General "Grand Canyon" Questions

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KwaiChang
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General "Grand Canyon" Questions

Post by KwaiChang » Jul 12 2010 10:53 am

Without searching this entire site for answers I come to you, my fellow bloggers with my questions.

On May 14th I will begin my GC trek - I have only visited the South side twice - never been below the rim. I am of above average skill set in hiking but have never done anything quite like the GC and I have read extensively about the dangers and warnings. Now I want to know the truth. My intended hikes will be as follows;

Day 1 - Day hike to dripping springs - a warm up hike so to speak
Day 2 - SK to PR - plan to leave about 6am - will take my time and take pixs - WHAT TO DO WHEN @ PR???
Day 3 - NK to North Rim
Day 4 - Day Hike to Roaring Springs
Day 5 - Still on North Rim (ANY SUGGESTIONS FOR A DAY HIKE?)
Day 6 - EVERYONE WILL THINK I AM NUTS HERE - Leave NR @ 6am Hike NK to PR, then PR up BA to South Rim.
Day 7 - Some easy Sedona hikes
Day 8 - Wilson mtn in Sedona.

OK - Fire away - am I nuts? How much water do I really need? My plan is to have a 100 ounce hydration pack along with 2 16oz bottles of sports drink.....is that too much? I have the food thing covered - my biggest question is clothes. Since I am staying at the North lodge there what is the dress expectation for Dinner?

Thanks for all those who reply!!!!
Out of all the things I've lost I miss my mind the most.....

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joebartels
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Re: General Canyon Questions

Post by joebartels » Jul 15 2010 10:54 am

The hooves of the mules crush the red rock into a super fine dust that is up to an inch of powder for a good stretch. If it's not stirred up it's not a problem. The trail was a zoo the day I was there so I'm sure others have better experiences. Tag in the mule piss puddles, the stench and foreigners that walk/stand four/five/six abreast and refuse to let you by... I just wasn't into it.

The Old Bright Angel is a better trail for those searching for solitude, adventure and grand views. Bear in mind I'm not one to wait in line at Squaw Peak when you could park further and hike an extra quarter to half mile. If you're there to mark it off the bucket list it probably won't phase you.
Hike Arizona it ROCKS!

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writelots
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Re: General Canyon Questions

Post by writelots » Jul 15 2010 11:09 am

Kwai Chang wrote:Joe - when you say in your Hike Post that the last mile of NK was "disgusting as hell" would you care to elaborate? I am beginning to get frustrated here having never been below the rim and now I feel like I am descending into the subways bowels of NYC!!! :o
The North Kaibab trail can be pretty overrun, just like the rest of the park. Go in the shoulder seasons and hike during the week, though, and it's not so bad. If you're not the type who spends 80% of your time on unused or non-existent trails, then it won't feel as bad to you as it might to those folks who avoid people like we all had the black plague. That being said - it's not hard to find solitude at the canyon if you just step a little ways of the very well beaten path...
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azbackpackr
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Re: General Canyon Questions

Post by azbackpackr » Jul 15 2010 1:31 pm

Hey, I have done SK to BA, camped by Phantom at BA campground. It was ok. Did it over winter solstice one year. We hiked a ways up the Clear Creek trail as well that time.

I have camped at IG, too, and it was ok, but there was a foot of snow on the rim and it was raining, which tends to discourage some people. The rain stopped, though and by the time we got to Monument and Hermit (along the Tonto Trail) we were wearing Tevas in camp.

So, it should be fine for you...but yes, it is just the intro to the Canyon.
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
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Dschur
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Re: General Canyon Questions

Post by Dschur » Jul 15 2010 2:27 pm

See - this is just what I am trying to avoid or at the very least minimize - suggestions for a first timer please for the North Side??


My whole post was about the North Rim information!
Dawn
--On the loose to climb a mountain, on the loose where I am free. On the loose to live my life the way I think my life should be...For we only have a moment and a whole world yet to see...I'll be looking for tomorrow on the loose. ---unknown--

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nonot
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Re: General Canyon Questions

Post by nonot » Jul 15 2010 7:20 pm

writelots wrote: If you're not the type who spends 80% of your time on unused or non-existent trails, then it won't feel as bad to you as it might to those folks who avoid people like we all had the black plague.
Most Grand Canyon hikes are not on trails, they are on highways!

The "primitive" trails were better than 95% of Arizona trails!
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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switchflare
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Re: General Canyon Questions

Post by switchflare » Jul 15 2010 8:32 pm

I did rim to rim 6 years ago on your same planned weekend, May 14. I started at North rim and hiked to South rim. This is generally the first weekend the north rim is open to vehicles and I planned my hike with this in mind. As such, it is not as crowded on the north rim yet. South rim is always crowded. Nights are very chilly on the north rim in mid-May. I did my actual hike in shorts and t-shirt with a full 100 oz Camelbak. I refilled along the way. We also stopped by Ribbon Falls. It does get very hot and sunny down in the canyon, especially when you are in the lower half of the canyon. Very easy to suffer from heatstroke if you are not prepared. In any case, looks like fun!
If I'm not on vacation, I'm probably thinking about my next vacation. If I'm inside, I'm probably thinking about the outdoors.

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KwaiChang
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Re: General Canyon Questions

Post by KwaiChang » Jul 17 2010 6:11 am

Dschur wrote:
See - this is just what I am trying to avoid or at the very least minimize - suggestions for a first timer please for the North Side??


My whole post was about the North Rim information!
I know but my subsequent post was in response to AZHIKER about the disneyland aspect.....thanks for your info - and thanks to all who have posted so far - I am getting a nice mental image of what to expect.....

fine red dust with mule pee and poop mixed in, add in a lil foreigner 4,5 and 6 abreast and I will be ready to go postal with the rest of you guys!!! :sl:

Seriously though - thanks for all the info - any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!
Out of all the things I've lost I miss my mind the most.....

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KwaiChang
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Re: General Canyon Questions

Post by KwaiChang » Jul 17 2010 6:13 am

switchflare wrote:I did rim to rim 6 years ago on your same planned weekend, May 14. I started at North rim and hiked to South rim. This is generally the first weekend the north rim is open to vehicles and I planned my hike with this in mind. As such, it is not as crowded on the north rim yet. South rim is always crowded. Nights are very chilly on the north rim in mid-May. I did my actual hike in shorts and t-shirt with a full 100 oz Camelbak. I refilled along the way. We also stopped by Ribbon Falls. It does get very hot and sunny down in the canyon, especially when you are in the lower half of the canyon. Very easy to suffer from heatstroke if you are not prepared. In any case, looks like fun!
Cool - how long did the hike take you and how long did it go from chilly to warm when you left the North Rim? Thanks!!!
Out of all the things I've lost I miss my mind the most.....

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switchflare
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Re: General Canyon Questions

Post by switchflare » Jul 17 2010 8:07 am

We more or less jogged most of the way down the north rim and made pretty good time. We stopped at PR for a bit and then walked the rest of the way after PR. I tweaked my ankle a bit on the way back up, so we went slow after that. I want to say 10-11 hours total, though it was probably only 3-4 down to PR. Last few miles after Indian Gardens were somewhat painful for me due to the ankle. With no ankle issues, I probably could have done it in 9-10 hours. We did also go out to Plateau point.

It was a little more chilly that I'd like when we first started out, but I didn't want to carry the extra weight and bulk, so we left the jackets behind. Like I said we were basically trail running, so we warmed up pretty quick. No jackets at all on the north rim would have been miserable at night though. The wind gets blowing and it was cold enough even with our jackets on.
If I'm not on vacation, I'm probably thinking about my next vacation. If I'm inside, I'm probably thinking about the outdoors.

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KwaiChang
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Re: General Canyon Questions

Post by KwaiChang » Mar 12 2012 11:04 am

Wow - reading back on these posts crack me up at how naive I was!! Even tho things didn't go as planned it was still the time of my life. Looking forward to getting back and playing on those "off" trails to avoid the mule poo and pee! UGH!

Hope everyone is OK - sorry I dropped off the edge of the earth - you guys made the impossible possible and it was fun!!!
Out of all the things I've lost I miss my mind the most.....

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azbackpackr
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Re: General Canyon Questions

Post by azbackpackr » Mar 12 2012 11:20 am

Kwai Chang wrote:Wow - reading back on these posts crack me up at how naive I was!! Even tho things didn't go as planned it was still the time of my life. Looking forward to getting back and playing on those "off" trails to avoid the mule poo and pee! UGH!

Hope everyone is OK - sorry I dropped off the edge of the earth - you guys made the impossible possible and it was fun!!!
Hey, look everyone, HE'S BACK!!!!!!!!!!!
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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KwaiChang
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Re: General Canyon Questions

Post by KwaiChang » Mar 12 2012 11:26 am

Gee thanks Liz! :D

This time I promise no crazy questions about moving the sun, moon and stars to fit into my hiking plans!! My plans to do The Wave, a slot canyon and Angels landing were dealt a blow last week - otherwise - the crazy questions were on their way!!! ;)
Out of all the things I've lost I miss my mind the most.....

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azbackpackr
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Re: General Canyon Questions

Post by azbackpackr » Mar 12 2012 2:17 pm

Love your Forrest Gump quotation... :D
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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KwaiChang
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Re: General Canyon Questions

Post by KwaiChang » Mar 13 2012 5:54 am

Thanks Liz - after reading some of the stuff on here - it just seems so apropos!
Out of all the things I've lost I miss my mind the most.....

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autumnstars
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Re: General Canyon Questions

Post by autumnstars » Mar 17 2012 9:27 am

Well, the good (and bad) news is that once you get off the corridor trails, you'll be truly hooked for life. :D

Wonderful to hear that you were able to gain enough information to make your trip a success, even if everything didn't go exactly as planned. GC has a way of doing that, but the result is somehow better than what you even expected.
"Let it ride / Let it roll / Let it go"

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PatrickL
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Re: General Canyon Questions

Post by PatrickL » May 03 2012 6:56 pm

Can anyone comment on sleeping bags? Would a 40° bag cut it at Cottonwood CG in October if the weather wasn't totally helter skelter?

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azbackpackr
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Re: General Canyon Questions

Post by azbackpackr » May 03 2012 7:02 pm

Probably. Bring some long undies and a stocking cap, you should be okay, unless it's unusually cold, or unless you are one of those really cold sleepers. If you plan to sleep inside a tent, that adds considerably to the warmth.
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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Al_HikesAZ
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Re: General Canyon Questions

Post by Al_HikesAZ » May 03 2012 9:00 pm

I agree with LizBeth. A 90-98% probability that a 40degree bag will be adequate. If it does get a little colder, use her tips of the stocking cap and long undies. Putting on gloves and taking hot water bottles into your bag will take you even lower. I got down to 13degrees in a 45degree bag once (don't ask). It helps to have a pee bottle on really cold nights.

One thing it learned in Analytical Statistics 501 - 67% of all statistics are made up on the spot. ;)
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PatrickL
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Re: General Canyon Questions

Post by PatrickL » May 03 2012 9:33 pm

That'll work. :)
Now I just hope I can swing a permit!

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azbackpackr
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Re: General Canyon Questions

Post by azbackpackr » May 04 2012 3:54 am

Better get ready with that fax machine on June 1 for that particular permit. And if you really want to hike the Canyon, put in for some other trails as well. You will likely get a permit...for one of the other trails. If you only put in for the Corridor you may get nothing. If you don't own a fax machine, buy one now. (I have one I bought to get GC permits, but now I don't have a landline, so a former boss of mine does the fax for me early in the morning, and hers will redial automatically. A lot of times, though, you get an open line within 5 minutes. Also, you don't have to do it at midnight. That was false info. The BIC doesn't pay attention to what time it was faxed on June 1, just as long as they receive it on that date.)

Why they had to rename the BRO yet again is beyond me. I thought BRO was a perfect name and acronym, but then it became BCO. Now it's BIC.
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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