Exploring the Grand Canyon is an exciting experience for all ages. For experienced adventurers, the legendary Rim-to-Rim hike offers impressive views and unforgettable memories. For men, that means breaking records. At 92 years old, Alfredo Arriaga is the oldest person to complete a rim-to-rim hike of the Grand Canyon. Hiking 24 miles is no easy task. Less than 1% of Grand Canyon visitors have achieved this, and even park rangers recommend training for at least a year before attempting this feat. Arriaga, an experienced hiker who has traversed the Grand Canyon many times, prepared by walking for three hours each day around her home in Berlin.
Arriaga, a Spaniard, initially visited the Grand Canyon with his wife to share their love of hiking and nature. After she died of ALS in 2006, he returned to the Grand Canyon with her daughter and her grandson in memory of her. Since then, he has become a frequent visitor to the Grand Canyon and has become something of a celebrity among park rangers and fellow hikers.
Ahead of the attempt, son-in-law Jürgen Buchenau published a Facebook post asking for hikers to help his family document this historic hike. “We want to document what we believe will be a great accomplishment. Alfredo completed the R2R last year at the age of 91 and has hiked the valley five times in the past four years, you'll be ready!'' Finally, Arriaga was joined by his daughter, Annabelle Buchenau. Her husband and hikers Julian Coiner and Peter Todd, who volunteered as witnesses, and the many well-wishers who cheered him on along the way.
Arriaga accomplished this monumental feat on October 15, after hiking for 21 hours over two days. "Alfredo did it!" Jurgen wrote on Facebook. “Today at 4 pm he climbed out of the canyon at the Bright Angel trailhead, so relieved and excited to become, at age 92, the oldest person on record to traverse the canyon from rim to rim. (Guinness certified. It's not out yet.) His conquering of the Grand Canyon at an advanced age made him a living legend for the time being.