Utah Flats route in winter?

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Utah Flats route in winter?

Post by bretinthewild » Sep 03 2019 1:11 pm

Curious if anyone has done the Utah Flats Route in Grand Canyon during the winter? Planning an out-and-back trip there in January with stops at Bright Angel on the way in and Indian Garden on the way out.

Wondering how much of a challenge any snow or ice might pose getting up and down along the route. And, if it's reasonable to think one could go from Phantom Creek to Indian Garden in a day, via Utah Flats.

Our group has plenty of backpacking experience and has done GC winter trips the past two years; one out to Clear Creek and one on the Tonto Trail between Hermit's Rest, Monument and Bright Angel. Looking for something new this year.

However, the Park Service flagged my request as "difficult for even the most experienced Grand Canyon backpacker." So I thought I'd ask you all what you think.

Here's our plan:
Day 1: Hike S. Kaibab to Bright Angel Camp
Day 2: Day off or day hikes, stay at BAC again (we have dinner booked at PR)
Day 3: Utah Flats Route to Phantom Creek
Day 4: Return via Utah Flats Route to BAC and up to Indian Garden Camp
Day 5: Hike out

Thanks for any input!

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Re: Utah Flats route in winter?

Post by nonot » Sep 04 2019 12:10 am

I think you will be very cold, but once you get below the rim a few thousand feet, I think you'd be OK until the final descent into upper Phantom. Since it doesn't get much sun likely snow hanging around in upper Phantom. The place is a cold sink too. Bring an extra warm sleeping bag.

Upper Phantom to Indian Gardens is doable in a day, at least in spring hiking conditions, no problem there if you are in decent shape.

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Re: Utah Flats route in winter?

Post by GrottoGirl » Sep 05 2019 6:12 pm

I did it for Christmas before. One of my favorite spots in the Canyon

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