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Utah Flats Route
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mini location map2020-01-01
19 by photographer avatarbretinthewild
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Utah Flats RouteNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Backpack25.00 Miles
Backpack25.00 Miles5 Days         
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1st trip
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Annual winter trip to Grand Canyon in the books. This time we brought some new people and took the Utah Flats route over from Bright Angel to Phantom Creek, which was a first for me.

Day 1: 1/1. South Kaibab down to Bright Angel Camp. Overcast skies all day. Some snow and ice at the top but took off microspikes earlier than expected. Rained hard for a few minutes overnight without notice.

Day 2: 1/2. Day off at the bottom. I'm increasingly in favor of this strategy. We played board and card games at Phantom Ranch, hung out at the beach, saw a ranger talk and had the beef stew meal. Delicious and relaxing.

Day 3: 1/3. Hike over to Phantom Creek via Utah Flats Route. Big climb to get out of Bright Angel Canyon. The whole thing took us a lot longer than expected, despite the short mileage. Made camp at the first site as the trail drops to the creek. Enjoyed some time at the bend of the creek where the fun must begin for canyoneers.

Day 4: 1/4. Big day out of Phantom Canyon, back to Bright Angel Trail and up to Indian Garden. Felt really good on the section between the river and IG, probably because I knew I didn't have to go all the way out! Spent a cold but restful night at IG.

Day 5: 1/5. Hike out via Bright Angel from Indian Garden. Not very busy but did see many people without spikes on at the upper parts, including one guy in a Miami Dolphins sweatshirt who ate it hard on his butt twice. Quick snack at Bright Angel Lodge bar and coffee at Macy's in Flag on the way home to Phoenix.

Great trip -- I continue to enjoy the canyon in the winter months with low foot traffic and easy-to-get permits.

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