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Old 11-07-2013, 01:58 PM   #1
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Grand Canyon Hiking

Has anyone hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. South rim. Plan to hike down one day back up the next. Was looking for suggestions for staying overnight at the bottom. Phantom ranch or Bright Angel Campground ??? Anyone stay at either one??
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Old 11-07-2013, 02:44 PM   #2
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Really pretty simple.

If you choose the campground .....you'll need to carry the weight of all your camping gear + food++. If you choose the Ranch .....all you need is a light day pack with some simple toiletries.
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Old 11-07-2013, 02:51 PM   #3
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We hiked down Bright Angel Trail to board our raft for the 9 night river trip. However, we didn't stay overnight. Let me suggest that you be in excellent condition to do the hike. Even hiking down was difficult because of the steepness - even for experienced hikers. Our river group was taking the place of another group who began their trip at Lee's Ferry - upriver. They got off and had to hike up the Bright Angel Trail. We met them not far from the bottom of the canyon and they were already feeling the exertion of hiking up. Good luck! By the way, the river trip was awesome!
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Old 11-07-2013, 03:17 PM   #4
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Really pretty simple. If you choose the campground .....you'll need to carry the weight of all your camping gear + food++. If you choose the Ranch .....all you need is a light day pack with some simple toiletries.
I'm not one that likes to make reservations too far in advance. How far ahead will one have to make reservations at the Ranch to stay there around February 20, 2014 ?
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Old 11-07-2013, 03:19 PM   #5
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We hiked down to the bottom of he canyon for our 50th birthdays. We went down on the South Kaibab trail, stayed 2 nights at the bottom, and back up on the Bright angel trail. If you want to stay at the Phantom Ranch you'll need reservations, probably months in advance. We went in November and had to make reservations the previous May. Even then we only got a cabin for 1 night. The second night we had to stay in the dorms. There's both men's and women's dorms, and even though you have reservations it's first come first served as far as which bunk you get.

You only need to take snacks if you make breakfast and dinner reservations at the restaurant. You can also get a box lunch to take hiking if you like. They serve basic food, not gourmet meals. I would suggest staying at least 1 night if not more. There are plenty of trails at the bottom, and you can hike to the north rim if you're energetic.

We each carried a back pack weighing around 35 lbs. including the pack. We took both warm weather clothes, and cool weather clothes, plus rain gear and an extra pair of boots. It took less than 8 hours in each direction, and wasn't nearly as difficult as I had imagined. The South Kaibab is longer but more gentle. The bright Angel has some steep spots, and a hiking stick is a good idea on the narrowest, steepest parts.

Believe it or not November is a big month for Hiking the Grand Canyon. It's cool on the top (about 40*F to 50*F for highs) and warmer at the bottom. Usually in the mid 70's. It's a big time for hiking clubs and "unauthorized races".

Every November there's an "unauthorized" rim to rim to rim race. It's loosely organized since races are officially forbidden in the park. It starts at the south rim, goes down to the bottom, back up the north rim, back down to the bottom, and ends where it started at the south rim. The winners usually make the whole trek in 20 hours or less. There are what seems like hundreds of runners all along the way. What we thought was going to be a peaceful day hike turned into a traffic jam.
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Old 11-07-2013, 03:26 PM   #6
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We hiked down to the bottom of he canyon for our 50th birthdays. We went down on the South Kaibab trail, stayed 2 nights at the bottom, and back up on the Bright angel trail. If you want to stay at the Phantom Ranch you'll need reservations, probably months in advance. We went in November and had to make reservations the previous May. Even then we only got a cabin for 1 night. The second night we had to stay in the dorms. There's both men's and women's dorms, and even though you have reservations it's first come first served as far as which bunk you get. You only need to take snacks if you make breakfast and dinner reservations at the restaurant. You can also get a box lunch to take hiking if you like. They serve basic food, not gourmet meals. I would suggest staying at least 1 night if not more. There are plenty of trails at the bottom, and you can hike to the north rim if you're energetic. We each carried a back pack weighing around 35 lbs. including the pack. We took both warm weather clothes, and cool weather clothes, plus rain gear and an extra pair of boots. It took less than 8 hours in each direction, and wasn't nearly as difficult as I had imagined. The South Kaibab is longer but more gentle. The bright Angel has some steep spots, and a hiking stick is a good idea on the narrowest, steepest parts. Believe it or not November is a big month for Hiking the Grand Canyon. It's cool on the top (about 40*F to 50*F for highs) and warmer at the bottom. Usually in the mid 70's. It's a big time for hiking clubs and "unauthorized races". Every November there's an "unauthorized" rim to rim to rim race. It's loosely organized since races are officially forbidden in the park. It starts at the south rim, goes down to the bottom, back up the north rim, back down to the bottom, and ends where it started at the south rim. The winners usually make the whole trek in 20 hours or less. There are what seems like hundreds of runners all along the way. What we thought was going to be a peaceful day hike turned into a traffic jam.
Great info. Thanks
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Old 11-07-2013, 06:25 PM   #7
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I'm not one that likes to make reservations too far in advance. How far ahead will one have to make reservations at the Ranch to stay there around February 20, 2014 ?
Looks like you've got most of the important info covered....we also went down the Kibab & up the Angel. Staying at the Ranch was a " no brainier" as we wanted to enjoy the experience without having to haul the extra weight for camping.

I now wish we had stayed 2 nights and enjoyed the experience more ( why do we always rush the good things?). The food & dorm accommodation at the Ranch is pretty basic, but more than adequate. We did not reserve in advance (May) and simply followed advice from others that if you are prepared to spend a couple of days camping at the top you can take advantage of "reservation cancellations)....worked fine for us!

Why Feb.? It will be cold...take you mittens & snow boots! Have fun.
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Old 11-07-2013, 06:37 PM   #8
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Looks like you've got most of the important info covered....we also went down the Kibab & up the Angel. Staying at the Ranch was a " no brainier" as we wanted to enjoy the experience without having to haul the extra weight for camping. I now wish we had stayed 2 nights and enjoyed the experience more ( why do we always rush the good things?). The food & dorm accommodation at the Ranch is pretty basic, but more than adequate. We did not reserve in advance (May) and simply followed advice from others that if you are prepared to spend a couple of days camping at the top you can take advantage of "reservation cancellations)....worked fine for us! Why Feb.? It will be cold...take you mittens & snow boots! Have fun.
That's what I'm going to do. Just show up each morning hoping for a cancellation. February only because we will be out that way?? Quartzsite in January--Rockabilly Reunion February 15. Barstow Ca & Death Valley In there someplace Then Grand Canyon and head back east. ??
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Old 11-07-2013, 10:46 PM   #9
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