NOBO AZT Spring 2018 ~ Mid-March

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jeffmpls
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NOBO AZT Spring 2018 ~ Mid-March

Post by jeffmpls » Dec 16 2017 8:46 am

I'm planning to hike about 300-325 miles (to roughly passage 18 or 19) beginning March 14 or 15, is anyone else leaving NOBO about that time? I need to arrange transportation to the southern terminus, and wanted to see if other hikers wanted to carpool, or were looking for a hiking partner. I'll be leaving my car in Scottsdale, and likely taking a bus to Tucson; and from there finding a ride to the terminus.

My plan is for 15-20 miles per day, with 5 or 6 resupply points - Patatgonia, Colossal Cave, Summer Haven, Oracle, Kearney & Superior.

Another question for those that have hiked the southern passages in the spring, should I consider a 20 degree bag, or will my 30 degree bag be fine? I know there are early passages that reach elevations of 8000'-9,000', and much of it at 5000'-6000', so I'm curious what others have used.


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rcorfman
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Re: NOBO AZT Spring 2018 ~ Mid-March

Post by rcorfman » Dec 16 2017 1:18 pm

The desert can get cold at night. I think you would be more comfortable with your 20 degree bag.
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jeffmpls
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Re: NOBO AZT Spring 2018 ~ Mid-March

Post by jeffmpls » Dec 16 2017 5:37 pm

@rcorfman - Thank you, I will be going with the warmer bag.
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sandyfortner
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Re: NOBO AZT Spring 2018 ~ Mid-March

Post by sandyfortner » Dec 18 2017 6:42 pm

Jeff, You may want to post your car shuttle request on the "Arizona Trail Class of 2018" FB page.
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Re: NOBO AZT Spring 2018 ~ Mid-March

Post by jeffmpls » Dec 21 2017 6:42 am

@sandyfortner
Thank you Sandy, I'll do that.
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Re: NOBO AZT Spring 2018 ~ Mid-March

Post by AndrewAZ » Dec 22 2017 3:49 pm

I went NOBO in Spring 2013 and started on March 17. I had a 30-degree bag and a single-wall tent. The only two nights it was not warm enough was just above the Mogollon Rim (a flowing creek nearby froze overnight) and on the Kaibab Plateau (got chilled by wind and couldn't get warm). It was warm enough at Manning Camp when the horse trough had a layer of ice on it in the morning.

I also did resupplies at both Summerhaven and Oracle. It was unnecessary overkill. Both Kearny and Superior would probably also be excessive. If I were to do it again, I would just do Patagonia, La Posta Quemada/Colossal Cave, Oracle, and Superior.

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Re: NOBO AZT Spring 2018 ~ Mid-March

Post by ssthomas19 » Jan 11 2018 10:29 pm

My original plan was to start March 21st because that's when my hiking partner called off work but now she tentatively might not be able to go due to getting the time denied. I make my own schedule at work so my start date is very flexible.
I'm planning on doing the whole thing and don't really want to go solo. Also planning on averaging 15-20 mpd at least at first, probably more towards the second half of my trip. My resupply plans are Patagonia, Colossal Cave, Oracle, and Kearny. Then after that,(these wouldn't apply to your trip) Roosevelt Lake, Payson, Pine, Mormon Lake, Flagstaff, GCV, and Jacob Lake.
I'll be flying into Phoenix, then getting a ride from a friend or taking a bus, but keep me updated on your planning because I may be looking for a hiking partner/someone to split the cost for transportation with, as well.

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Re: NOBO AZT Spring 2018 ~ Mid-March

Post by FireFly » Jan 12 2018 3:35 am

@ssthomas19
I would skip Jacob Lake as resupply point. It's not worth the detour imo. Both GC North- and South Rim have very good resupply and from there it is not very far to the northern terminus. I also didn't bother with Mormon Lake. Pine to Flagstaff is fine without further resupply although it is a somewhat long stretch (but easy walking).

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Re: NOBO AZT Spring 2018 ~ Mid-March

Post by ssthomas19 » Jan 12 2018 12:41 pm

@FireFly
Wow, thanks for the info. It really helps getting feedback from people who've done the trail before. As far as between Pine and Flagstaff, I'll definitely be taking your advice.
The only thing I'm worried about is that I'll reach the North Rim before May 15th when all the facilities open. Also my dad is meeting me at the South Rim to do the rest with me and he gets nervous when he isn't near civilization for too long so I thought we'd get reservations at Jacob Lake and pick up the last few days of food while we're there.
Any more advice would be greatly appreciated.

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Re: NOBO AZT Spring 2018 ~ Mid-March

Post by sandyfortner » Jan 12 2018 5:16 pm

I'd go to Jacob Lake just for the cookies!!!
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Re: NOBO AZT Spring 2018 ~ Mid-March

Post by FireFly » Jan 13 2018 4:11 am

ssthomas19 wrote:
Jan 12 2018 12:41 pm
@FireFly
Wow, thanks for the info. It really helps getting feedback from people who've done the trail before. As far as between Pine and Flagstaff, I'll definitely be taking your advice.
The only thing I'm worried about is that I'll reach the North Rim before May 15th when all the facilities open. Also my dad is meeting me at the South Rim to do the rest with me and he gets nervous when he isn't near civilization for too long so I thought we'd get reservations at Jacob Lake and pick up the last few days of food while we're there.
Any more advice would be greatly appreciated.
Yes if you want to spend a night in civilization (or enjoy cookies like Sandy) Jacob Lake could be a sensible stop. Personally I liked to minimize my time off trail but everybody has their own ways of enjoying their thru-hike the most!

Jacob Lake also has (of course) reliable water so that is another advantage for you. I got my last water until Utah from a wildlife tank at mile 751.4. There may have been water beyond that but I wasn't sure so I got 10 liters at that point (still had 1-2 liters left when I reached Utah). This year will almost certainly be dryer than last year.

My resupply was at: Patagonia, Vail, Summerhaven, Apache Junction, Roosevelt Marina, Pine, Flagstaff, GC South Rim and GC North Rim. In most cases I resupplied using food ordered online from ZeroDayResupply.com which they sent to an address of my choice (usually a postoffice).

Patagonia is a great town! But I moved on after getting my resupply from the PO. Vail turned out not very convenient. It was difficult to hitch and I ended up hiking most of the way there and back. Summerhaven was great for me because you walk straight through and all I needed to do was pick up my package. Apache Juction was fantastic because Sandy has a great taste for beer and pizza :D.

Roosevelt Marina also worked out really well. I got my resupply package sent to the shop. I arrived there quite late but even after the shop closed the lady at the bar could still get my package, which enabled an early start the next (hot!) morning because I didn't have to wait for the shop to open. And Roosevelt Lake is great for a swim after you arrive! You can camp at the lake side.

Pine is nice too. Convenient, 2 miles walk from the trail. Many hikers spend a night there (I didn't). Then Flagstaff, my second of only two days/nights in towns. I stayed with trailangels Tim and Melody who totally spoilt me. I kept craving their self-baked applepie for the rest of my thru-hike!

When I reached Grand Canyon I had lots of time to kill (time reserved for emergencies that I didn't need) so I spent 3 days at South Rim, 2 days inside the canyon and 2 days at North Rim. Both North and South Rim have a very good shop. On North Rim I experienced the coldest night of the entire thru-hike: there was a storm with snow and hail and in the morning I measured 24F/-4.5C next to my tent - that was on May 18th!

As you mentioned yourself the North Rim campground normally opens on May 15th (and could be postponed if there is a lot of snow). So I planned to arrive there after May 15th. But if you arrive there before that date you could easily resupply at South Rim and make it to Jacob Lake or even Utah. But you have to walk more after your climb to camp outside the park boundaries or perhaps you can even beforehand fix a camping permit for a spot inside the park at the Ranger Office at South Rim.

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Re: NOBO AZT Spring 2018 ~ Mid-March

Post by PaulWall » Jan 16 2018 10:05 pm

@FireFly
Thanks for the detailed post! It helped with my resupply planning. My only concern is arriving before May 15th, do I have to get a permit or do I just go on through the trail. I need to do more research on that, I'm a bit confused.

Thanks!

Paul

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Re: NOBO AZT Spring 2018 ~ Mid-March

Post by PaulWall » Jan 16 2018 10:19 pm

@ssthomas19
ssthomas19 wrote:My original plan was to start March 21st because that's when my hiking partner called off work but now she tentatively might not be able to go due to getting the time denied. I make my own schedule at work so my start date is very flexible.
I'm planning on doing the whole thing and don't really want to go solo. Also planning on averaging 15-20 mpd at least at first, probably more towards the second half of my trip. My resupply plans are Patagonia, Colossal Cave, Oracle, and Kearny. Then after that,(these wouldn't apply to your trip) Roosevelt Lake, Payson, Pine, Mormon Lake, Flagstaff, GCV, and Jacob Lake.
I'll be flying into Phoenix, then getting a ride from a friend or taking a bus, but keep me updated on your planning because I may be looking for a hiking partner/someone to split the cost for transportation with, as well.
I'm leaving mid March as well, not an exact date yet. I live in phoenix and my Parents live in Tucson, I was planning on them or a friend driving me out to passage one. You're more than welcome to hitch a ride with us. I wouldn't mind having a hiking partner as well, Ill be moving around 20 MPD or more. Message me if you're interested!

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Re: NOBO AZT Spring 2018 ~ Mid-March

Post by FireFly » Jan 17 2018 2:01 am

PaulWall wrote:
Jan 16 2018 10:05 pm
@FireFly
Thanks for the detailed post! It helped with my resupply planning. My only concern is arriving before May 15th, do I have to get a permit or do I just go on through the trail. I need to do more research on that, I'm a bit confused.

Thanks!

Paul
If you arrive at North Rim before May 15th the campsite and shop there will be closed. But you can continue hiking and camp outside the park boundaries. Alternatively, you could try to arrange (at South Rim ranger office) a permit to camp inside the park at North Rim. There are a few spots where they allow camping with permit but they may be (far?) off the trail (but I was told some of them are very scenic).

I wonder if they would allow you to simply camp at the North Rim campsite even when it is still officially closed. Only problem is that the facilities will be closed (no toilets or running water, no garbage collection, etc) but you can dry-camp and just carry your water from the trail. I would like permission in writing though, because fines for illegal camping are steep.

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Re: NOBO AZT Spring 2018 ~ Mid-March

Post by chumley » Jan 17 2018 8:06 am

FireFly wrote:fines for illegal camping are steep.
How much are the fines?
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Re: NOBO AZT Spring 2018 ~ Mid-March

Post by hikeaz » Jan 17 2018 2:30 pm

Winter Camping on the North Rim ?
During the winter months (between November 1 and May 15) backpackers, snowshoers, and cross-country skiers are permitted to use the North Rim Campground's group campsite, provided a backcountry use permit has been obtained in advance. – These permits are available through the South Rim Backcountry Information Center (grca_bic@nps.gov or 928-638-7875,) and at the Visitor Center at Pipe Spring National Monument located in Fredonia, Arizona.
I would estimate 1.2 mi. +/- from the NK T/H to the campground. The southern-most area of the group campsite has awesome canyon views (wind permitting).
https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/cg-nr.htm
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Re: NOBO AZT Spring 2018 ~ Mid-March

Post by sam_hikes » Jan 17 2018 6:04 pm

Like already suggested I would contact NPS at GC via Backcountry Information Center (grca_bic@nps.gov or 928-638-7875 ) as North Rim is staffed 24x7 even in the winter so you should be able to find at least an water faucet. I would not be surprised to find staff still traveling the closed hwy today as with limited snowfall travel by their usual method of snowmobile becomes problematic. I have heard of the road being plowed by ADOT to allow staff to travel when snowfall is limited as they've found it easier to periodically plow the road especially during drought years instead of having to bust open the road come April. Note: Don't expect to legally drive the closed highway or enter the park via a motor vehicle before May 15 as the highway is gated and the park is gated--only staff is legally allowed to travel the highway even when the road bone dry.

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Re: NOBO AZT Spring 2018 ~ Mid-March

Post by oldmanonthetrail » Jan 20 2018 5:16 pm

I.m arriving at Sky Harbor March 6th 2018 for a northbound thru hike .I'm renting a small pick up and shopping in Phoenix most of the day and heading down to Sierra Vista in the afternoon and getting the earliest shuttle I can to the terminus on the 7th. I have room for 1 or 2. Can always change for a bigger vehicle if need be. If anyone is interested please message me .
Cheers and Happy Hiking
Dave

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Re: NOBO AZT Spring 2018 ~ Mid-March

Post by ssthomas19 » Jan 20 2018 5:22 pm

@FireFly
Wow, definitely lots of useful information here. I haven't even heard of Apache Junction/maybe I heard it called something else, but I too have a taste for pizza and beer after a long day of hiking so I'll have to check it out. As of now I only have two nights planned in town as well(reservations in Oracle at the Chalet Village Motel which seems to be a favorite, and at the GC Hostel in Flagstaff). Not sure if I'm going to take any zeros as I prefer NEARo's, but I'm sure I'll change my mind after I get a couple hundred miles behind me.
I just sent in a request for a backcountry permit during the times I plan to be in GCNP excluding the first night at Mather. This didn't surprise me at all, but all of the corridor campgrounds are already full for late April, so I had to settle for one of the threshold use areas, but I included a night on the North Rim in my request so hopefully they'll honor it.
Thanks again for all the help.

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Re: NOBO AZT Spring 2018 ~ Mid-March

Post by ssthomas19 » Jan 20 2018 5:24 pm

@PaulWall
Will definitely be messaging you. Just saw this today.

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