itinerary review for trip to the southwest

Old Apr 11th, 2006, 06:27 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 51
itinerary review for trip to the southwest

I plan on doing a lot of hiking on this trip and have been trying to workout in preperation of this trip. however, the first hike i went on this year in georgia which had a 1750 foot gain in 2.2 miles, which i figured would simulate going up and down in the grand canyon. well i did the hike fine, but for the next week i could barely walk as some fluid seemed to build up in my left knee. So I'm definitely looking for some advice on non hiking activities in the areas i'm going to in case this happens on my trip. Any other advice would also be appreciated!


Day 1: Atlanta to Rayville, LA 477 miles

Day 2: Rayville, LA to Abilene, TX 487 miles

Day 3: Abilene, TX to Carlsbad, NM 291 miles
Guided Tour of Kings Palace in the afternoon
Self Guided tour of the Big Room if time

Day 4: Hike at Guadalupe Mountain National Park in the morning
Drive on to El Paso in the late afternoon

Day 5: Visit White Sands National Monument in the morning
Stop at a winery along I 10 possibly
Drive to Wilcox, AZ in the late afternoon

Day 6: Hike at Chiricahua in the morning
Drive to Tuscon
Go to a night viewing at Kitt Peak National Observatory

Day 7: Go to Sonora Desert Museum in the morning
Drive to Cottonwood, AZ in the afternoon

Day 8-9: Hike in the Cocino National Forest (potential hikes include Boynton Canyon trail, Devils Bridge, Lost Canyon, Deer Hill, Inner Basin Trail #29), visit montezuma castle and well.

Day 10: Drive to Williams, AZ
Grand Canyon: Hike 2-3 miles down on the Bright Angel Trail in the afternoon.

Day 11: Grand Canyon: Hike 2-3 miles down on the South Kaibab Trail

Day 12: Leave Williams hike at the Petrified Forrest....start heading back to Atlanta.

I was thinking about stopping off at either canyon de chelly, bandelier, chaco, or el malpais on the way home. not interested in a guided tour at the canyon de chelly thats why i'm leaning towards one of the other 3 choices. At this point I can add on a few days if necessary.

the_dude07 is offline  
Old Apr 11th, 2006, 09:52 AM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 137
Hi...I live in Atlanta now but lived in Arizona for a few years before I came here. Curious as to what hike you did in GA to prepare? I am assuming you did Brasstown Bald but not sure which approach you took. I've done extensive hiking in the Grand Canyon. I can tell you that there isn't really a hike in GA that will prepare you for your reverse hike out of GC. Heat, and constant grade as compared to the many breathers you get on GA trails.

If you do go inside the canyon though, it is well worth it, just pay attention to what your body is telling you and remember as you are going in...that the hard part hasn't happened yet! Bright Angel Trail is all switchbacks with plenty of water sources along the way. South Kaibab Trail is steeper/quicker to bottom with no water sources from what I remember?

For non-hikes...consider looking up some swimming holes in Sedona there are many to choose from with ropes and some cliff diving and a lot of fun on a warm day. Slide Rock is a popular one but can get crowded. If you can't hike into the canyon consider a mule instead or a copter ride over the canyon.

While in southern AZ check out Kartchner Caverns but make reservations if you are planning on it. You may also want to take a drive up Mt. Lemmon which is beautiful, with a lot of great hikes if you want.
rmeyer is offline  
Old Apr 11th, 2006, 03:28 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Between Canyon de chelly, Bandelier, Chaco, or El Malpais my first choice would be Chaco. That place is amazing!

Second choice would be Canyon de Chelly. You don't have to take a guide tour to see this park. Drive along the south rim and enjoy the different scenic overlooks. You can hike down to White House Ruins on your own.

utahtea is offline  
Old Apr 11th, 2006, 05:39 PM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 653
I have never been to Chaco but would love to.
Canyon de Chelly is amazing. I did the drive the first day and then went down in the Canyon with a guide and a four wheel drive and that was awesome as well.
Have driven many time through El Malapais. It is a pretty cool place. I have never gotten off and done any hikes or anything but the scenery is pretty amazing but definitely nothing compared to Chelly or Chaco.
The White Mountains of AZ are an undiscovered breathtaking area that you could look at exploring and can be easily reached from PF on your way to EM if you were to do that route.
odie1 is offline  
Old Apr 12th, 2006, 05:17 AM
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Yes I hiked at Brasstown Bald...I think it was called Jacks Knob trail...the trail starts at the southern end of the parking lot and goes down to where you first drove into the park. but from that hike i did learn what people mean about the change in temperature...the temp rose about 15 degrees just in that short hike and then the temp reversal going back up.

thanks for the advice everyone. i'm really looking forward to this trip!
the_dude07 is offline  
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