Grand Canyon Heat in July - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 03-06-2017   #1
 
Ashland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Sep 2014
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Grand Canyon Heat in July

Hi all..
I am looking for people's thoughts and impressions on how bad the heat is in July and how it did or did not limit your activity. I went last September but am concerned that a July trip will be roasting...

Did you hike a lot less or try to hike early in the am?

Did you alter your route/pacing on the river? Altered daily routine to avoid certain activity in the days?

Did you sleep in a wet sheet?

Did you still have ice in the end?

And anyone ever rig up a mister on their boat????

Thanks for all replies!! Much appreciated! - Bongo

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Old 03-06-2017   #2
 
Aurora, Colorado
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Join Date: Apr 2006
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My first GC trip was a July trip. It was hot. The river isn't exactly inviting to jump into since it's so damn cold (especially for the first 150 miles or so).

We did get things moving earlier than we would have had it not been so hot. Cooks were in the kitchen before sunup, and we were trying to be on the water by 8:30 or so. We achieved this most days. We also spent a long time hiking and playing in side streams, to the point of not wanting to get to camp before about 5 or 6PM. We actually spent our mid-days hiking, but they were almost all wet hikes.

I recall still having ice at the end.

I slept on my boat every night. I pretty much only left my boat for 3 things- groover, food and side creeks. It's amazing how much the temps go up just 20 feet from the river. Much more comfortable on the boats. I did use a damp sheet some nights, even sleeping on the boat. Actually, it was a really lightweight material sarong that I had along- multi purpose!

I have set up a mister on my boat, for family trips where the little one would be too hot otherwise. It was just a little "Misty Mate" thing with one nozzle, so it wasn't all that great. It did well enough, though, that I want to get a more adequate system to permanently mount up on my bimini top.

Don't be afraid of the heat. It's all about expectations and preparation. If you expect it to be 115 it won't feel as bad as if you're expecting perfect temps. Also, the heat shapes the trip to stop in different places than you would on, say, a December trip. (wet hikes are no fun in Dec. while the Surprise Valley hike is no fun in July.)

Have fun!
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Old 03-06-2017   #3
 
Ashland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 46
Thanks - that is helpful. Did you ever get more specific on a design for the mister? Was it powered?

Did you do the Grand with a Bimini ? I did it with an umbrella that cranked up and down pretty quickly but it had to be down a lot due to the wind.
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Old 03-06-2017   #4
 
Aurora, Colorado
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I didn't have a bimini for that Grand trip, but did have an umbrella, IIRC, which was nice, but also a PITA due to the wind. The bimini is a new addition, since we've got a kiddo now. It's totally awesome on the water, but it does make loading/unloading trickier. Still wouldn't leave it at home for a July GC trip though.

I didn't get deeper into the mister thing, but I think it's pretty available stuff: Mister Product

Maybe a weed sprayer type pressure reservoir and an adapter for the hose?
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Old 03-06-2017   #5
 
St. George, Utah
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I have done a few summer Grand Canyon trips and it is hot, but you have options. I plan to spend more time in camp in the mornings and try to pick camps with morning shade. I don't sleep well on my boat so I use a cot and set it up close to the water. A shade tarp is a must for those times where you have to camp early or layover.
You will be limited on hikes, most people would rather be on the river in the mornings but it is an option, hike and then row.
Stick to the wet hikes if possible.
You may be into the monsoon season, so plan for some storms.
It will be busy, so those shade camps go pretty quick, as the motor boats like them as well.
Try to shade up in the afternoon and get into camp later than normal.
I find it starts to cool off about 1 in the morning. Don't walk around barefoot!
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Old 03-06-2017   #6
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Tabernash, Colorado
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Only have run it in Winter, but a compilation called the "Sun Dial" exists, which lists hours of sun for each campsite, by month of the year. It was an awesome resource for winter, and would probably be great to down load for a July trip as well. I believe the Grand Canyon Private Boaters Association has it on there site. A google search should also find it for ya.
Enjoy!!
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Old 03-06-2017   #7
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Tabernash, Colorado
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Also get a copy of Tom Martins "Day Hikes from the River" Vishnu Temple Press, if you don't have it. Lots of info on Hikes, and what type of temperature to expect, as well as additional camp site Beta.
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Old 03-06-2017   #8
 
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NorCal, California
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I have done several trips in Aug and July and I live in a cooler climate. Sleep on a river cot and you'll be just fine. Some use a bucket of water to cool down the area under their cot as needed...
Possibly there might be monsoon rains which will cool everything down.
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Old 03-06-2017   #9
 
Carbondale, Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2007
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The heat really isn't that bad.
Yes, the river is too cold to hang out in for most of the trip, but frequent dunks to wet yourself and your clothes really pay off. A long sleeve cotton shirt is key. It's also nice to have a bucket to splash down your boat during flatwater.
Definitely yes to sleeping on the boat. Always nice, but mandatory when it's really hot. That's where those rented 18 footers come in handy. Not too hard to sleep 4 on those suckers.
But I think the big thing is that your body acclimates and adjusts. It's my understanding that the human body can acclimate to elevated heat in ways that it can't to cold.
When we got off the river, our shuttle driver told us that the heat had spiked at 115* during our trip. In hindsight, it was easy to figure out that that was the day that our cheese for mexican dinner had melted to liquid (in the shade.)
But that day didn't feel much hotter than the 100* days at the start of the trip.
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Old 03-06-2017   #10
 
Ashland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Sep 2014
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ok -- that is all really helpful. I have done a fair share of hot river trips but not at the 105/110/115 ranges. It is good to hear that real people can in handle all that! Thanks!

Also if anyone has a design for an on the boat mister, let's see it!
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