Questions AZT ThruHike NoBo March-April 2022

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Magna
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Questions AZT ThruHike NoBo March-April 2022

Post by Magna »

Hello eyeryone,

my husband and i are from germany and are plan to thruhike the arizona trail from the beginning of march until the end of april in 2022. I am already member of the ATA and downloaded the informations about the trail but there are still some questions. We plan 8 weeks with start around 1st march because we have to get back to work in germany in may.

1.) What night temperatures should we expect - the lowest & and the most nights ?
2.) How do i get the permits for camping in the grand canyon nationalpark and saguaro nationalpark? We already have the annual pass for the USA nationalparks (if this is important).
3.) Do we need snow spikes for the passages with high elevation or is it possible to cross them without? We are used to hike in snowy conditions because we live in the german part of the alps.

Please excuse my english mistakes.

Many thanks and best regards
Magna
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Re: Questions AZT ThruHike NoBo March-April 2022

Post by xsproutx »

@Magna
Welcome; you may also want to joing the AZT Class of 22 facebook group.

1. The lows can vary greatly, with the potential of -8 C in the areas North of the Mogollon Rim in March but the more expected range would be -4 to 2. You can use this site to look at historical numbers: https://www.wunderground.com/calendar/u ... ate/2020-3

2. The annual pass doesn't cover the backcountry permit needed for camping in the Grand Canyon. As the date you'll arrive may be fluid, people usually work on getting a pass a couple of days before arriving to the GC; the rangers are great at working with thru hikers and should be able to accommodate you. Saguaro is a similar situation and it's far enough South that it's doubtful you'll know exactly which day you'll get there too far ahead. Think a week or two ahead vs long term. Not rare for people to just hike through this section in a day; also not uncommon to share spots with other thru hikers

3. Doubtful you'll need spikes. There are certainly some sections that, under the right/wrong conditions (depending on how you look at it), they would be nice but those spots are few and there's always a good chance they won't have ice/snow anyway. The weather people are saying it's likely to be a pretty dry winter for us, as well. I'd leave them home to save the weight or at least look at the forecast before coming to see if we've had some freak weather.
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Re: Questions AZT ThruHike NoBo March-April 2022

Post by joebartels »

Magna wrote:What night temperatures should we expect - the lowest & and the most nights
[ FAQ: Historical Weather ] for the curious
- joe
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Re: Questions AZT ThruHike NoBo March-April 2022

Post by Magna »

Thank you very much for the answers!

So my Western Mountaineering Apache should work fine.

I found out that i can obtain the camping permit for the saguaro nationalpark with the "Recreation.gov" App. More important is the permit for the Grand Canyon. Their website says that it is pretty challenging to get a permit because often it' s sold out and you habe to request for it in person or by mail (not email). But it also says that it is possible to get a permit for one night at the stock sites Bright Angel Campground or Cottonwood Campground. Whats the normal way for AZT-Thruhikers to get the permit? Should i mail the request form a week before arriving or should i request a permit in person at the information center in the Grand Canyon Village?

Best regards
Magna
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Re: Questions AZT ThruHike NoBo March-April 2022

Post by hikeaz »

The Back-country Office on the S. Rim is the place to go. Phone is 928 638 7875, but in-person is best (who can resist a hiker-in-need.)
Here are some options other than B.A. camp and Cottonwood:
Camp at Horn Creek - 1.5 miles west of Indian Garden (accessed via Bright Angel Trail) on the Tonto Trail. (water at camp)
Camp in the Clear Creek use area - 2.5/3 miles east of Phantom Ranch - Clear Creek Trail (water AND BEER! at Phantom)
Camp in Cremation Canyon - 1.5 miles east of the South Kaibab Trail (Tonto Trail) (unless potholes in the western arm, no water)
The Backcountry ranger may think of some other options too.

Persistence pays off when trying to get cooked meals or indoor lodging at P.R (not cheap).. Within a day or two use the transportation desk at Bright Angel Lodge Lobby 928 638 2631
"The censorship method ... is that of handing the job over to some frail and erring mortal man, and making him omnipotent on the assumption that his official status will make him infallible and omniscient."
GEORGE BERNARD SHAW
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Re: Questions AZT ThruHike NoBo March-April 2022

Post by xsproutx »

Starting to email a week in advance would be fine and they should be able to figure out something for you; they take care of thru hikers. I've only ever heard of people having to take one zero/nero before getting a permit and even that is pretty rare. As you've read, they'll just put you up stock sites as worst case scenario.
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