Give Thanks! Then Hike the Grand Canyon!

  • November 28, 2013 · 7:00 AM
  • TBA

NOTE : RIGHT NOW IT IS A WAITING LIST -  To get started, place yourself on the waiting list and send me an email. The email should convince me that you can do the trip and that you understand you're ultimately responsible for your well-being. You also need to agree to hike as a group. We'll hike around 1.5 mph (both ways). For now, your addition to the wait list indicates only interest in the trip. I'll ask for a commitment to the trip as it grows closer.

This is cross-listed with Trails and Ales (not to be confused with Trails and Ails).

Years ago, Paul Bunyan dragged his axe through northern Arizona creating a hole that many now call the Grand Canyon. There's also a scientific theory in case you like science stuff.

I have a permit for six people to spend two nights at Bright Angel Campground near the river that runs through it. I would love to share it with folks from Trails and Ales and Colorado Backpackers (and Campers) Meetup Group. This will be my third trip along this itinerary.

The plan (rough outline to be refined as I can):

Leave the Denver area (meeting place TBD) around 7 am on Thanksgiving Day (11/28). Carpool the 700 miles to the south rim of the Grand Canyon where we'll split hotel rooms that night.

Friday morning, we'll hike the South Kaibab trail to Bright Angel Campground. The distance is about 7 miles with net 4800 feet elevation loss.

Saturday is a free day. There's a couple options for day hikes (Clear Creek and North Kaibab as well as shorter loops) from the campground along with a cantina that sells beers at ballpark prices.

We'll hike out early Sunday (probably via the Bright Angel trail - 9.5 miles 4400 feet up) and carpool back to Denver. If the weather holds, we can be back shortly after midnight allowing me to stumble into work Monday morning.

Options - please let me know if they interest you.

- pay a mule $65 (each way for 30 pounds of gear)

- buy meals at the cantina

- shared meals at the bottom

To get started, place yourself on the waiting list and send me an email. The email should convince me that you can do the trip and that you understand you're ultimately responsible for your well-being. You also need to agree to hike as a group. We'll hike around 1.5 mph (goal of 4-5 hours down, 5-6 hours up as a group). For now, your addition to the wait list indicates interest in the trip. I'll start asking for commitments sometime in September.

Please keep in mind is that the weather can play a big factor - both in the hiking and in the transportation. Take a look at the averages for both the rim and Phantom Ranch and then check it as the trip approaches. Also, I will cancel the trip if the weather is bad for safe traveling.

Cost: $12 per person + a split of fuel + a split of hotel rooms. Plus your gear and any other personal expenses.

In the event of more people than my permit allows, I'll give preference along the following:

- first time Grand Canyon backpackers

- people I've met along the trail

- ability to do the trip (includes ability and commitment)

- I'd also like everyone to meet a week or two or three before

I can help with planning/check lists and even gear to those who are new to backpacking. The main thing is to convince me you are capable and committed to the trip.


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  • Manijeh

    Great experience! Thank you Jim for organizing this.

    1 · December 2, 2013

  • "Jimmy-D"

    Heads up: while I will post a few pictures here, the majority will be on the Trails and Ales event page:

    1 · December 2, 2013

  • Jeff D.

    I've closed the RSVPs for the trip. Between the Colorado Backpackers and Trails and Ales, I have 5 plus me to hit the permit limit plus a hoping alternate. -- Jim

    October 25, 2013

  • "Jimmy-D"

    Doug, Jenny. Thank you both for the suggestions. They are appreciated and accurate. I'm planning to offer the Clear Creek and N. Kaibab trails as potential "off" day activities. I've done a bit of both but not as far as I've wanted due to knee pain on one and bad boots on the second.

    While I still want to go to Plateau Point some day, I will not try it on this trip - too much for me with a pack. This will be my first time without hiring a mule or buying food from the concessionaire (though I'm definitely buy an ale).

    I plan to go down Kaibab for the views are better. Bright Angel trail on the way out should give us water a water source at Indian Gardens and/or allow for filtering if needed. I've gone both directions and liked this, more traditional route.

    July 17, 2013

    • Jenny

      Jim - sorry, for some reason I thought Jeff was leading this trip! Also, I apologize for automatically offering my two cents...I'm good at doing that even when it's not requested ;) Sounds like you know what you're doing! I've never been in the fall, should be nice!

      July 18, 2013

    • "Jimmy-D"

      Jenny - No apology needed. I appreciate the ideas. I'd much rather hear a known idea ten times than miss something for fear that it is already known. I know what I'm doing on the hiking bit - not sure I know what I'm doing as a leader. Hope to catch you on the trail someday. I've done it in early April twice - once while it snowed a foot on the rim (didn't have traction - oops) and rained hard the whole way down and into the first night. November will feel a lot different, I'm sure. I just hope the weather cooperates - especially for driving.

      July 18, 2013

  • Doug M

    Jim I can also offer you any advice or suggestions you might want, been there 20+ times, usually for 8-10 day trips. Jenny's suggestions are good ones although as great as Plateau Point is I'm not sure I'd add it to a one day hike out with packs. (I usually hike out over two days stopping at Indian Gardens.) Another great idea for Saturday would be to take the (dry) trail that goes from N of Phantom Ranch over towards Clear Creek for as far as you want. There are many unbelievable views along that trail. It starts with a climb up some 2k+ to a narrow (and rare) part of the Tonto Plateau on the N side of the canyon. You could manage a short piece of that as well as the hike to ribbon falls in one day if everyone has kept it together on the first day. In case you don't know, the S Kaibab is totally dry and has almost no shade. It is tough even going down! BA has some shade and water sources. But check if water pipes are still on.

    July 17, 2013

  • Jenny

    Hey Jeff I won't be going but let me know if you need any help planning...been to Bright Angel 2/3 trips to the canyon over the past three years. I highly recommend people hike the 6.5 miles up the N. Kaibab to Ribbon Falls on their free day it's completely worth it! I would also recommend the 1.5 mile each way detour to Plateau Point outside of Indian Gardens. Have a blast!!!

    July 17, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    First time hiker to the canyon, I'm a devoted mountain hiker and would likely hire the mule to take my stuff out....9.5 miles and 4400 vertical sounds like a day pack hike to me. Thanks for organizing.

    July 17, 2013

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