always tastes better after a good challenge. There’s nothing better than an amazing meal after a big hike or long run in my opinion! I can’t remember what we ate, but I’m sure it was good.
When I started leading Yoga & Hiking Adventures in 2014 I remembered hiking up Mt Leconte with my girlfriends and knew it would be the perfect place to bring people to be inspired and to have an unforgettable experience. I have led “The Be Fierce & Flourish” Mt Leconte Climb Adventure three years in a row now and will take a group up in June of 2018. The trip is a perfect opportunity to drop into and own the strength of your body, mind and soul.
Perhaps, a bed at the top of Mt Leconte is waiting for you…
Or, perhaps a bed at the bottom of The Grand Canyon is waiting for you.
I’m so excited to offer a second hike in lodge experience this year!
This coming October I will lead a group down to Phantom Ranch at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. “A Journey To The Unlimited Self” Grand Canyon & Sedona Adventure will offer up greater depths of wisdom and strength. If you are a confident hiker looking to looking for a new, bigger challenge and desires to expand your mind and self around what is possible for you in this amazing life you won’t want to miss this trip. Apply now!
I’ll see you out on the trail ;-)