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Grand Canyon National Park, AZ

SOLD OUT! (Put me on the waiting list)

May 2 - May 9, 2017 -- $1350 ★★★★



Note


This is the 3rd of 3 trips to the Grand Canyon this year. The other trips are in April 2017



Trip Description


What can we possibly tell you about Grand Canyon National Park, that would persuade you to visit? Would it help to know that it's considered one of the 7 Wonders of the Natural World? Or that the geologic features reveal 40% of the Earth's history? Or that the Grand Canyon is home to some of the cleanest air in the United States? Or that it's well over a mile deep, giving rise to superlative, unobstructed views?


The Grand Canyon is a life list destination that words are insufficient to fully describe. You owe it to yourself to visit this truly amazing wonder.


Our trip will be along the lesser-used Hermit Trail. We'll begin at the Hermit Trailhead with a grueling, quad-busting, knee-jarring 3700' downhill hike over 9 long, sometimes steep miles. Even though an all-day downhill may sound easy, it will be a truly challenging day. From there, the distances and elevations become much more moderate as we join the Tonto Trail on our way to the Colorado River. We then re-join the Tonto Trail and head uphill once again towards Indian Garden Campground and then a backcountry dispersed campsite in the so-called Cremation area. The final day will be long and grueling once again as we will ascend 3000' with a full pack for 6.0 miles. The final uphill is truly a challenge but one that's unbelievably rewarding.



Weather

Weather is always an important concern when backpacking, especially in the Grand Canyon. May is really one of the best times to visit, weather-wise as it's generally not too cold on the rim and not too hot in the canyon. Be prepared for freezing weather or even snow on the rim, but also be prepared for 100 degrees in the canyon. Chances are, neither will happen but we must be prepared for each.



Trip Leaders

Danielle Piscatelli
Dan Shafto


Cost

$1350 per person double occupancy. Here, double occupancy means that you will share a hotel room with another trip participant. You will also be responsible for transportation to and from Phoenix, AZ (PHX) as well as personal equipment and any restaurant meals.


Covered expenses include 1 hotel night, 1 front country campground night, 6 days of trail meals, ground transportation, permits, fees and 2 awesome guides.



Difficulty (Please Read)

The Grand Canyon can be extremely difficult and forbidding. The temperatures can be freezing or over 100 degrees. There is little to no shade in some areas, so you will be exposed to the beating sun for extended periods. Sun block is not sufficient for this, you must bring a wide brimmed hat, long sleeve shirt and long pants.


Furthermore, water may not be available for a few days at a time. Expect to carry 2 gallons of water (16 pounds) and maybe more. This extra weight makes your full pack even heavier. Elevation gains and losses are dramatic. Expect to gain or lose over 3700' vertical on some days. In order to do this, you will need to be sufficiently hydrated. Plus, your feet must remain in good shape. Blisters will cripple you and make progress extremely slow and painful so be mindful of hot spots as they develop.


Training tips


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Packing List
Itinerary
Weather
Guides for this trip
Cost
Important Note
Difficulty (Please Read)
Packing List
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Itinerary


Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Fly or drive into Phoenix Sky Harbor (PHX)


We will pick you up and bring you to Guide Deb's house where we'll have our equipment shakedown. You will need to arrive by 3PM at the latest.


Equipment shakedown


Trip to REI Tempe, 1405 W Southern Ave, for forgotten or last minute equipment


Distribution of trail mix


"Before" body composition measurements taken


Your spare bag(s) will be left at Guide Deb's house for safekeeping


Shuttle 2-3 hours to Flagstaff. Go out to a welcome dinner in town (not included in trip cost)


Drive 1.5 hours to Grand Canyon National Park, Mather Campground


Set up camp and stay at Mather Campground, site Aspen 019



Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Second set of before body composition measurements taken


Shuttle to Central Parking


Leave shuttle vehicle and board park bus for Hermit Trailhead


Take the park shuttle bus to the Hermit Trailhead, elevation 6640'


Hike 2.2 steep downhill miles to Santa Maria Spring, elevation 5000'


Hike 3.3 downhill miles to Breezy Point, elevation 4420'


Hike 1.5 steep downhill miles to the Hermit Trail Junction, elevation 3210'


Hike 2.3 relatively flat miles to Monument Creek, elevation 2995'


Camp at Monument Creek Campsite BL7, elevation 2995'


Miles today: 6.0 miles. Total to date: 9.3 miles


Possible Bailout: South Rim


Thursday, May 4, 2017

Today is an extremely short day mileage-wise as it is what the park permitted us for. This will leave a lot of time to explore the Colorado River and nearby area.


Hike 1.6 downhill miles through a slot canyon (some scrambling involved) to Granite Rapid on the Colorado River, site BL8, elevation 2330'


Camp at site BL8, elevation 2330'. To set your expectation, we will NOT camp in the site that's designated for boats.


Reliable water is found at Monument Creek below the Tonto Trail as well as in the Colorado River


Miles Today: 1.6. Total to Date: 10.9


Possible Bailout: Colorado River


Friday, May 5, 2017

No water today, fill up at Monument Creek. We must carry 2 gallons each.


Hike 1.6 miles to the Tonto Trail / Monument Creek, site BL7, elevation 2995'


Hike 3.4 miles on the Tonto trail to Salt Creek, elevation 3550'.


Camp at Salt Creek, site BL5, elevation 3550'. No potable / treatable water here. The water here has a high mineral content.


Miles Today: 5.0. Total to Date: 15.9


Possible Bailout: Colorado River


Saturday, May 6, 2017

Hike 4.8 miles to Horn Creek, elevation 3550'. The water here is (or can be) radioactive.


Hike 2.5 miles to Indian Garden Campground, elevation 3800'


Set up camp at Indian Garden Campground, elevation 3800'


Day-Hike 1.5 miles to Plateau Point, elevation 3740'


Day-Hike 1.5 miles to Indian Garden Campground (CIG), elevation 3800'


Camp at Indian Garden Campground, elevation 3800'


Miles Today: 10.3. Total to Date: 26.2


Possible Bailout: Colorado River


Sunday, May 7, 2017

No reliable water today, fill up at Indian Garden. We must carry 2 gallons each.


Hike 6.6 miles to Cremation Creek, elevation 3650'.


Dispersed camp at Cremation Creek (BJ9), elevation 3800'


Miles today: 6.6 miles. Total to date: 32.8 miles


Bailout: South Rim or Colorado River


Monday, May 8, 2017

Hike 6.5 grueling uphill miles on the South Kaibab Trail to the South Kaibab Trailhead, elevation 7200'


End of Hike


Miles today: 6.5 miles. Total to date: 39.3 miles


Possible Bailout: South Rim


Body Composition Taken on South Rim

"After" body composition measurements taken


Shuttle to Flagstaff for Dinner and Awards Ceremony. Suggestion: Lumberyard Brewing Company


Shuttle back to Phoenix. Check into Baymont Inn & Suites Tempe Phoenix Airport, 808 North Scottsdale Road, Tempe, AZ, 85281. 480-858-9898


This is the official end of the trip. You are welcome to spend the night at the hotel, however if you drove and would like to get on the road or if you flew and would like to schedule a late flight (or a red-eye if this is a West Coast trip) you can definitely do so.


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Free Hotel Breakfast


Take free airport shuttle


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