Jan 17, 2012 at 3:02 pm #1284267
I am looking for a backup plan in this area of Grand Canyon.
Does anyone have any suggestions?
Looking for an established route or trail somewhere warmer than colder. We are looking to get some sunshine and warmth after seeing months of dreary rain up on the Coast of BC… Trying to avoid low lows ie. freezing temps overnight. That being said, we don't want to fry either +110F.
We where thinking around May but could also be early June.
I've been looking at Havasupai, Zion, Vermilion Cliff's & Lee's Ferry area. Wondering if there would be something else plausible I should consider? Further South maybe?
Around 10 mile days hike between 3-7 nights. Overnight hikes suggestions would be swell as well. Elevation changes are fine. Nothing crazy technical since we don't have excessive rope or pin-point navigational skills. Thinking something moderate :)
-christyJan 17, 2012 at 3:22 pm #1825912
Brendan SwihartBPL Member
@brendansLocale: Fruita CO
June might be getting into frying territory. It can pretty easily be 90s that time of year, although last year we were in Robber's Roost Memorial day weekend and and was quite pleasant. I'd shoot for May or else something a little higher elevation (Cedar Mesa?). If you're looking for lots of easy to follow trails, pretty easy terrain, and still spectacular scenery, the Needles district of Canyonlands is tough to beat. Lots of options in the Escalante area as well. Coyote Gulch is probably the most popular hike in the area. Another great one is take the Boulder Mail Trail from Escalante to Death Hollow then the Escalante River back to town. IIRC it's around 30 miles. There's a couple spots in Death Hollow you might have a short swim but it'll be welcome that time of year :)Jan 17, 2012 at 3:40 pm #1825920
Thanks for the ideas!! I will look into them.
Mostly thinking May. Some higher elevations seem to still get quite chilly (35-40F) overnight. I was thinking about doing the Narrows in Zion so that's why I was mostly thinking June. Water and warm weather, yes please.
We are pretty good with temps in the 90's.. especially if you have partial shade at some point. It's when it hits 110's I'd be more worried… but it's not like you can dictate the weather either.
:)Jan 17, 2012 at 4:20 pm #1825932
Joe ClementBPL Member
Lots of good dayhikes in the Moab (Canyonlands/Arches) area. Bet you'd fry in June though, unless you went into the LaSal mountains. If you go there, PM me for directions to Little Wild Horse canyon.Jan 17, 2012 at 4:49 pm #1825941
Sumi WadaBPL Member
@detroittigerfanLocale: Ann Arbor
If you want to combine this with the Narrows, access can be spotty in May and sometimes early June because of high water flows. It all depends on the snow melt that year. 2010 and 2011 were big snow years and water was too high most of May and into June. They close the Narrows at around 130 cfs.
May is generally pretty warm/hot in the Grand Canyon. It's just a fact of life that there can be a 50-60 degree swing between night-time temps at the rim and daytime temps at the river. So, if you're camping on the rim as well as at the river, you either have to contend with freezing temps at night on the rim *or* sweltering heat at the river. Nearly impossible to avoid both.
For warm hikes below the rim and generally low flows in the Narrows, you can't beat October, imo.
For outside of the park boundaries (and no permit issues), check out Kanab creek wilderness (north rim side.) By May, trailheads should be accessible though sometimes they're not…
Personally, I'd go north, not south.Jan 17, 2012 at 5:50 pm #1825966
Thanks for the suggestions.. It's great to have a resource of people to ask.
While I have looked at the Grand Canyon a fair amount, I don't know much about Zion so thanks for the heads up about the river flow. I saw a video of someone doing it in June so I thought it would be an okay time..
I guess it just depends on what kind of year it turns out to be. Last year we did the Grand Canyon during May. We where still hoping for warmer weather.. Yes, even at the bottom.. So I guess we are going for more 90's than 80's. Last year sounds like it was a bit cooler than is typical for then.
All of us up here are usually cold and damp from the weather we get. It can seem to haunt a person year round. The wet, dark rain clouds, dreary sorta clammy cold… We are looking for a serious thaw out from that. I was hesitant about going North because of the freezing temps. Sweat but not die is the aim.. If it's smoking hot a water source to cool off in is a serious plus. I endure freezing temps like the GC South Rim if we get the benefit of the heat at the bottom for most of the trip. I understand that is a necessary torture :P
I'm thinking Havasupai may be Plan B if the GC permit doesn't go through unless…
I'm assuming Bryce would still be quite cold May due to it's elevation? Or am I wrong in thinking that..?Jan 17, 2012 at 7:52 pm #1826026
Sumi WadaBPL Member
@detroittigerfanLocale: Ann Arbor
I take it you put in a permit request on Jan 1st for May. I've heard lots of people still haven't heard; not surprising since May's usually a huge demand month. The "trick" is to check your credit card account for a charge from "GRCA-GRAND CANYON NP – GRAND CANYO AZ". You'll usually see the charge well before the permit actually arrives in the mail.
Where did you hike in the Canyon last May? Consistent 10-mile days in the Canyon would be considered really aggressive. It's nice having a short day or even a layover periodically to give yourself a chance to explore. The best canyons (narrows) are off-trail.
Havasu will be warmer in May. Note that you'll need reservations/permits there as well.
A good Zion hiking resource: http://www.citrusmilo.com/zionguide/Jan 17, 2012 at 8:10 pm #1826031
Yes put in for a permit Jan 1.. Been checking my card everyday.
It seems like it's getting late and I just thought it might be an idea to have a Plan B. I know there is lots of cool stuff out there to see but it's hard to do all of the research when you've been hoping and planning for one area.
Canadian Mail is very snail like… Has to go to Central Canada before we get it back over here on the West Coast.. Can take forever to fjord the boarder… They don't like the metal twist ties included in the package. Alas it is the credit charge I am really waiting for.. It has me fretting…
~10mile was just a target so people knew we wouldn't die if they suggested doing that in a day.. Every single day might induce some tired feet.
+1 to rest days..
Yes permits for everywhere… Feb 1 seems to be the next due date for many of the other areas. Will check out the resources thanks :)Jan 20, 2012 at 9:01 pm #1827514
I can't confirm this personally, but this seems pretty legit. Below is what was just posted on the Hit the Trail Grand Canyon Facebook Page. I am going to write them….
"We have yet to issue any May permits due to some software challenges."
"Hopefully we can begin notifying hikers next week. Patience is appreciated. At this point all we can do is confirm that we have received your request. I recommend that inquiries be sent by email, grca firstname.lastname@example.org (that is "grca" then underscore then "bic") but of course hikers can attempt to reach us by phone (Monday-Friday, 1 to 5 Arizona time) @ 928-638-7875."
Mark Wunner, Supervisor
Grand Canyon National Park
Backcountry Information CenterJan 20, 2012 at 9:12 pm #1827517
I also wanted to comment on your plan B. I did Zion around 15 May 2010 prior to doing the Grand Canyon. That place is awesome. Different colors, size, and geological formations, but the valley views are like a smaller Little Yosemite Valley. The Narrows was shut and I tried to get to the Subway, but decided to stop due do water flow and the slippery rocks. It might not support 10 miles everyday, but 5 to 10 miles is doable. I did Bryce as a daytrip and went back to my campground at Zion. If you cover a lot of ground (i.e. 10 miles easily), I don't see spending more than one day at Bryce. But yeah Bryce is a must see.
As one person mentioned Moab/Arches National Park is really nice as well. I was there in late June 2011. Hot, but not too bad. It will not support your hiking mileage like the Grand Canyon or Zion will though. Technically you could hike likely for weeks at Moab, but I would not consider it like other places. I can't comment on Havasu because I'm trying to hit that up this year.Jan 21, 2012 at 2:49 pm #1827778
The key is (up to) 10 miles a day… :) I don't do 10mi day's back to back regularly. I'm thinking that if I wind up with something with higher mileage, it will keep me on my training toes. Nothing like pushing your own personal boundary's. I would like to think 10 mile days are doable and because the Canyon can deal out some whoop a##, it will keep me scared enough to train more than less. Permit willing of course.
Like you I'm still hoping. Not sure if I should bother calling them come Monday or wait it out a couple more days. If there where over 1000 applicants for Jan 1, last thing they need is poor me trying to contact them…. but… Everything seems to be a fight against the clock. I'm hiking with people who need to submit days off and if the permit doesn't work, Plan B will take time to assemble before applying for more permits come Feb 1. It's the case of hurry up and wait. Ak! I don't know about you but it's hard to focus on the other aspects of a hike while waiting for a key item to come into place. A permit will be of no use unless it can executed. I'd better get some miles on and stop obsessing.
I think Narrows in Zion is out for Plan B for May/June at least. Part of the Hayduke goes through Bryce. I thought there would be a piece that could be done there because of that. Perhaps not. Thanks for all your input and info. There is a facebook page for everything now. Very much appreciated.
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