- Jan 11, 2019 at 6:40 am #3572668
In September I’m going to do a R2R2R trip. I’m going northbound in one day but I’m going to try to get a night at Bright Angel on the southbound leg. And I’m going to try to get 2 nights before the GC trip at the Havasu Falls campground on the Havasupai reservation when they become available. My question is, if I do get them, what type of shelter should I use? I’ve seen conflicting recommendations. Some people, mostly outside of here, say you need a tent to keep bugs and scorpions at bay. Others, including some here, say they almost always cowboy camp. I don’t own a tent except for car camping tents. But if a tarp won’t do, I can get a bivy or a 1P tent. But I’d like to just use a tarp if possible. Any input is appreciated.Jan 11, 2019 at 12:28 pm #3572678
Personally, I’m not down with sleeping in the open in AZ except when it’s very cold because of the creepies and the crawlies. YMMV.
Havasupai’s campground is quite crowded and always busy. The lack of privacy is real and there are tons of feral dogs that hang out in camp. I’d worry that you’d come back from a dayhike down the river and find several flea-infested dogs lounging under your tarp. My vote is for a enclosed tent.Jan 11, 2019 at 2:58 pm #3572682
David ThomasBPL Member
@davidinkenaiLocale: North Woods. Far North.
I can only speak to camping along the River within the park (on a private raft trip). No one had any problems with cowboy camping. There were warning about scorpions (don’t spill food which bring ants which bring scorpions) but we only saw one tiny one, even though I brought a UV light to look for them (they flouresce in UV).
Would you cache food and gear at Bright Angel? A tin used for popcorn / cookies is ant-, raven-, and rodent-proof.
The South Rim was in the single digits last week with nice packed snow down almost to Indian Gardens. Arizona state funding kept the shuttle buses running and rim path snow-blown. No new wilderness permits were being issued, but you could hike using existing ones. Law-enforcement rangers were clearly working the rim and were said to be providing enforcement in the Canyon (in case this shutdown lasts till your trip).Jan 11, 2019 at 9:55 pm #3572744
Thanks guys. You make some good points about the tent at Havasupai, Matthew. I hadn’t considered that. I’m hoping to eat at Phantom Ranch, David, so I don’t think I’ll be caching anything.Feb 9, 2019 at 6:53 am #3577615
Josiah GrotheBPL Member
If you end up buy a tent/tarp my advice would be to spend the absolute maximum you can afford (buy once, cry once). I’ve made the mistake multiple times in the past of trying to settle for that “slightly” more affordable option and in the end just upgraded to the thing(shelter, pack, sleeping bag, etc.) I should have gotten in the first place. For a single guy going alone I dont think you can go wrong with a ZPacks Plexamid or a Duplex if you dont mind the extra weight.
Make sure you have a reservation in place for Phantom Ranch. I don’t know if it has changed, but I believe they used to require that.Feb 9, 2019 at 10:37 pm #3577698
I decided to skip Havasupai. They changed their camping policy to a mandatory 3 nights (at $325!!!) which doesn’t work for. I’m just going to take my SL3 for the night at Bright Angel if I can get a permit. Thanks for the input!Feb 10, 2019 at 3:37 am #3577729
Good call on Havasupai. I’m over it.Feb 11, 2019 at 1:48 am #3577843
Steven ThompsonBPL Member
For Grand Canyon and Havasupai both I generally cowboy camp. If weather calls for rain I’ll carry a tent but in some 30 years, that would be twice. More important is protection for your food. Grand Canyon corridor campgrounds have ammo boxes for food storage, outside of these areas you are on your own. I carry my bearikade…raven proof. An ursack likewise should work. The wire mesh ratsacks are good for mice, not so much for the ravens that seem to congregate in Havasupai.
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