Grand Canyon - Northern Loop backpack

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nonot
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Grand Canyon - Northern Loop backpack

Post by nonot » Sep 23 2010 6:07 pm

I'm mostly trying to gauge any interest.

The itinerary is to backpack on the north side of the Grand Canyon. To the river from the village, over the bridge, then on to nankoweap creek over the tonto and near the river, and return back to the village via the north rim and Bright Angel. Mostly off trail, 8-16 miles per day. Approximately a week long trip. I have no prior experience hiking any parts of this route, though I may plan a scouting trip next spring.

Along the way we should hit Vishnu Canyon, the Tabernacle route, Lava Creek, Nankoweap Creek, and the old bright angel trail.

Time frame is October 2011, next year. Permits need to be applied for 4 months ahead of time.
http://hikearizona.com/garmin_maps.php

Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, ankle-twisting, HAZmaster crushing ROCKS!!
Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, shin-stabbing, skin-shredding plants!
Hike Arizona it is full of striking, biting, stabbing, venomous wildlife!

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azbackpackr
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Re: Grand Canyon - Northern Loop backpack

Post by azbackpackr » Sep 23 2010 6:20 pm

That is a really long way! Is that a route that has been done before a lot? (I hope I am understanding you correctly. You are not not talking about hiking on the Tonto Trail, but on the north side, on the Tonto shelf or Esplanade shelf?)

On the map it looks like it would take weeks--no trail at all, so your daily mileage is going to be iffy. You can't plan for that kind of mileage when there is no established route, in my opinion. In fact, I don't think you can plan mileage at all. Plus, springtime might be better--more water in potholes.

(And, apropos of who has been there before, I have it from a reliable source, Colin Fletcher did not hike from LCR to Nankoweap, he had a lift from a helicopter for at least part of that distance.)

A friend of a friend is doing Rider Canyon to Buck Farm Canyon starting next week. Good thing it rained.
Last edited by azbackpackr on Sep 23 2010 6:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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nonot
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Re: Grand Canyon - Northern Loop backpack

Post by nonot » Sep 23 2010 6:24 pm

Yes, it is a route that has been done before. The off-trail days will be 8-10 miles most likely except in the easy sections.

To get from the LCR to Nankoweap you do have to cross the river, which is where a helicopter or boat comes in handy. Harvey Butchart got his best friend killed trying to cross on an air mattress there. We will not be engaging in such foolery as crossing the river though, but thanks for the warning.
http://hikearizona.com/garmin_maps.php

Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, ankle-twisting, HAZmaster crushing ROCKS!!
Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, shin-stabbing, skin-shredding plants!
Hike Arizona it is full of striking, biting, stabbing, venomous wildlife!

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azbackpackr
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Re: Grand Canyon - Northern Loop backpack

Post by azbackpackr » Sep 23 2010 6:31 pm

Oh, ok, so you are talking hiking Tonto Trail, Escalante Trail, Beamer Trail, then getting a lift (maybe from a rafting group) across the river, and then going on the north side from there?

You will not be able to get a permit for that, unless maybe you can figure out a way to prove to the Park you have a safe way to cross the river. They no longer give permits for N. to S. Bass, from what I have heard, for the same reason.
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.

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nonot
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Re: Grand Canyon - Northern Loop backpack

Post by nonot » Sep 23 2010 6:33 pm

No, on the north side of the river by foot the entire way- usually on the Tonto - from the bridge to Nankoweap.

We will NOT be crossing the river except on the bridges near Phantom.
http://hikearizona.com/garmin_maps.php

Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, ankle-twisting, HAZmaster crushing ROCKS!!
Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, shin-stabbing, skin-shredding plants!
Hike Arizona it is full of striking, biting, stabbing, venomous wildlife!

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azbackpackr
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Re: Grand Canyon - Northern Loop backpack

Post by azbackpackr » Sep 23 2010 7:46 pm

I am right now on the phone with someone who has done both those routes, so I guess, I stand corrected!
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.

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toddak
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Re: Grand Canyon - Northern Loop backpack

Post by toddak » Sep 23 2010 7:58 pm

This sounds so insane that it just might be fun. I've done the easy parts (Clear Creek & Bright Angel), but I've no clue how the rest of it pieces together. Next hike/canyon we do I'll bring a map and you can give me an overview.

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hikeaz
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Re: Grand Canyon - Northern Loop backpack

Post by hikeaz » Sep 23 2010 8:01 pm

I'll go.
I would, however, second the springtime recommendation due to water considerations.
Also... from the Nanko T/H to N.K. - would that be part of the hike?
Not to be too bold, Steve, but have you considered a downstream hike starting @ Nanko exiting @ the S.Rim? Or maybe leave one vehicle at the N. Rim & take one to start @ Nanko T/H, finishing the hike coming up the Old BA or the N.K.....

BTW - if you plan in an extra day or two as a fail-safe, it's generally not difficult to get a ferry across the river from a raft trip.
kurt

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nonot
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Re: Grand Canyon - Northern Loop backpack

Post by nonot » Sep 23 2010 9:21 pm

I ruled starting out in spring due to the quantity of snow that will be on the north rim. Waiting for the snow to melt may lead to it getting too hot at the bottom. Having not been there before - perhaps you could add some info - I am assuming it will be impossible to walk from the Nankoweap TH towards the upper Old Bright Angel (or the upper Nankoweap trail and upper part of the trails on the north rim side of the canyon) in late March, or early April. Your comments are making me reconsider, however all my research suggests that water will not be a problem in the fall (although it will be more limited.) I do understand the water concern though. So I don't think it's insane to attempt this in the fall - better hiking conditions as a tradeoff for more limited water sources (but present at least every 8 miles). As a footnote, the two places I did my research reported they did this in the fall. Let me know your thoughts.

My original plan would include coming up Nankoweap and walking the north rim to drop back down into the canyon to get back to the south rim. If we wanted to start and finish at the north rim, that would probably shave off a day or two. A shuttle hike would waste a whole day setting it up, so I'm not inclined to want to plan it as a shuttle, let's either start and finish at the south rim, or the north rim.

I'm not certain that the direction of travel matters - it has been done both ways. I guess I don't understand the preference of doing it downstream vs upstream, Kurt??

I don't want to do the ferry - not because it will be difficult - but because I've already hiked the south side of the canyon from grandview to the LCR, and I want to try something new. It would be an option for those who possibly wanted to bail in (or out) of the trip halfway.
http://hikearizona.com/garmin_maps.php

Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, ankle-twisting, HAZmaster crushing ROCKS!!
Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, shin-stabbing, skin-shredding plants!
Hike Arizona it is full of striking, biting, stabbing, venomous wildlife!

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Vaporman
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Re: Grand Canyon - Northern Loop backpack

Post by Vaporman » Sep 24 2010 6:57 am

Interesting route! ;)
Yea, canyoneering is an extreme sport... EXTREMELY dramatic!!! =p

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PLC92084
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Re: Grand Canyon - Northern Loop backpack

Post by PLC92084 » Sep 24 2010 7:15 am

Sounds sadistic and adventurous... I'm in!!

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juliachaos
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Re: Grand Canyon - Northern Loop backpack

Post by juliachaos » Sep 24 2010 11:22 am

I'm interested..

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Hippy
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Re: Grand Canyon - Northern Loop backpack

Post by Hippy » May 12 2012 1:09 pm

nonot, did you ever do this route?
My boyfriend and I are on a hunt to visit the last leg of the route Colin Fletcher took on his major GC trip. Which includes but is not limited to the little colorado junction, the sipapu, the "indian village"/ruins up Kwagunt, the cliff dwellings off Nankoweap and the jet liners crash site is something I personally want to see, (that death in grand canyon book blew my mind, i know, morrbid but fascinating!)

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Canyonram
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Re: Grand Canyon - Northern Loop backpack

Post by Canyonram » May 13 2012 4:12 pm

Check out George Steck's "Hiking Grand Canyon Loops" published by Falcon--hike #7. He staged the entire loop hike off the North Rim. He lists some possible water sources but he hiked in 1989.

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nonot
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Re: Grand Canyon - Northern Loop backpack

Post by nonot » May 13 2012 8:08 pm

No, this is still on the to-do list. Water is a problem in fall. Snow is a problem in spring. Haven't figured out the logistics on this one yet.
http://hikearizona.com/garmin_maps.php

Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, ankle-twisting, HAZmaster crushing ROCKS!!
Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, shin-stabbing, skin-shredding plants!
Hike Arizona it is full of striking, biting, stabbing, venomous wildlife!

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