How long does it REALLY take? - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 07-07-2007   #1
bth
 
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How long does it REALLY take?

for anyone who has done it before...
How long does it REALLY take (for a 29 year old in good shape) to hike from the Bright Angel Trailhead on the South Rim to Phantom Ranch, carrying minimal gear (i.e. photo equipment)

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Old 07-07-2007   #2
 
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I'm digging way back here since I haven't done it in forever, but I'd guess about 5 hours? I think it's 4-4.5 miles to Indian Gardens, plus down to the river from there, so that's my best guess. Sorry I can't be more accurate, my last time was headed up not down and it was in a January blizzard, so my recollection ain't the greatest.
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Old 07-07-2007   #3
 
Laramie, Wyoming
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canyon time

I've day hiked down South Kaibab trail and up Bright Angel 4 times. I would recommmend that combo due to the fact that South Kaibab is a shorter trail and makes for a quicker descent, the shuttle between the trailheads is an easy 10 minute walk along the rim, and you get the variety of doing a loop. The descent is doable in 3 hours or less, depending on how easy you want to take it easy on your joints for the climb ahead. Last time I was down there I took right at 3.5 hours from rim down to Phantom. On the climb up Bright Angel I made one short stop at Indian Gardens and made it river to rim in 3 hours and 15 minutes. It's a well worth the trip and day tripping it is an attractive alternative to dealing with the whole NPS camping permit system.
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Old 07-07-2007   #4
 
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Hi,

I'd think long and hard about doing it all in one day in the summer, even being in good shape. The NPS advises strongly against it, and their daily incident reports this time of year are full of episodes involving dehydration, heat exhaustion, and other serious heat-related problems.

FYI, there is no water on the South Kaibab trail, and no shade either. Coming back up the Bright Angel, there is no water and little shade between the river and Indian Gardens. There are a couple of rest stops with shade and water on the 4.5 mile segment from Indian Gardens to the South Rim.

A common strategy for those who do try it is to leave very early in the morning and get as much of it done as possible before the sun gets too high. Coming back out, you're still going to need to work hard to stay hydrated.

I just got a message from a guy who got off a raft trip down there, and for a good part of the day they were registering temperatures above 120 degrees at river level.

FWIW.

Rich Phillips
VP, GCPBA

Join Grand Canyon Private Boaters Association at Grand Canyon Private Boaters Association. click on "Join", and support active, ongoing private boater representation on Grand Canyon issues. And follow GC issues on http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gcpba/messages
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Old 07-07-2007   #5
 
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I would definitely agree with this guy ^^^^ I've been down the grand a few times and done a fair share of hiking. There is literally NO shade on those trails in the middle of the day and the only water you'll find is at phantom ranch. They also say that most of the incidents down there with hikers are with 18-25 yo's (so you're a little older so what) that have the invincible complex and believe they can do it far faster than they can with far less supplies than they can.

Just be careful and know your limits.
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Old 07-07-2007   #6
 
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Maybe a little confusion here - if you're not in tip-top condition, Rich is right about the RT to Phantom. But the one-way shouldn't be a problem. Drink a lot of water this time of year esp.
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Old 07-08-2007   #7
bth
 
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why this notion of macho-man ego? i never even mentioned going down and up! just wondering how long from the rim to phantom, and which trail is better...
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Old 07-08-2007   #8
 
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I prefer South Kaibab too - less crowded. But if there's gonna be heat, it might be worth it to go Bright Angel b/c you'll drink more and have to carry less water that way.
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Old 07-08-2007   #9
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I've done both. If you are looking for the quickest, do the Kaibab. leave just before sunrise, take at least 3 liters of water and hydrate well before starting your hike. Should take 3 or 4 hours.
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