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Dividing time in Grand Canyon

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Hi, we are planning a trip to Grand Canyon in August. I have been to North Rim, but in late fall when trails were already closed. None of us (husband and son) have been to South or west Rim. We are interested in hiking but I am NOT interested in camping.

We have heard great things about Havasu falls. If we do the Havasu hike, would we be missing out if we do not hike down into the Canyon from the South or north rims? I am thinking we could drive to scenic overlooks and maybe hike down a mile or so on Bright Angel or Kaibab. With the time left over, we could go to Zion and/or Bryce.

The initial thought was to spend a week just at Grand Canyon, but after reading all the dire warnings about the heat, I am thinking maybe our hikes down into the canyon should be limited.

We are experienced hikers and have time to prepare including hiking with packs to carry our GALLONS of water! (although not quite for the heat I guess).

I guess as another option, we could hike down to Phantom Ranch and do the helicopters to Havasu. I am an animal lover and anticipate the mules or pack horses would just make me sad, although I have not seen anything indicating they are mistreated.

Also, any recent experience with staying at the lodge/dorm in Havasu Canyon, or at phantom ranch if we went that route?

Lots of questions here but any advice appreciated. I have seen a couple of great trip reports on Kaibab and Bright Angel but nothing recent on Havasu.


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