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Grand Canyon Trip Suggestions
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Bob Gabbart
(bobg) - F
Grand Canyon Trip Suggestions on 01/02/2006 19:48:19 MST Print View

I'm planning on going on a backpacking trip in the Grand Canyon this spring. Does anyone have suggestions for an itinerary? I would like to end on the South Rim, do about 15 miles/day and spend 3-4 nights in the canyon. Any suggestions? Thanks! Bob

Mike Barney
(eaglemb) - F

Locale: AZ, the Great Southwest!
Re: Grand Canyon Trip Suggestions on 01/02/2006 21:27:03 MST Print View

If you're going down into the canyon overnight, then you need a permit with a specific itiniery. More info here,

We just received a 5 day group (11) permit for March. Typically, you have to apply 5 months in advance, but you can sometimes get a 1 day permit if you go stand in line the day of. Try the permit process, if you're extremely flexible, you may get lucky.
Good luck,

Phil Barton
(flyfast) - MLife

Locale: Oklahoma
Re: Grand Canyon Trip Suggestions on 01/02/2006 22:00:31 MST Print View

Bob, now is the time to check on the availability of a permit. That really will shape your itinerary.

There are folks here that have significant experience in the Grand Canyon. There is a very active Yahoo discussion group on hiking in the Grand Canyon.

15 miles in the canyon can be a challenging day or it can be impossible. The terrain varies widely. It is simply an incredible place. Have fun.

Finally, the later you wait in the spring, the hotter it gets. Temps at the river can be above 110* before the end of May. Early spring is a beautiful time to be in the canyon especially if there is a reasonable snow melt making water plentiful. Summer heat is something I don't care to endure.

Neil Bender
(nebender) - F
Re: Grand Canyon Trip Suggestions on 01/02/2006 22:09:29 MST Print View

Bob, If you plan on starting on the south rim, going in South Bass and out Boucher or Hermit's trail might fit the bill. The Tonto trail from South Bass to Boucher is one of the lesser used actual trails (though in spots navigation can get tricky in some side canyons). Another option is the Royal Arches loop route from S Bass TH(not a trail proper in places), but that requires a rope for a rappel. Both are not backpacks to be taken lightly. The drive to the trailhead at S. Bass is some 30 to 40 miles on dirt roads, requiring 4WD if there has been recent rain making the road muddy. Best to have someone drop you off or else you'll need 2 vehicles to recover the one left at the TH. Late winter or early spring is best time for water sources on these trails. Not all drainages will be running, but rock pockets and tanks can stay filled as late as April. As remote as they are, you need to permit for the areas you plan to camp each night. 15 mile days are doable but if water sources are scarce when you go, you may need to haul water along dry stretches. This is very remote, rugged country, not to be taken lightly. I wouldn't recommend it for a solo trip. For a solo trip the main corridor (Bright Angel or Kaibab trails as access)will have more use. Lots of loop options with the Tonto trail paralleling the main river gorge and cutting across the rim to river trails.

Doug Hile
(dhile) - F
G.C. Hikes on 01/02/2006 22:57:56 MST Print View

Good luck on getting a permit for greater than 10 per day, the backcountry office will fight you on this one even with history in the canyon.
The best web page to check for canyon trips is, from here you look at maps and photos of an area with trip reports.
Tanner trail to the river (9 mile) then out the Beamer(day hike, 18 mile) to the LC, then over to Hance Rapids (12 mile) and out the Red Canyon is a good four day hike, with little fight from the backcountry office.

Bob Gabbart
(bobg) - F
more details on GC hike on 01/03/2006 09:53:58 MST Print View

Guess I should have given more details. I'll be going in mid May. If it's going to be a problem doing 15/day, I'm fine with taking my time and doing 10 a day. Might have missed this earlier, but on the last day, I need to meet up with some friends at the intersection of the River Trail and the Bright Angel Trail and then hike out the Bright Angel Trail. I'm open to everything else.

Also, is a great resource! Thank you for pointing me there. Just wish they had some more milage tables listing trails and intersections.


Richard Matthews
(food) - F

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: more details on GC hike on 01/03/2006 10:34:44 MST Print View

BE9 - Optional first day - Hance Creek
BG9 - Cottonwood Creek
BH9 - Camp in Boulder
BJ9 - Camp just after the west arm of Cremation.
Meet your friends at Indian Garden.


BM7 - Optional first day - Hermit Creek
BL8 - Granite Rapids
BL5 - Salt Creek
BL4 - Horn Creek
Meet your friends at Indian Garden.

Bob Gabbart
(bobg) - F
we have a winner on 01/03/2006 13:44:21 MST Print View

Thanks Richard. I'm going to go with #1


Richard Matthews
(food) - F

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: we have a winner on 01/03/2006 15:39:03 MST Print View


The Tonto can get pretty hot in mid May and the reason for the 10 mile days is that you hike in the morning, then nap in the shade during the heat of the day, or explore in the shade in the narrow canyon. Then get in another several hours of hiking in the late afternoon.

Check at the Backcountry Information Center before the hike for water availability.

Bob Gabbart
(bobg) - F
Thanks Rich on 01/03/2006 19:36:58 MST Print View

Thanks for the info Rich. I'll do my homework ;)