Open Post

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74 Responses to “Open Post”

  1. Tony Says:

    A query…

    I was looking into hiking/camping both the Grand Canyon and Yosemite, when I read about the food lockers in the campsites at Yosemite. That made me wonder about the types of wildlife that are in the canyon, and what types of things an overnight camper in the canyon would need to do to protect his food.


  2. RobK Says:

    Tony - Good question! Small rodents are your biggest concern in the canyon. Mice populate all areas in which folks commonly camp on the canyon. Your best defense is to hang your food. GCNP does not provide food lockers.

    - rob

  3. nail secrets Says:

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  4. RobK Says:

    good question. short answer: this summer. see my new post on the topic for more details.

  5. Liza Says:

    Another query–
    Do you have a good training program/schedule for a hike down the Grandview or Bright
    angel this June? Much appreciated.

  6. RobK Says:

    Hi Liza - Training for the canyon is a challenge, especially if you live in a vertically challenged part of the world. My suggestions are general, rather than specific:

    * build as much aerobic base as you can
    * climb and — perhaps more importantly — descend LOTS of stairs. The stairway of a multi-story building is good for this, as is a good sized stadium.

    The better your baseline conditioning, the more you’ll enjoy your canyon hike.

  7. Dave Says:


    In early June, my wife and I (and then to be 9 month old daughter) are planning a trip to the Grand Canyon and are hoping to hike the Bright Angel trail (to either Indian Garden, or Bright Angel Campground…one day down, one overnight, next day up). I have been unable to find any info on taking infants into the canyon (or whether or not it’s even allowed). Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  8. RobK Says:

    Dave - I’m not aware of regulations that would prevent you from taking your daughter hiking with you. As a father with two daughters (a few years older than yours), I can appreciate your desire to do this hike. When my youngest was about that age, we took them hiking in the San Juan mountains of SW Colorado. They built their first snow man there. It was mid-july.

    Snow won’t be an issue in June in the grand canyon. Rather, heat will be. I’m assuming you’ll carry your daughter in a child carrier backpack. If you don’t have it already, you’ll want to acquire the shade accessory for it to protect her from the sun.

    You’ll also need to figure out how to keep your daughter and yourselves hydrated.

    Will one of you be able to singlehandedly carry everything the three of you will need for an overnight?

    I would suggest considering the hike down to Indian Garden, rather than the longer hike to Bright Angel Campground.

    That’s what comes to the top of my mind at the moment. Hope this helps.

  9. Emily Says:

    At the end of April, my friend and I are planning on hiking down South Kaibob, staying over for two nights at Phantom Ranch and hiking up Bright Angel. How much water do you think we should carry. Do we need a permit? Also, I heard there is a shuttle that we can take from Bright Angel to South Kaibob so we can park our car at Bright Angel. Is this true?

    Thanks for your info.

  10. RobK Says:

    Hi Emily,

    April is a great time to hike the Canyon! Temps are, well, temperate. The South Kaibab is largely dry. I would suggest that you each carry a minimum of 1 gallon of water. A permit is not required if you have reservations at Phantom Ranch.

    Yes, there is a shuttle available.

  11. Don Says:

    In mid October, 2006, we plan to go down the Kaibab, overnight in the Bright Angel campground, and go up the Bright Angel trail on the second day. Is this a reasonable plan for fairly well conditioned men who have done most of their conditioning training in the gym and on the soft beach sands of Florida?

  12. Gerry Says:

    Don - Should be no problem. My wife and I live in Florida and have hiked the canyon many times. We did that exact hike a couple of years ago in October also. Our training consisted of a lot of stair climbing at the gym. Also walking on a treadmill at a good incline helps out. I am now training for a rim-to-rim hike on Memorial day - a little over a month to go. It is important to take enough water with you, especially for the Kaibab trail because there is limited (if any) water sources. I would also suggest you take along some powdered Gatorade to drink occasionally for electrolyte replacement. I will try and remember to return to this blog after my hike and let you know how it went. Good luck with your hike.

  13. Charles Says:

    At the suggestion of one of the canyon park rangers, I would like to hike rim-to-rim by hiking one side under a full moon. Any suggestions of the best schedule for this? With and without an overnight at Phantom Ranch? Do the mountain lions on the north rim present a real danger at night?

  14. weisknat Says:

    what is the longest trail? I think it is the tonto but I’m just checking.

  15. Michael Ott Says:

    I think many hikers will find a new product that is coming out really useful. It replaces the normal twist-off cap on most plastic water and soft drink bottles and provides a combination of a really elegant and ergonomic handle with an easy open/close seal.

    It’s called the Cap n’ Carry.

    For a few dollars, hikers can turn just about any disposable water or soft drink bottle into a super-easy-to-use canteen. When the bottle is no longer needed, the Cap n’ Carry is easily removed and stored in pocket or backpack until the next use.

    It’s really well made and almost indestructible.

    Hikers should give it a look at

  16. RobK Says:

    Matt — Interesting. Thanks for the tip! RK

  17. SV Says:

    Hi, I’d like to plan a trip to hike the grand canyon in late November, during the week of thanksgiving. I’m having trouble getting started with allthe different online resources available. Anyone have a favorite book that could help me narrow down my search? Thanks!

  18. RobK Says:

    SV - November is a fantastic time to hike the canyon: temps and crowds are both low. For getting started, I suggest you visit our resource site ( and/or purchase a copy of our Video: Hiking the Grand Canyon: The Corridor Trails (

  19. Connie Says:

    Well, after several tries, we finally got our backcountry permits for the end of September. For our last request, we submitted several itineraries, including some that I have to admit were a little more than I wanted to take on. We mainly wanted to get something. The permit came today and it includes Boucher Trail. (2 nights/BN9; 1 night/Hermit Creek;1 night/Granite Rapids). Yikes. That was our last option. The Boucher Trail description scares me (ie, exposed sections with hand and toe climbing). What are these sections really like? Is there danger of getting “cliffed out?” I’m thinking one alternative would be to just stay our first 2 nights at Yuma Point, then back out. But then we’ve got to get over to Hermit Creek the next night. Or, can anyone suggest a way to get over to a BN9 site from another trail (in one day?). Thanks!

  20. RobK Says:

    Connie - I’ve requested the Boucher route you described several times with no luck. I guess it’s your lucky day. My understanding is that the Boucher has some exposure, but your risk of cliffing out is low if you have some canyon experience.

    Here’s a long-shot alternative possibility for the permit you pulled: Hike down the Hermit, to Hermit Creek, then the bop over into BN9 for two nights. The BN9 boundary is VERY close to Hermit Creek campsite. BN9 is open camping so you are free to pick your spot.

  21. Connie Says:

    Thanks for the encouragement and the alterntive route idea. Sounds good. Although I’ve heard a lot of good things about Yuma Point, so I’d hate to give that up. Decisions, decisions. If by canyon experience, you mean using ropes to rappell drop offs, that I’d don’t have. About the only canyon experience I have is hiking in southern Utah (Needles area of Canyonlands, slots Little Wildhorse and Spooky, and a couple miles of Muley Twist in Capitol Reef. No exposure, just some tight places.) My husband thinks I’m making a mountain out of a mole hill on this one, so I guess I’ll have to suck it up and go for the gusto. Wish me luck!

  22. RobK Says:

    Hi Connie - I understand the desire to spend time at Yuma Point. Re. canyon experience, I mostly had in mind time hiking and route finding in the desert. This may help: to the best of my knowledge, the Boucher Trail does not require rope use. Please let us know how the trip goes!

  23. Jonathan Says:

    Hi I’m traveling to the north rim this Aug and am planning a trip down Crazy Jug canyon and then all the way over to Deer Creek. I would like to find out if any body has completed this route and has any information to offer. I am also trying to find out if there are fixed anchors inside the narrows of Deer Creek. My party is very interested in making a canyoneering decent of the Deer Creek narrows and needs to know if there are fixed anchors atop the falls. I have been told that it is about a 185ft rappel but I have been unable to find any more information. So if anybody has done this route I would like to hear about it.

  24. Rich Says:

    Jonathan, I’ve hiked much of the Crazy Jug-Deer Creek area. I’ve come out of Crazy Jug twice. It’s a tough route. I’ve never gone down Crazy Jug. Route finding will be crucial since there is only one very specific break in the redwall that enables this route and you have to find a specific break in the Supai to get to it. This break is far out on the Esplanade layer actually not far from the mouth of Crazy Jug Canyon. This will be extremely difficult to follow going down. There is a cairn marking a break in the Supai layer and you’ll have to do an 8′ downclimb. Once you find this spot route finding gets easier as you work your way around a point and head down to the Redwall break. It will be a very steep scree filled descent - look for cairns along the way - it is marked but its tough to follow at times. Down in the canyon when you hit the slick rock floor you’ll hit a pour off that you probably cannot descend (without climbing gear). You can go around this pour off on both sides but the downstream left side is easiest. Down stream right is treacherous without climbing gear (I’ve come up both). Once you get past this you are home free. You can hike down canyon toward Tapeats Creek and hit Deer Creek two ways: through Surpise Valley or down Tapeats Canyon and along the Colorado. Check out Tapeats Cave if you get a chance.

    I’ve rappelled into the Deer Creek slot several times. There is a rock ridge on the far side of the creek below the first 15′ fall that provides access without a rope (but with exposure). Be careful, a rope is very helpful to get out when you’re wet (almost required)! Once in the slot is a fun time wading, swimming, etc. downstream until you hit a 15′ waterfall. You’ll need to set a rope anchor and be versed in using prussiks to ascend the rope on the way back. I’ve only been a little downstream of this point a little ways and then turned back due to time (and I ran out of gear). One day I plan to go all the way and rappel down the big waterfall.

    A guy named Todd Martin has done the entire slot and has published it online at:

    It’s a great web site.


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  26. Tom Says:

    Hello, Does anyone have any experience fishing at the bottom of the Canyon by Bright Angle? I am hiking rim to rim Sept 19th and need tips how to catch trout?

  27. Brad Ball Says:

    I know Bright Angel Creek (Phanton Ranch) has fishing and certainly the Colorado River itself. Best fishing time of year is typically fall and winter. Also, you’ll need an AZ fishing license, which can be bought in the park. Have a great trip!

  28. Connie Says:

    Well, we’re back from our GC backpack trip, and I have to say it was more than I bargained for. Our intinerary was down the Boucher and up the Hermit. In between, we went from Hermit Creek Campground (a virtual Garden of Eden in the Canyon!) to a night at Granite Rapids and another at Monument Creek. While I was prepared to be physically challenged, as in difficulty of the trail, what I was not prepared for was all the exposed “edge walking,” especially on the Dripping Springs, Hermit and some of the Tonto trails. Really freaked me out. Plus, all the rock slides on Hermit, some of which were exposed were freaky. I had no problem if there was any kind of space (or rocks/bushes between the trail and the edge, but I swear, in some of those places, one little mis-step, and it’s “over the edge.” While I’d like to go back, right now the thought of hovering on the edge of the abyss overshadows any thoughts of return. First, does anyone else have this problem? Besides keeping your eyes solely on your feet (which I did which helped some), any suggestions on how to overcome this challenge? Are there other trails–besides the corridor trails–that are not exposed that I could do (I’ll take physical exertion over exposure anyday!). Thanks.

  29. Greg Blackburn Says:

    Looking for a little advice. We have a party of 4 (2male/2female) 50 year olds hiking to Phantom Ranch in the middle of November with a permit to spend 1 night at the campground. We are all in good shape and work out regularly We are thinking about going down the South Kaibab and up the Bright Angel. We have meals reserved at the ranch but will need to hike in tent/sleeping equipment. From your website it looks like the weather should be nice, but still we are wondering about the appropriate gear. Will a good pair of athletic shoes be OK or do you suggest the hiking boots? What types of clothing would you recommend for that time of year? We would welcome any suggestions!! Thanks.

  30. sandeep Says:

    here is my opinion. It is going to be quite chilly at the Rim and very pleasant at the bottom so the best thing would be to to dress in layers. An inner moisture wicking layer, with a fleece vest and an outer wind resistant outer shell has worked very well for me. You can remove the fleece vest as you descend and get warmer. You may want to carry a pair of fleece pants in your backpack for the night. I dont see an issue using a good pair of athletic shoes as long as they are well broken in and you have a good pair of socks.

  31. Blacky Says:


    Thanks for the reply. What is your opinion on our trail choices?

  32. sandeep Says:

    Going down South Kaibab and coming up Bright Angel is the best choice. South Kaibab is much steeper ( it is about 3 miles shorter and covers slightly more elevation change ) and it has no water so it is not a very good choice for climbing up. Even while going down I usually go a bit slower on South Kaibab in order to preserve my legs and knees for the hike out. Going up Bright Angel is very nice , not a lot of effort till Indian gardens and after that it is steep but you can push a bit harder since you are almost done. I would also check if water is on at the 3-mile and the 1.5 mile resthouse before starting up from indian gardens. I am not sure when they switch it off for winter. Depending on that you may need to carry a bit more from Indian Gardens.

  33. Blacky Says:


  34. sam Says:

    I have reservations at the El Tovar for 2 nights next week, but would rather get a backcountry pass for the second night to hike to the bottom of the Bright Angel Trail. I can’t seem to get any advice about availability. i faxed the office several weeks ago and have not heard. I need to cancel the second night at the El Tovar 48 hours in advance.

  35. Jeff Says:

    I will be making a 3 night excursion with 2 others the first week of May. We will spend our first night on Horseshoe mesa and the last 2 nights in the Hance creek watershed. This is our first overnight trip into the Grand Canyon back country. I would like advice on what type of weather to prepare for and tips on hiking Hance creek.

    Some specific questions: Is a tent neccessary? How much water per person will be required on the hike out from Hance creek? What temperatures can we expect at night?

    Any advice is appreciated. Thanks,

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  70. bwfull Says:

    This may be crazy, which is why I’m asking the experts, but I’m getting a group of guys together to hike the Grand Canyon and the goal is to go North Rim to South Rim to North Rim. I have hiked the Canyon once (15 years ago) but only from the South to the Inner and back to the South (2 days total). The group I’m taking are an active bunch. Some train for marathons other triathlons. We reside in Jacksonville, FL so we are used to humid heat but not desert heat. Here is a breakdown of the plan:

    * Go either in late May or early September.
    * Hike from the North Rim to the South Rim and spend the night on the South Rim (Day 1).
    * Hike from the South Rim to the Inner Gourge to pitch camp and just look around (Day 2).
    * Hike from the Inner Gourge to the North Rim (Day 3).

    This will take place in 2008 so we have sufficient time to plan and prepare. Safety is my first concern so I’m looking for feedback. I am the only one of the group who has been to the canyon so apart from this being a trip for my 40th birthday, it is a chance for friends to check off a “place I must see” on their “before I die” list.

  71. iluvgc Says:

    Hello to all,

    My wife and I have been to the south rim three times so far. We’ve hiked halfway down Bright Angel Trail so far. We plan on going all the way to the bottom, camping and then back to the top. It is an absolute challenge to hike the canyon and I believe we feel comfortable now. I’m going to take more pictures next time. I did manage a good one on the last trip, which I was encouraged to design a shirt for.

    We’re really excited about the trip and we hope we can get there soon. In much cooler weather of course. The three times we were there it was in the middle of summer. Very hot hiking! The first time we just hung out on the rim in awe. The second time we went on the Bright Angel Trail. We didn’t even go a mile. It was a very short teaser. The third time we went to the three mile marker. On the way up, I thought my legs were going to turn to mush. That is tough to climb up! We’re more prepared now. What a great experience. The landscape views, the butterflies, birds, chipmunks. Just awesome. Didn’t see any snakes or anything else and I hope we don’t see any venomous snakes.

    For those who are planning on hiking, be careful. It’s not as easy as you might think. Some of the most physically fit people have ended up in trouble there!

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    Headed down South Bass soon do me a favor….about a mile short of the Tonto intersection is 3 camping or rest spots right off the trail. Look to your right and you will see my Buck knife. Left it after water and food stop 11/14/07. contact me at

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  74. jennylorel Says:

    I am looking for about a 3 night hike and would like to see some Native American ruins along our trip. I’m not sure where to start my search so I though here would be good. I would like to stay away from the really touristy portions as well. A rim to rim hike might be good and we would have a car that would drop us off and pick us up. I backpack with my father, my mother is planning on coming this year but she won’t do any hiking rather she would like to find a hotel or resort to stay at for the few days that we will be gone. Any recomendations there would be great as well. Thanks for your time and help!

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