ssthomas19 wrote: ↑
Jan 12 2018 12:41 pm
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
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.