I spent the Thanksgiving holiday backpacking with friends in Grand Canyon National Park. The last time I was there was as a tourist in 2006. Hiking and camping in the canyon was an amazing experience which I will never forget. Although it was a luxurious backpacking trip in that we had tables, running water, and compost toilets at two of the three camping spots, carrying all my gear down and out of the canyon was a challenge. We started our descent from the South Kaibab Trail in the afternoon of Thanksgiving Day and camped in area BJ9 where we had to set up our tents with our headlights on. The second day we continued down to the Colorado River on to Phantom Ranch and then on to Cottonwood Campground for our second night. It was very cool to see the stars on a clear night with a semi-full moon and to hear Bright Angel Creek. Our third day we went back towards the South Rim and took the Bright Angel Trail to camp at Indian Gardens. Side trips included Ribbon Falls and sunset views from Plateau Point. My favorite part of the third day was seeing the cottonwoods with their fall colors. And on our last day we broke camp early and continued on the Bright Angel Trail to the top of South Rim. I had a great time and would love to go back.