5-6 days in the Grand Canyon

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AndrewAZ
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5-6 days in the Grand Canyon

Post by AndrewAZ » Oct 10 2018 9:07 am

I'm looking for ideas for 5-6 days in the Grand Canyon in April. My hiking partner and I have plenty of overall hiking experience (AZT, Colorado Trail, High Sierra incl. Whitney, Highline through the Wind Rivers), but haven't done much in the Canyon. Two possibilities seem to keep coming up:

1. Going down Tanner, going all the way to the Little Colorado, coming back, and then taking the Escalante route back to go up at Grandview. I see that the Sierra Club uses this as a guided hike, so I assume it can't be too difficult. The parking/shuttle to drop down at Lipan and come up at Grandview is a consideration, as is the wall & rockslide at Papago. Also not as sure about water.

2. Going down at Grandview, taking the Tonto all the way to Hermit, and then coming up Hermit. With 5 days, this would be ~10 miles per day and would have several opportunities to go all the way down to the river as day hikes. Water doesn't look too difficult. Leaving a vehicle in the park and getting a ride to Grandview would be easier to arrange than Grandview and Lipan, I think.

Any thoughts on those two? Other ideas I should consider? The permit application period for camping is coming up, so I need to figure this out by November.

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chumley
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Re: 5-6 days in the Grand Canyon

Post by chumley » Oct 10 2018 9:29 am

AndrewAZ wrote:I assume it can't be too difficult
I wouldn't make too many assumptions if you haven't done much in the canyon!

Your #2 option would be my recommendation, but note that due to its proximity to the corridor the whole stretch between Cremation and Hermit limits camping to specific sites and therefore gaining permits for the site you want on the night you want can be challenging. See [ Grand Canyon Backcountry Use Areas :: map ]

You may also consider "the gems" (see here: [ photoset ] )
The main issue is the availability of water, but that's often an issue when backpacking in the canyon.

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nonot
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Re: 5-6 days in the Grand Canyon

Post by nonot » Oct 10 2018 6:58 pm

@AndrewAZ
Tanner to Grandview would be a nice 6 day trip. This is more remote and you will see less people. Because you must filter directly from the Colorado river, make sure your water filter is field cleanable or else take a spare if you do this option.

Grandview to Hermit will involve more people and is also a nice trip. You will see more people and may have a tough time getting a permit for Indian Gardens so apply early.

If you have two off-road capable vehicles, you could probably do Bright Angle to South Bass, but the Gems are remote and water can be tough to come by in April if it was a dry winter. You also need to arrange a substantial shuttle possibly having to pay the Havasupai tax twice.

I would recommend sticking to existing trails for your first time in the canyon. While there is a lot to do off trail you would want more experience before attempting most of them.
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Hippy
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Re: 5-6 days in the Grand Canyon

Post by Hippy » Oct 18 2018 11:25 am

Grand Canyon is not made of trails.
And as my friends above stated don't assume too much.

Tanner to LCR and back via Beamer is a fun trip but monotonous if you have to day hike Beamer both ways in one day. Don't do that if possible, there is so much beauty out there camp due south of the confluence of at the first legal site, we camped just above Lava-Chuar Rapid ourselves but we were coming from the North (which involves a lot more effortand planning so don't ask)

As nonot said Tanner-Grandview would be your best bet. Less touristy people, more actual backpackers and you'll probably see river runners who will give you beer. Living along the Colorado River is always fun. Water isn't so bad I carried 4 literally every day and we were well versed in river access points.

The gems are beautiful but again require a bit of extra planning and knowledge of the area. And water could be an issue out there. In fact *I* still haven't gotten to do the entire Gems route due to having so many brutally dry winter's lately.

An additional option would be Clear Creek and the Corridor which isn't all that busy in early April due to snow on the north rim so less Rim to Rimmers.

I too highly recommend sticking to trails for your first few trips. They are a great way to learn the intimate details of the canyon which are required for further offtrail exploration.
Shoot for Tanner to LCR or Tanner-GV those would be fun and you could Always hike out at Hance too.
Hance Rapid has one of the best beach camps that side of the river!

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AndrewAZ
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Re: 5-6 days in the Grand Canyon

Post by AndrewAZ » Dec 07 2018 11:15 am

Thanks for the advice, everyone. I ended up requesting Grandview to Hermit (or vice versa) on the Tonto with flexible dates, camping locations, etc. It got denied yesterday, so I guess a new April hike will have to be devised.

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