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Grand Canyon National Park Grandview, AZ

Apr 5 - Apr 12, 2020 -- $1400 ★★★★, YOU CANNOT REGISTER FOR THIS TRIP YET AS DETAILS ARE NOT FINAL


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?


Face it, 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.


Get ready to backpack in the Grand Canyhon! We'll begin on the Grandview Trailhead with a grueling, quad-busting, knee-jarring 3700' downhill hike over 4.5 long, steep miles. This will be a truly challenging day. From there, the distances and elevations become somewhat more moderate as we join the Tonto Trail on our way into the Canyon. We then head uphill once again towards South Kaibab. The final day will be long and grueling once again as we will ascend almost 3700' with a full pack over 6.5 miles. This is truly a challenge but one that's unbelievably rewarding.



Weather

Weather is always an important concern when backpacking, especially in the Grand Canyon. April 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
2nd Guide TBD


Cost

$1400 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, restaurant meals and any gratuities for guides.


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



Important Notes

This is a tentative itinerary. The Grand Canyon will issue April backcountry permits on or about January 15th, 2020. The itinerary we are approved for may be in the opposite direction, use nearby camping zones, or the start date may be shifted a day or more ahead or back. We have little control over this unfortunately.


This trip does not go all the way down to the Colorado River. It seem strange, but the trip is still amazing even if you don't visit the (sometimes muddy) Colorado.


This is the 1st of two trips to the Grand Canyon this year. The other trip is May 2-9, 2020



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 on the first and last day 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.


Extraction from the canyon will be time consuming and expensive. You should have no expectation of rapid evacuation should you request it. You might as well just complete the trip by walking out with us.


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


Sunday, April 5, 2020

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. Please arrive by 1PM if possible.


Equipment shakedown


Trip to REI Chandler, 870 N 54th St, Chandler, AZ 85226, for forgotten or last minute equipment


Distribution of trail mix


Guide Deb will take your spare bag(s) for safekeeping


Drive 2 hours to Flagstaff


Go out for welcome dinner in town. Cost of dinner not included in trip cost


Drive 2 hours to Grand Canyon National Park, Mather Campground


Set up camp and stay at Mather Campground, site TBD

"Before" body composition measurements taken




Monday, April 6, 2020

2nd set of before body composition measurements taken


Break camp and drive to Central Parking


Fill all water vessels as we will be "dry camping" tonight


Take Park Shuttle Bus to the Grandview Trailhead, elevation 7400'


Hike 3.0 steep, knee-crushing miles to Horseshoe Mesa, elevation 4900'


Camp at Horseshoe Mesa, site TBD, elevation 4900'


Miles today: 3.0 miles. Total to date: 3.0 miles


Possible Bailout: South Rim


Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Hike 1.5 steep, knee-crushing, scree-covered miles to Cottonwood Creek, Zone BG9, elevation 3900'


Hike 5.5 miles to Grapevine Creek, elevation 3550'.


At-Large camp in the vicinity of Grapevine Creek, zone BH9, elevation 3550'. The water here is generally reliable.


Miles Today: 7.0. Total to Date: 10.0


Possible Bailout: South Rim, but it's pretty far


Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Hike 5.7 miles to Boulder Spring, elevation 3600'


Water may be found nearby or downstream about 20 minutes walk. Water is often reported as salty and unpalatable.


At-Large camp in the vicinity of Boulder Spring, zone BH9, elevation 3600'.


Miles Today: 5.7. Total to Date: 15.7


Possible Bailout: No good options


Thursday, April 9, 2020

No guarantee of water today. We must carry 2 gallons each.


Hike 3.0 miles to Lone Tree, elevation 3680'


Hike 3.5 miles to Cremation Canyon, elevation 3650'


At-Large camp in the vicinity of Cremation Canyon, zone BJ9, elevation 3650'. We must camp East of the canyon (the West side is pretty steep and unsuitable for tents anyway)


Miles today: 6.5 miles. Total to date: 22.2 miles


Possible Bailout: No good options


Friday, April 10, 2020

Hike 6.6 miles on the Tonto Trail to Indian Garden Campground, elevation 3800'


Set up camp at Indian Garden Campground, elevation 3800'. There is reliable water here.


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


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


Camp at Indian Garden Campground, elevation 3800'


Miles today: 9.6 miles. Total to date: 31.8 miles


Possible Bailout: South Rim


Saturday, April 11, 2020

Hike 4.8 grueling uphill miles to the Bright Angel Trailhead, elevation 6860'


End of Hike


Miles today: 4.8 miles. Total to date: 36.6 miles


Possible Bailout: Bright Angel Trailhead


Body Composition Taken on South Rim

"After" body composition measurements taken


Shuttle to Flagstaff for Dinner and Awards Ceremony


Shuttle back to Phoenix. Check into local hotel TBD

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.


Sunday, April 12, 2020

Free Hotel Breakfast


Free airport shuttle


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