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Hey All,

We have any 18 day float in about 6 weeks. Putting together the itinerary and decided to get some input. We have a lot of people that have been down numerous times and a few for their first. What are some of you favorite layover spots? Favorite camps? Favorite hikes?

Thanks!
 

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This is such a loaded question, because no matter how many times you go, or how many days you have, you will not have enough time to see it all. :( Here is what I consider to be some of my favorite days back-to-back on a River Trip:

Spend your time at Tapeats Creek & Deer Creek (whether you do the loop hike over, or just hike to the patio), then move down and camp. Next day, go down to Olo, and if you have some strongish climbers they can get up into Olo and haul the less-experienced/willing up the mouth. You can easily climb up the next couple of raps and get into the Muav narrows. Then just rap back out. If this is not your style, then stop by Matkat, do the hike up, run Upset and camp around Ledges to set up for your Havasu Day.

Next day, do the Havasu thing, then move down to somewhere above Tuckup. YMMV depending on how much time you spend in Havasu.

This next day is one of my favorite ways to spend a day in GC and get so much bang for so little effort. Stop at Tuckup in the morning. There is a great hike here up past the narrows. Spend a few hours. Go down to National and do this hike up to the barrier chock. Have lunch either before or after the hike. National is such a nice canyon. Move down to Fern Glen and do the hike up to the waterfall. Either camp at Fern or move to something like Mohawk. A day spent in the Muav at Tuckup, National and Fern is incredible, it is highly recommended and highly memorable! It is also a great way to spend the day before Lava.

The past few years we have also done the full descent of Silver Grotto by leaving half the boats at Shinumo Wash (29 Mile), taking the other half down to the beach opposite Fence Fault (River Left above the riffle), heading the Redwall then hiking back up to the top of the Redwall in Silver Grotto. This is about a half day adventure and can get you into a nice little pocket away from several of the other trips that launched with you, and the motors who launched a day behind you (mid Sept. Launch may still be a few motors on the River I believe).

The camp at Saddle Canyon on the downstream sandbar has good early shade. Also a nice hike if you haven't done it.

The adventurous may like a layover at Enfilade camp with an ascent of the Enfilade Route up to the top of the Redwall or into the Supai. Here is one description of that. Note there is some exposure:

Grand Canyon Hiking: Enfilade Point Route

Back in the Bass area you could spend a layover and get up Shinumo Creek a good ways towards Modred Abyss. This would be a LONG hiking day, maybe even worth pulling a backcountry permit and doing an overnight up there?

Otherwise, be creative, see some new things. Make the obligatory stops at the attractions, but consider laying over at new spots and doing new hikes. With only 18 days, layovers will be tough, but doable.

Have a great trip!

-Josh
 

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Josh,

Have you been up National since it flashed? We floated by it on our trip last year and I could not believe how different the whole area was. Wondering if the hike is still doable?
 

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Have you googled Hikes from the River? Reference material can be very useful. But 2 words for you: Layover day!
 

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National Flash...

Josh,

Have you been up National since it flashed? We floated by it on our trip last year and I could not believe how different the whole area was. Wondering if the hike is still doable?
I believe the flash you are referring to was back in August of '12?

This one:
National Canyon Flash #1 (Mid-July 2012), by Joe Clark - YouTube

We were there and did the hike in March of 2013, and from what I understand it actually removed a few obstacles in the canyon. We made it up to the narrows in the Muav, though we could have gone farther up. The upper/middle camp is definitely still not camp-able, but the lower camp appears it could work based on a floating assessment back in June.

Hope this helps...
 

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I believe the flash you are referring to was back in August of '12?

This one:
National Canyon Flash #1 (Mid-July 2012), by Joe Clark - YouTube

We were there and did the hike in March of 2013, and from what I understand it actually removed a few obstacles in the canyon. We made it up to the narrows in the Muav, though we could have gone farther up. The upper/middle camp is definitely still not camp-able, but the lower camp appears it could work based on a floating assessment back in June.

Hope this helps...
Camped right at National a couple weeks ago after the location we wanted above was taken and lower National was in use. The alluvial fan has many gaps in it where the sand goes down to the water and the beach up above is nice, sandy and large. You can disperse your boats into these gaps in the fan and tie them off in a way that works very well for the rising levels. Not much privacy to be had for groover, but can find a good place back behind some larger rocks. For our group of 16, we thought it was a very nice camp. Using a roll-a-cot a few of us setup toward the end of the alluvial peninsulas where we were well above the water line, but caught good, cool breezes which were nice in mid-July.
Did not hike National Canyon since we got in late and had an early start, but wish I had. Would certainly consider staying at the campsite again.
 
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