Grand Canyon hike

Apr 1st, 2007, 05:26 AM
  #1  
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Grand Canyon hike

I finaly decided,that I want to hike down to GC in the middle of May.One day down and one day up.Can somebody tell me how can I make Phantom ranch food reservation and campground reservation? Thank you.
jilkovina is offline  
Apr 1st, 2007, 08:18 AM
  #2  
TheWeasel
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Refer to my post on this thread:
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...1&tid=34971352

You're seriously late to this, and I highly doubt you'd be able to get a reservation at Phantom Ranch or a permit for Bright Angel campground. There are a few permits set aside for Bright Angel for people who aren't able to get a permit through the usual reservation process, but you'd need to be at the backcountry office when it opens and hope there's something available. Problem with this is that they don't open until 8am, and you should really be on the trail before then to avoid the heat.

Refer to the official NPS website for details: http://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisi...try-permit.htm
 
Apr 1st, 2007, 04:56 PM
  #3  
Ag3046
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It is an extremely strenuous hike and will be blastingly hot in May. Not advised. Try posting this on the LonelyPlanet Thorn Tree USA posting board, as there are several people who currently, or recently have worked at Grand Canyon.
 
Apr 2nd, 2007, 07:39 AM
  #4  
 
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We too am planning a trip (May in one year)to hike to the bottom of the canyon and stay at Bright Angel Campground.

I had not realized that May would be so hot. Would early May be all right? Or is late April a better choice.

I had chosen May, because I wanted there to be less chance of a snowstorm at the top of the trail.

All advice would be appreciated!
caligirl56 is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2007, 08:23 AM
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jilkovina---TAccording to the park service website, there is about one space left at the campground during May:

"May: CBG is 99.93% full, CIG is 99.66% full, CCG (Cottonwood Campground) is 100% full (11th-31st)."

I don't know how you figure out when the vacancy is; may fax a rreservations request for any open date in May.

Or, you might try calling for a dorm space at Phantom Ranch. They get cancellations, and if you call at the right time you can pick one up. I was able to book ten dinners for next week that way---one at a time as the cancellations came in. App[arently a lot of people make the plans a year in advance, then cancel at the thirty-day mark. So keep trying.



caligirl---April should be fine; that is probably why it is one of the most popular months. We did it last year and are going again this year (and as you know I'm trying to get Phantom Ranch reservations for next year---not easy! Thanks for topping the thread.) I checked the temperatures this week---the South Rim is around 57 to 62 at the warmest part of the day, down to freezing at night. Temperature at the bottom is around 90 at mid-day. Wehnver you go, avoid the heat by getting an early start on the hike, particularly the uphill one.

If you want to go in May, check the average temperature information available on the park service website.
enzian is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2007, 09:27 AM
  #6  
TheWeasel
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Caligirl - I don't think May would be "blastingly" hot as the average temp at the bottom is 92. Check the NPS website for the montly ave temps at S. rim and the inner canyon: http://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisi...-condition.htm

Snow is a possibility at the S. Rim but I wouldn't push your hike back just because of that. Even if there would be snow up there, once you get a little ways down into the canyon it warms up and the snow disappears. If the trail is icy you can always rent crampons for the upper portion.
 
Apr 2nd, 2007, 10:05 AM
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I did this hike two years ago with the Green Tortoise, but we didn't stay at the Phantom Ranch, we camped. It was so hot we couldn't sleep. We swam in the river which was too cold and the air temperature was 117. At least you will have comfortable facilities at the FR so you can sleep. If it is really hot, start hiking back at sunrise so you will get to the top by 11:00 a.m.
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Apr 2nd, 2007, 10:24 AM
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wally34949---that information is only meaningful if you say what time of year you did this---it sounds like mid-summer, which is totally different from hiking in the spring or fall.
enzian is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2007, 03:01 PM
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I guess we just will walk down in one day.Start early and go where we feel comfortable than turn around and go back.What time would you recommend to leave in the morning and how far we should go to enjoy Grand Canyon and not to rush?
jilkovina is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2007, 03:26 PM
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Before giving advice, you will need to give us a little more information. How old are you. Where do you live? Have you been hiking at high altitude before? Do you often take hikes that have great changes in altitude?

I'm 55, live at about 1500 ft altitude in a relatively flat area so my hiking is on the level. I have spent time at higher altitude and tend to walk 6 to 8 miles a day or more. I found that an hour down and an hour back up on the South Kaibab trail was fine, but I got sore muscles in my lower legs. Had we had time in our schedule, I would have walked twice as far, but others in our group would not have enjoyed or maybe not even made it.

If you are young, live at 10,000 ft, hike 10 to 15 miles a day in rough terrain, you can walk quite aways down and back in a day. Each year older takes a toll on the body though and where you could hike last year may be a bit strenuous this year.
rm_mn is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2007, 03:34 PM
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It may seem a small consolation when your heart was set on hiking all the way to the river, but by hiking only part way you will be going where 90 percent of the visitors to the Grand Canyon never venture. You will look back on this in the future with pride. Take lots of pictures, do plenty of bragging to your friends, and enjoy what you have. Make plans for a future trip when you can get a permit and hike all the way down, maybe even rim-to-rim.
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Apr 2nd, 2007, 04:21 PM
  #12  
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I am 39 my husband 45 and my dad 62 all in great shape.We are originaly from Europe.Now live at Florida.My dad lives at Europe.Yesterday came from skialpinist trip from France.There is still snow and they are still skiing there.So after readindg several post I even think,we could do it all the way down if we start early.But we will play that by ear.
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Apr 2nd, 2007, 04:55 PM
  #13  
TheWeasel
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The thing you have to realize is the Grand Canyon is very different from hiking in the mountains. In the mountains, the hardest part of the hike is the uphill portion which almost always is first, when you're not tired. In the Grand Canyon, the hardest part is also the uphill portion, but that comes after the downhill, so you're already tired and don't realize how difficult the return trip will be. Imagine the hikes you've done in the mountains upside down - start at the summit and go down, and then hike back up to the summit. That is the Grand Canyon.

The standard advice is to allow yourself twice as much to hike out of the canyon as it did to hike down. So keep that in mind when you're out there. It's relatively easy to get to the river and that gets people in trouble. They keep walking because they aren't real tired yet, and the river is getting closer and closer. It isn't until they turn uphill that they realize their mistake and then it's too late. They're tired and looking at a 7 mile hike with 4000+ feet of elevation gain in the hot sun.

Set a time limit for yourself on your hike, and when you've reached 1/3 of that time limit turn around and head back up. It's best to start before sunrise in the summer to avoid as much of the mid-day heat as possible.

A good, but very strenuous alternative to hiking all the way to the river would be to hike down Bright Angel to Indian Gardens, and then hike to Plateau Point if the hike is going well. It is 4.5 miles to Indian Gardens and almost 3000 feet of elevation loss. The hike to Plateau Point is 1.5 miles one-way and nearly level, so no total elevation gain or loss.

At Plateau Point you can see the river, but you are about 1500 feet above it. It is a tremendous view. The great thing about this hike is that there's water at 3 locations along the way (1.5 mile resthouse, 3 mile resthouse and Indian Gardens), and Indian Gardens is a nice shady spot to rest and have lunch. The hike to Plateau Point would still allow you to see the river without hiking all the way down to it.
 
Apr 2nd, 2007, 08:14 PM
  #14  
 
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jilkovina--don't give up on spending a night in the canyon yet. Keep calling Phantom Ranch---every few days. You may very well be able to get a cancellation (or three spots, which you need, I think).

If not, the Indian Garden hike described by TheWeasel is very nice, and would get you a long way down into the canyon with time to return to the top.
enzian is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2007, 06:21 AM
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Very, very few people make it down and back in one day. Plus, many places the trail is narrow with big dropoff. You do not want to be there in the dark. Good luck but better...good caution.
Elainee is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2007, 08:52 AM
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I wouldn't advise trying to hike all the way down to the river and back in one day unless you have been in training for that kind of hike for months. People who try it and fail face a pretty stiff penalty. The rangers really don't like trying to rescue someone from that kind of hike.

rm_mn is offline  
Apr 5th, 2007, 07:44 AM
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Seven members of our group hiked down last Friday, camped and returned on Saturday. You should order the weather we had---picture postcard perfect. It was a great experience for all the hikers--all in their 50's. I hope to write a trip report as soon as I get through work and Easter.

p.s. I was one of the wimps who did not hike to the bottom, but had a great time hiking on the rim.
LindainOhio is offline  

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