430+ Doing R2R Last Saturday

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SpiderLegs
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430+ Doing R2R Last Saturday

Post by SpiderLegs »

The GC posted on their Facebook page yesterday that they counted over 430 people between 5 AM and 10 AM doing either R2R or R2R2R on Saturday morning last weekend.

My question for those that know the NPS better than I do and the GC in particular, do you think that eventually you will need to win a lottery or get a permit to do R2R in the future? I can't see this level of activity being sustainable and can't imagine what the next two weekends at the GC will look like. One big reason I stopped going to the canyon on the weekends.
See my pics on Instagram @tucsonexplorer
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DixieFlyer
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Re: 430+ Doing R2R Last Saturday

Post by DixieFlyer »

@SpiderLegs
Here is a pic of some of the 430+ at Phantom Ranch:
I'd rather die of exhaustion than die of starvation.
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joebartels
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Re: 430+ Doing R2R Last Saturday

Post by joebartels »

Outrageously dwindled from 2013 or 2.8 billion before 5am?
cactuscat wrote: May 08 2013 10:36 am Ranger Elyssa brought up some interesting points about this type of activity during a chat before the condor talk at IG ... though she was talking about the relatively normal R2R2R.
She said that so many people are now trying to run the R2R2R, and hiking through the night that restrictions may be put into place ... the hordes of night hiker/runners are disturbing the peace of campers in the corridor campgrounds, and sometimes causing the toilets at Phantom to reach capacity by 5a.m. because 500 people have already passed through. :o
- joe
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SpiderLegs
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Re: 430+ Doing R2R Last Saturday

Post by SpiderLegs »

@DixieFlyer - I did my first R2R around 1996 or 97. Did it over a holiday weekend in October and remember chatting with a ranger on our way down. They asked us what we were doing and warned us not to go. Then told us that there were about 10-15 other people doing the same thing. Did another R2R a few years later and the numbers were beginning to grow, maybe 50 or 60 over Memorial Day weekend.

I wouldn't surprised to find out in a year or two that they limit day hikers below the rim to 100 a day like they do over at Mt. Whitney.
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SpiderLegs
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Re: 430+ Doing R2R Last Saturday

Post by SpiderLegs »

@joebartels - The count I saw was just done in the morning. I'm assuming if they counted from midnight the numbers would be a lot higher.
See my pics on Instagram @tucsonexplorer
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LosDosSloFolks
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Re: 430+ Doing R2R Last Saturday

Post by LosDosSloFolks »

@joebartels
It's all because of HAZ. This website is responsible for the gain in popularity of hiking and the resulting crowds. Prior to HAZ, it was just Sir Edmond Hillary, Reinhold Messner, Tenzing Norgay, and a handful of others on Everest...now it's a conga line 24/7. Thanks a lot Joe. :lol:
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chumley
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Re: 430+ Doing R2R Last Saturday

Post by chumley »

@LosDosSloFolks You jest of course, but it is certainly related to the unquenchable human desire by many to do what other people have done. The information revolution we are experiencing has had a profound influence on human behavior. Even here in the safe little world of HAZ ( :sweat: ) ... FB is watching ... and serving up content that it thinks you should be interested in.
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LosDosSloFolks
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Re: 430+ Doing R2R Last Saturday

Post by LosDosSloFolks »

@chumley
Prior to our exercise hike at Spur Cross on Sunday a fellow pulled up next to us in a 800HP Dodge Hellcat and we exchanged 'hellos'. We asked where he as hiking and he said the Skull Mesa Ruins. He appeared to be a strong hiker but his boots looked brand new and he had very little water for such a long uphill slog on a warm day. When we asked which route he was taking to get to 248 he said "from the creek" (the long way). He chose the trip from a website he stumbled across the previous night...HAZ.
Stop dreaming about a better yesterday.
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DixieFlyer
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Re: 430+ Doing R2R Last Saturday

Post by DixieFlyer »

LosDosSloFolks wrote:He appeared to be a strong hiker but his boots looked brand new
At least he had on footwear. Here is a news story about a barefoot hiker who fell to his death in Boynton Canyon in Sedona a few days ago
https://www.azfamily.com/news/hiker-fro ... 66c4c.html
I'd rather die of exhaustion than die of starvation.
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DixieFlyer
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Re: 430+ Doing R2R Last Saturday

Post by DixieFlyer »

@SpiderLegs
There already is a requirement to obtain a Grand Canyon permit (at a cost of $250) for groups, if the group is 11 people or more:

https://www.nps.gov/grca/learn/manageme ... MP_2602654

However, due to Covid the maximum group size is curently 10, so I guess that no permit is needed.at the present time

Even though the requirement states that it is for an "Organized Group Rim-to-Rim and Extended Day Hike/Run", I think that it applies to any event that goes below the Tonto Trail on either the BA or SK Trail; or below the Pumphouse on the NK Trail.
I'd rather die of exhaustion than die of starvation.
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DixieFlyer
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Re: 430+ Doing R2R Last Saturday

Post by DixieFlyer »

@DixieFlyer
Here is the language from the Park website regarding Special use permits for R2R hikes and the like:

Organized Group Rim-to-Rim and Extended Day Hike/Run

Groups whom must obtain a permit:
* Organized Non-Commercial Groups are defined as any group traveling together, such as scouts, a club, a church, a meet up group, or a family/friend group that has created its own itinerary. Group size - 1-11 people. Permits are required for group sizes of 11. 10 people or less do not require a permit.
* All Not-for-Profit Groups are defined as a group that may meet the criteria for a non-commercial group if the organization derives no taxable income from providing leisure/recreational services. Groups must prove 501(c)(3) status. Group size: 11 people maximum.
* All groups' part of a Fundraiser. Group size - up to 11 people.
I'd rather die of exhaustion than die of starvation.
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nonot
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Re: 430+ Doing R2R Last Saturday

Post by nonot »

Like has been stated, they already require permits as the # of R2Rs was not sustainable. If the existing rules for permits are not successful in reducing the number of people they will keep turning on the crank to require more permits, or more fees, or both until visitation is reduced to reach a sustainable number. It could be park entrance fees, hiking permits, etc. A rotation of rangers either at the 3 mile resthouse or IG checking permits seems a likely future.
http://hikearizona.com/garmin_maps.php

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ShatteredArm
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Re: 430+ Doing R2R Last Saturday

Post by ShatteredArm »

I think they're going to be hesitant to limit the numbers in any meaningful way, mainly because they'd rather have those people on the corridor trails than venturing out into other areas where it may not be so easy to rescue them. I honestly don't see the problem with the crowds on those particular trails. It's just silly to go there and expect any solitude.
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nonot
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Re: 430+ Doing R2R Last Saturday

Post by nonot »

As the article points out, it's not the trails its the bathroom facilities being overwhelmed.
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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chumley
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Re: 430+ Doing R2R Last Saturday

Post by chumley »

nonot wrote:As the article points out
Which article? The OP from FB doesn't mention bathroom facilities. Joe's reply with cactuscat's quote from a first-hand discussion with a ranger from 7 years ago mentions bathrooms.

I'm fairly sure I've seen articles written about traffic causing human waste, toilet paper, and other litter to accumulate along the length of the trail, not just the few established facilities. Nature calls when nature calls. (Ask the mules! :sweat: )

That said, pack 'em and stack 'em. I think NPS does an admirable job funneling the main impact on their parks into relatively small areas. But they have to cater to a wide range of visitors, including the folks who care more about the accomplishment than the park.
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nonot
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Re: 430+ Doing R2R Last Saturday

Post by nonot »

@chumley
Sorry, post, not article:
"sometimes causing the toilets at Phantom to reach capacity by 5a.m. because 500 people have already passed through."

There is only so much shit that the decomposing toilets can decompose each day.
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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ShatteredArm
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Re: 430+ Doing R2R Last Saturday

Post by ShatteredArm »

@nonot
I'm not sure why availability of bathroom facilities would make them limit traffic? There are only primitive toilets outside the corridor, and only in a few designated campsites. It's easier to increase the capacity of the facilities in the corridor than it is to, for example, pick up poop along Hermit trail. Trying to limit the number of people using the corridor trails would have far worse consequences than finding a way to accommodate them in the corridor.
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big_load
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Re: 430+ Doing R2R Last Saturday

Post by big_load »

nonot wrote:"sometimes causing the toilets at Phantom to reach capacity by 5a.m. because 500 people have already passed through."
Those words are out of order. It's more like "sometimes causing the toilets at Phantom to reach capacity by 5 a.m. because [food] has already passed through 500 people".
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Canyonram
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Re: 430+ Doing R2R Last Saturday

Post by Canyonram »

Ultrarunner and author Davy Crockett in Jan 2020 published a 5-part series on Grand Canyon/Rim-to-Rim. Lots of great history/old photos, etc in the series. The podcast for each section is a good listen. Part 5 covers the different ultrarunners. His articles---that go out to the ultrarunner community---may be the fuel for the hundreds now doing the R2R and R2R2R.

Part One: https://ultrarunninghistory.com/grand-c ... -to-rim-1/

Links to the other chapters at the end of each article.
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nonot
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Re: 430+ Doing R2R Last Saturday

Post by nonot »

@ShatteredArm

You seem to think that restricting corridor access will force people to hike other trails. In my opinion, it will not. Everyone is after their R2R merit badge. Every other part of the canyon is a far better dayhike destinations already, in my opinion, unless someone has an affinity for smelling and walking through mule shit and piss most of the day.. And if you are willing to put in those miles and that elevation you can reach some pretty great places outside the range of normal dayhikers.

And they have increased restroom capacity, they installed new composting toilet systems at IG and PR around...2010? As I understand it they still get emptied occasionally and the waste hauled out by mules. The park service has established limits on mule trips already, so it isn't as easy as you think to simply add more restrooms. Besides which, the park seems like it can barely scrape enough together to pay to repair their main water line. I don't know where the money would come from to build even more toilets.

There are many precedents for a permit system. Half dome is a perfect example of an extreme dayhike that became too popular. In that case, the capacity limit was people on the cable system.
Last edited by nonot on Oct 13 2020 9:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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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