Few GC Questions!

South Rim Hikes

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Borknagar
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Few GC Questions!

Post by Borknagar » Jun 08 2012 4:40 pm

How's it going! My brother and I are going to the grand canyon this June 18th. I am very excited because the 19th is supposed to be a new moon meaning the stars should be even more magnificent than usual!
Our current plan is to start at the South rim, take Bright angel down and then head up to the North rim via the Kaibab trail (unless we end up getting a permit to camp on the bottom :). Camp at the rim and then head back the next day.
I have a few questions;
What are the chances of getting a walk up permit? Not expecting to get one but it would be awesome to camp on the bottom of the canyon!
Here is a list of what I am bringing, should I bring more? (Hammock; instead of a tent, sleeping bag, 1st aid/survival kit, 100 oz camelback, 20 oz additional water bottle, 20 oz electrolyte drink, knife, flash lite/ headlamp, water purifier, miniature stove, food). I feel like I have enough stuff but it would be nice to hear from a more experienced hiker.
Any comments, suggestions, tips or anything would be appreciated. I am really excited about this and I hope everything goes well!

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azbackpackr
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Re: Few GC Questions!

Post by azbackpackr » Jun 08 2012 4:57 pm

You do know it is likely to be 110 to 115 degrees down in there? You need to be hiking with at least a gallon of water per person. Walkup permit, who knows? If you are sleeping at the bottom at Bright Angel Campground, you won't need a sleeping bag, just a sheet to put over yourself. I guess there are probably enough trees at that campground for a hammock, but I wouldn't count on it.

You need to check and see if N. Kaibab trail has reopened. It was closed due to a washout, last I heard. You can walk up it from the bottom but not all the way to the top, if it is still closed.

Why not go somewhere pleasant, such as the White Mountains or Flagstaff or the top of Mt. Lemmon? Why put yourself through all that heat?
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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azbackpackr
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Re: Few GC Questions!

Post by azbackpackr » Jun 08 2012 6:00 pm

Check out these areas for great summer backpacking, and do your Canyon trips in the fall, winter and spring:

Black River: http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=326
Mount Baldy: http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=531
Ash Creek: http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=271
Wilderness of Rocks: http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=244
Cabin Loop: http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=797

Course, what do I know? I have only hiked about 400 miles of mostly all different trails and routes in the Canyon, trying to not do a lot of repeats. I'm not an expert, not like a friend of mine who has done over 100 backpacking trips in the Canyon, mostly all OFF-trail. Did he go in summer? Never! June is almost always the hottest month. I think you should reconsider, given your apparent lack of experience, and go somewhere that has a safe temperature.
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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autumnstars
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Re: Few GC Questions!

Post by autumnstars » Jun 09 2012 6:25 pm

It is sometimes possible to get a walk-up permit, even at the very popular sites such as Bright Angel. They save some spots for walk-up permits and other people with permits do cancel out when they realize how overwhelmingly hot it's going to be. It's worth a try, but don't count on it.
If you do get the permit, start as early as you possibly can in the morning, so you reach the shade (and cold water) of Bright Angel Creek before it gets too hot. Aiming to arrive by 10am at the latest will make for the most enjoyable hike. Same for the hike up to the North Rim - start as early as possible.
If you can't get the permit to camp, hiking it at night might be a good way to go at that time of year.
"Let it ride / Let it roll / Let it go"

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azbackpackr
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Re: Few GC Questions!

Post by azbackpackr » Jun 10 2012 1:52 pm

NK Trail closure has been lifted.
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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Borknagar
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Re: Few GC Questions!

Post by Borknagar » Jun 11 2012 8:13 am

Thank you for the replies!
@azbackbackr- The heat really doesn't bother me. I have done several 5-8 hour hikes within the valley mid day in 100+ degree weather. I do appreciate the alternative trails you posted but I think we are set on the grand canyon.

Yeah, we do plan on getting a very early start, before the sun comes up we'll be on the trail!

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hikeaz
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Re: Few GC Questions!

Post by hikeaz » Jun 11 2012 9:57 am

I'd say that your chances are 'decent' to get a walk up permit for Phantom (Bright Angel camp) - if you can be flexible (ie. wait a day or 2) once at the Rim your chances will increase to near 100%.
Also check with the transportation desk in BA Lodge for dorm spaces @ Phantom - you could even check with Xanterra from time-to-time before your trip to see about an opening in the dorms.
A 23 mile day with a backpack will make for a pretty full day in anyone's book, but I always admonish the 'rim-to_rim'ers'... 'Why rush through the place?
You would enjoy it more if you took an additional day or two.
Another option would be to see if you could get a back-country permit for Clear Creek (AK9) and head out there to camp - - you would not go all the way out to Clear Creek per se, but rather merely to the west end of the 'zone' so as to be 'legal' - I think that the west boundary is Sumner Wash or nearby -- a distance of about 2 miles from Phantom. No trees for hammocking @ Sumner or anywhere nearby.
BTW - most of the rangers or L.E.-types are real finicky about using trees for hanging anything - even a shirt or socks - so hammocks have limited value in the Canyon; at least in the backcountry.
kurt

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outdoor_lover
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Re: Few GC Questions!

Post by outdoor_lover » Jun 11 2012 10:51 am

hikeaz wrote: 'Why rush through the place?
: app :
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty & well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming, "Wow What a Ride!"

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