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Grand Canyon early Feb
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Dana Sherry
(dsherry) - M

Locale: Southwest
Grand Canyon early Feb on 01/03/2014 06:39:42 MST Print View

I've just about scored my permit for GC end of Jan into Feb. I have data on avg high/low both at rim and Phantom Ranch, my question being for anyone who may have done a winter trip in the Canyon- regarding sleeping pad choice. I think I'd be fine with my inflatable 3 season Neo Air and GG inflatable when I'm in the bottom. However, wondering if the ground may be frozen on the TOnto Plateau and would require a 4 season pad? Frozen ground at the rim seems likely so I fig'd I'd take my heavier winter pad for the night on the rim, then leave it in the car for the backcountry portion. We also would be camping at Sumner Wash on Clear Creek trail at 3650'elev. Is it safe to say this would not be frozen ground as well? If it were Midwest I'd say just camp on grass/leaves but gathering a bunch of cottonwood tree leaves seems unlikely :)

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
Re: Grand Canyon early Feb on 01/03/2014 08:32:01 MST Print View

Unless you're a cold sleeper and pushing the rating of your bag, I bet a 3 season pad would be fine on the Tonto.

Mitchell Rossman

Locale: Minneapolis-St. Paul
Grand Canyon early Feb on 01/11/2014 19:18:16 MST Print View

I have done 2 R2R2R at that time. The South Rim had snow, but it vanished about 1000 ft below the South Rim. Temperatures at Phantom Ranch were probably in the high 40s.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Grand Canyon early Feb on 01/11/2014 19:44:41 MST Print View

I've done several trip in February on the Tonto, including a side trip to Clear Creek, and 3 season gear is fine.

But do go prepared. It does occasionally snow.

You won't encounter frozen ground. But you might encounter "rock hard" ground, especially at Phantom. Member posts are mixed, with some doing fine with sheppards crooks, but I've been happy I took easton/groundhog/sturdy stakes that could be hammered in.

And if you haven't given though to microspikes or ice trekkers, now is the time. The 1000' at the top can be treacherous (especially on Grandview). If you take them to the canyon, it's easy to leave them in the car if the weather looks promising. (But I take them regardless.)

Edited by greg23 on 01/11/2014 19:52:58 MST.