GC Layover spots - Mountain Buzz

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Old 02-01-2012   #1
Gumbydamnit's Avatar
DURANGO, 81301
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GC Layover spots

I'm trying to get some ideas for our layover day this June. What are some of your favorite layover spots in the ditch. Yes, I've read the forums about favorite camps, but which ones are best for hiking, shade, water, etc in June when it's 100 plus degrees.

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Old 02-01-2012   #2
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McCall, Idaho
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This won't tell you the best layover camps but will give you an idea of the amount of sun you will get at most points in the canyon durning which month you are down there. If nothing else it's good for the ol river library. I actually just used it for a winter trip down there to find the sun and although it was a little off it was still mostly helpful. You may even already have this but thought I'd throw it out there.

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Old 02-02-2012   #3
Tom Martin's Avatar
Flagstaff, Arizona
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Good question Gum. June... hot... busy time of year... side canyons with water and or shade = good!

Ok, above Phantom in June, i'll want to stay out of the way of all the fast trips zipping on by. It would be nice to have afternoon shade with hiking options. Little Nankoweap comes to mind. Can hike into the main drainage, and you'll know if it's open well before you arrive as you look on downriver straight at the camp. If it's taken, then the Nanko Point Camp would be second best, but by then you have blown past the other two Nanko camps, Take the Main if it is open.

Below Phantom, same rules apply, afternoon shade, hike with water, out of the way. Hmmm... you know a cool thing is to camp at Owl Eyes and ferry hikers across the river so they can hike the river trail in a big loop including Deer Creek, Thunder Springs Tapeats Creek. It's a hard ferry across the river and back, but has been done. Below Kanab is an option with a day to explore Kanab drainage, but if the camp is taken when you arrive, ooops. The camp at Across from Ross Wheeler is hot with no shade but if Bass is taken, it's an option, so you can access Shinumo. We have done two nights at Crystal, and explored the drainage or hiked to Ra, but that was winter.

Hope this helps, yours, tom
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Old 02-02-2012   #4
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Lewistown, middle of MT
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Layovers in the ditch

We did Nantkoweap and Football Field but it was winter. Nantokoweap would be fine, but Football Field might be a little hot. We went all the way to Pearce and did another layover at Travertane and it was delightful and quite shady in spots. The falls coming off the rock was a lovely place to hang and cool off.
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Old 02-03-2012   #5
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There are a few things in life better than Travertine Canyon on a hot summer afternoon - but the list is short.

In the slot at the very top, the spray from the little falls there makes it like a huge swamp cooler. The entire cavern is delightfully cool while there are punishing temperatures in the sun, just a few dozen feet away. And if you've been running in muddy water for days, the ability to just stand under that pulsing stream of clear water, and let it pound the silt out of your pores, is a pretty good feeling too.

You can camp above Diamond (among others, there's a small high beach camp at about 224.5) and sleep in. Have a leisurely start, and in an hour or so you can be at Travertine Canyon. Spend the day there, and then drift on down to Travertine Falls for the night, if your communication with other groups you see suggests it will be open.

Or, you could camp at Travertine Canyon itself -- maybe even lounge around in the cavern another afternoon. But either way, down at the Falls there's a pleasant rocky nook for setting up your kitchen, and there is a nice cool, vegetated area at the base of the travertine formation. There's also a rough trail to the top of the formation if you get an uncontrollable burst of energy early in the morning before the sun gets too high.


Rich Phillips
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Old 02-05-2012   #6
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Thanks for the info. This is probably a stupid question, but what is so special about Bass camp? It seems like everyone wants to stay there so something about it must be special. It's kind of in the middle of the canyon, right? A layover day on day 7 or 8 would be pretty ideal.
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Old 02-05-2012   #7
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I should add that we have a small group of 8 going, but we'll have 7 boats. What can I say everyone wants to row.
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Old 02-05-2012   #8
Pugetopolis, Washington
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Hike above camp and you'll see why its so special.

That and it's a beach.
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Old 02-05-2012   #9
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DURANGO, Colorado
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At Bass you can set up a full badminton/volleyball court and horseshoes! The Ringtails also like to layover at Bass so remember to latch the coolers and boxes.
"Eddies are our friends"
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Old 02-05-2012   #10
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Flagstaff, Arizona
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Bass Camp allows you access to a clear flowing stream after a little hiking, and allows for some amazing hiking deep into the backcountry, should you be so inclined.
Yours, tom martin

Ps: Some books you might want to check out include: Day Hikes from the River, the Martin/Whitis Grand Canyon River Guide, and soon to be released BIG WATER, LITTLE BOATS
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