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Old 06-28-2010   #1
Palmer, Alaska
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1
Grand Canyon passenger exchange planning

Hey! Our group is putting in at Lee's Ferry on Sept. 29 for a 21-day trip. Two of us will be hiking out at Phantom Ranch (and two hiking in to replace us).... Any recommendations on how long to stretch this first section?

We're thinking maybe hike out on Sept 8 (ten river days). Nice to get some good time on the river, but don't want to put the rest of the group in a bind for getting to Diamond on day 21.... so perhaps we should plan for hike out on Sept 7?.... Grateful for thoughts on this!

Any other suggestions regarding logistics of the exchange or any other tidbits for the river trip would be wonderful!

Thanks much!

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Old 06-29-2010   #2
Carbondale, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1965
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 175
Hey Mel. We just did this same trip in March. We did the exchange on day 8 and felt that was late - took at least one extra day above Phantom. If you go to ten, I think you rush the second half and preclude a needed layover after Lava. By then everyone is pretty beat and needinig some R&R. Personal opinion is that day ten is too late in the trip (some people get there in six days). I'd recommend eight or nine. Contact me off post if you want to discuss more. I have a pretty good spreadsheet that might help in your planning

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Old 06-29-2010   #3
whip's Avatar
Salida, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 516
Cremation is a good camp the night before exchange. The ranger will prob tell you this is reserved for exchange parties. Bring shade and lawn chairs that will survive sitting in the river for 18 days.
1/2 mile float into Phantom in am.
No amount of money is worth your free time!
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Old 06-29-2010   #4
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Flagstaff, Arizona
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 16
I think it is best to send a boat to Pipe Creek to save people a 1 1/2 mile walk in sand and HOT sun along the river trail. It makes the hike much more enjoyable for those coming in and going out. Just IMO.
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Old 06-29-2010   #5
Kingwood, Texas
Paddling Since: 08
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 4
As someone who has personally made the exchange at both places Pipe creek is a much better choice. After 8 miles of hiking the last thing anyone wants to do is a 1.5 mile trudge through the loose sand. Of course this is only if your hikers are coming down Bright Angel Trail. I suggest Bright Angel trail even though it is 2 miles longer than the South Kaibab Trail because of the availability of water at the Indian Garden Campground on the Bright Angel Trail. The water is at Indian Garden is about halfway down or up and a good stopover camp if a person does not want to do the full up or down in one day). Have a great time on the Colorado it is THE experience of a lifetime!
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Old 06-29-2010   #6
Crested Butte, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1988
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 34
I've exchanged on day 7 and day 8 on an 18 day trips to Diamond and I think the 7th worked best. Day 10 would be hard to do without laying over once or twice. My guess would be 8 or 9 for a 21 day. Also go to Pipe Creek for your exchange.
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Old 06-30-2010   #7
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 56
Day 9 is optimal for the exchange(on a 21 day trip) that way you get to spend as much time as you can above Phantom. We had a layover day at Nanko day 7. 4 layover days total for the 21 day trip. Recommend south kaibab trail for incoming and outgoing peeps. Shorter and you can carry enough water no problem. We left at dawn and I drank a gallon of h20 for the 3 hour 15 min hike up. Just leave early.


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