- Feb 10, 2019 at 6:06 pm #3577779Justin MBPL Member
Planning a late May/ Early June timeframe for a first hike in the SW. Prefer to fly in to Las Vegas and do something within striking distance of there (3-4 hours drive). Looking for around 4-5 nights.
GC R2R. and Coyote Gulch have been recommended. We have lots of hiking experience in the midwest and Smoky’s, but looking for a good itinerary elsewhere. Thanks for any recommendations!Feb 11, 2019 at 3:52 am #3577860Rex SandersBPL Member
@rexLocale: Central California Coast
Grand Canyon in late May / early June is going to be very hot inside the canyon – a companion almost passed out from heat exhaustion while hiking up from a river trip in mid-May years ago. Also, backpacking permits on well-known trails go fast and early, might already be too late.
That time of year you’ll want to be in higher elevations unless you know how to not get baked in the desert.
4 hours drive from Las Vegas airport can (barely) get you to the east side of the Sierra Nevada – Mt Whitney approaches, PCT, JMT, and many other hikes; 3-4 hours to the mountains around Los Angeles – PCT, Mount San Gorgonio, Mount San Jacinto (take the Palm Springs Tram up & down); 3-4 hours to southern Utah including Zion, Bryce, etc.; 3 hours to Telescope Peak in Death Valley; 3 hours to the White Mountains in CA/NV if you are very adventurous. Probably a bunch of nice stuff in northern Arizona including the northern AZT, but I don’t know much about that area.
If I had to choose one, and could get permits, I’d go for the eastern Sierra.
— RexFeb 11, 2019 at 6:02 pm #3577915
Trans Zion – 48 miles , either east west, or west east
definitely Eastern Sierra if you have some snow experience.
Utah is amazing, the California places mentioned by Rex (except for Sierras) are nice but second tier.
how far do you want to hike ?Feb 12, 2019 at 2:53 am #3578003Justin MBPL Member
Thanks for the recommendations! Gives me a great starting point to dig further. 40 miles or so would be doable. Trans Zion looks appealing. Don’t know much about Sierras or snow, but will definitely be researching that as well. We’re heat-tolerant but not looking to get baked. Thanks againFeb 12, 2019 at 3:24 am #3578008Jon FongBPL Member
@jonfongLocale: FLAT CAT GEAR
Paria Canyon is a little further away. Definitely a unique experience. Trans Zion sounds pretty cool as well. My 2 centsFeb 12, 2019 at 3:48 pm #3578059
the eastern 1/3 of Trans Zion is the most scenic, but also more crowded. water spots in the middle section may be a bit sparse. there is a common water “drop spot” about 14 miles from the west side, and another in the middle some where ( I forget exactly). there are a couple natural water spots in the mid section but that time of year they will probably be dry. at mile 32ish from the west side you come down into the main park for 1 mile, lots of crowds but water available, then you head up and out the other side and the crowds disappear after 3-4 miles. we did west to east, but either way works. just depends if you would rather see the most scenic part at the beginning or end.Feb 12, 2019 at 3:52 pm #3578061
There are nice trips out of Mammoth, on the Sierra East Side. not sure how far a drive that is. from Mammoth you can stay below 11,000 ft and mostly below 10,000 ft if you plan your trip. this might help minimize snow.
Another option is Joshua Tree Nat Park, though that time of year it could get warm.Feb 15, 2019 at 2:43 am #3578548obx hikerBPL Member
@obxcolaLocale: Outer Banks of North Carolina
This is the reason we fly to ABQ to do Utah. 4 hours to Bluff, Cedar Mesa etc. Makes Zion or the N. Rim longer or too long but everything else (from Escalante north) including whatever in NM or SW Colorado is closer. Also better scenery on the drive. The only spots Vegas is close to are Zion and the South Rim.
Mammoth will be a hard drive from Vegas. Been there done that. I know you can get lots of flight choices and slightly cheaper tickets to Vegas but there’s always more driving on the other end. If I was going to Mammoth I’d fly to Reno.
As others have pointed out your time frame is also a little tricky. Everything below the upper tree line or below 8K elevation could be starting to get hot/dry depending on weather or how late you go….especially mid June, but then everything higher could have snow problems depending on the same. Mid June is probably safer for higher alpine hiking and before mid May safer for below @ 9K. I guess I’d say Mid-May to Mid-June could be dicey both higher and lower for the reasons stated above.Feb 22, 2019 at 5:06 pm #3579936John MennaBPL Member
The Gila –New Mexico
Wait too far from Las Vegas. (Cant delete?)
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