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Nankoweap to Little Colorado: How Many Days?
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Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Nankoweap to Little Colorado: How Many Days? on 09/28/2013 18:26:52 MDT Print View

I'm doing a loop that starts and ends on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.

How many days should I allow for the route from Nankoweap Rapids to the Little Colorado River if I follow the river? (I'm going solo, so the river affords an illusion of security.) I'm guessing 2 days is safe and sane.

I know it's about 10 river miles and that I'll need to hitch a ride across, but I don't want to count on a raft expediting my journey.

Anyone besides Skurka done this is a day?


Edited by greg23 on 09/28/2013 19:46:09 MDT.

Valerie E
(Wildtowner) - M

Locale: Grand Canyon State
RE: Nankoweap to Little Colorado: How Many Days? on 09/29/2013 15:06:35 MDT Print View

I have not done your exact route, but I have been on the "river route" several times in other parts of the canyon.

I think doing it a day might prove to be very ambitious. I don't know you at all, though, and you might be perfectly capable... that said, there will be many challenges, among them:

- Water. Although you're hiking "next to the river", sometimes you will be a thousand or so feet above it, with no easy/safe way to get down, so it will often be necessary to carry quite a lot of water with you, especially because of...
- The Heat. October is a great month to do GC, but daytime highs near the river can often be in the high 80s-mid 90s, and the sun is HOT.
- River miles vs. hiking miles -- add about 20-30% more miles because of detours around side canyons along the way.
- Tamarisk trees and prickly stuff. This varies from year to year, but in some places around the Nankoweap Delta, the tamarisks can be pretty nasty to bushwhack through. It won't stop you, but it just takes extra time/effort (which means more water needed).

Whether you take one day or two, I'm sure it'll be a VERY memorable trip!

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
At least two on 09/30/2013 09:40:26 MDT Print View

AT LEAST two days.

Of course, I'm a wuss, but see my trip report:

The bushwhacking was vigorous. I'm damned glad we met the rafters.

Skurka even said it took him "a couple of days", when I asked him at one of his talks.

If you want to stay on river-right, consider the Horsethief bypass instead. You'd have to haul water, though. Still, it's what I would do if I were doing it again. Probably more interesting, too- more fun doing route-finding.

Edited by acrosome on 09/30/2013 09:53:07 MDT.