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Old 01-31-2016   #1
swimteam101's Avatar
Steamboat, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 329
Campsite / Hike questions for Grand Canyon Mid March Trip

I am Leaving for the Grand in 40 days. I have never been in March what am I missing? Any camps or hikes that are must see this time of year? Cheers

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Old 01-31-2016   #2
zbaird's Avatar
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 884
Good time of year to do the up tapeats, up thunder over surprise valley and down deer creek. Its damn hot going across surprise valley mid summer. You need someone who will row your boat on down to deer creek but I have run a double rig before and all you really have is tapeats which is easily cheatable. Basically, any of the hot dry bastard canyon hikes (what I call every dry, non shaded side canyon in the summer) will be much more pleasant to do in march.

zach baird
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Old 02-02-2016   #3
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 80
Camp at Eminence or President Harding and hike up the crack to the rim. With any luck things will be blooming up there. The view from the rim is one of my all time favorites.
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Old 02-02-2016   #4
Salida, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 727
Not missing anything. And not really an answerable question as EVERY camp and side hike affords a special experience.

The known attractions (Silver Grotto, Redwall Cavern, Little C, Tapeats/Thunder/Deer, Matkat, Elves, Havasu, Lava, etc.) are known attractions because they are over-the-top experiences. But all of the lesser known side canyons are worth exploring, so make sure to plan for a layover per week at the least and to plan a couple camps per week that you have never been to or heard about.

Most importantly, relish and plan for the lack of traffic, there will be stretches of days without seeing others. It will be busy at Tapeats/Deer Creek and Havasu, so discuss planned camps with other trips in those areas for a few days leading up to them. But you will find much solitude.

Exploration is the operative word.
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Old 02-03-2016   #5
MrScamp's Avatar
Louisville, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 64
Bring a dry suit for Silver Grotto. Hell bring a dry suit for everything!
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Old 02-04-2016   #6
Carbondale, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1965
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 175
I've ONLY done it in March so here are a few thoughts. The Deer Creek Tapeats suggestion is a good one. The Patio is my favorite layover day. The flowers will be hitting in the lower canyon but not so much in the upper. Pick your camp for early morning sun - there is a sunrise chart on GCPBA website. Lots of nights in the low 30's in march. I couldn't stand a drysuit but your feet do get cold in the mornings so be sure to have an insulated system for that (I use neoprene socks). Passengers will get pretty cold in the AM especially in the upper sections so a drysuit for them is a great idea.

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