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Posted: 1/24/2006 5:58:08 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/24/2006 5:58:27 PM EDT by Winston_Wolf]
... Never done it before. Been training for it and I'm finally ready to do the Bright Angel Trail with the g/f this coming spring. Planning on an overnight at Phantom Ranch or Bright Angel Campground.

... Anyone here done it before? Any stories / recommendations / observations you'd like to share?





Link Posted: 1/24/2006 6:15:12 PM EDT
oh man, I havent done this yet either.. If you have any links that describe places to start and places to stay/camp... please list them..

Thanks,

Dan (0_o)
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 9:26:33 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/24/2006 9:27:51 PM EDT by El_Ron]
Prepararation is the key to enjoying the trip. It will kick your ass, people think going down is easy, but it's what beats up muscles that don't get used. How many times do you walk DOWN a mile? More nights is better. Try to do at least one at the bottom and one at Indian Gardens. From Indian Gardens, walk out to Plateau Point, even if you think you're tired. The view is unbelievable!I'd recommend Bright Angel over Kaibab down unless you have really good legs. There is a condition at the bottom called "the Kaibab Shuffle". You get up in the morning to pee, but you can't walk! Take a few extra bucks for beers at Phantom Ranch. Travel light, carry JUST what you need and leave the rest. The weather at the bottom will be the same as here, there may be ice on top. Someday do rim to rim, the north rim is real cool. ENJOY!
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 4:32:53 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/25/2006 4:33:29 AM EDT by demigod]
Exactly as ElRon said!

I'd venture to say the YOU CAN'T PREPARE FOR THIS HIKE!!!!

I've done it twice. How can you train to hike 9 miles ALL DOWN HILL??? I thought I was ready both times, and Both times I was hurting!

It took us 4 hours to get to the bottom, and it feels deceptively easy. But wait til next morning!
And just when you think you're almost there (because you can see the river) You still have another couple of miles... part of which is in SOFT BEACH like sand!

Hiking out is pure hell, but you will be glad you made the journey. When you hit about hour 5 and you're almost to the top, you'll start hitting thinner air. It really gets tough at the end. We finished in 6.25 hours IIRC.

We did it over the 4th of July... As if the hike in cool weather wasn't enough of a challenge!!

Bring Beer money for Phantom ranch. Bring a Phone card if you want to call someone from the pay phones down by phantom too!
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 4:38:21 AM EDT

Originally Posted By El_Ron:
You get up in the morning to pee, but you can't walk!



This is a VIVID memory to me. That path to the head felt like ten miles away from our camp area.

The ground is HARD, but you'll be so damned tired, it won't matter. A good pillow is priceless... rolled up clothing just doesn't cut it.

We spent 2 nights at phantom, and morning number 2 was even more painful than the first. It's all worth it though. It's an experience you won't ever forget.
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 6:14:42 AM EDT
My brother in law usually does the rim-to-rim hikes about once a month. He trains for it by running Squak Peak (yeah, that is the name I choose to use) about 3 times a week. He also bikes into work on a pretty much daily basis.

On his last trip out, he said that he came across a couple of ladies that were doing a rim-to-rim-to-rim-to-rim hike in a single day. Even he was impressed.
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 6:19:56 AM EDT
Also.. a good pack is a must. I think the target weight is no more than 30 lbs. Do you plan on packing in MREs? or that ghey dehydrated stuff? We did MREs. They cook hot chow at dinner time at Phantom, but you need to make reservations before you hike in if you plan on paying for a dinner.

If I ever go again I want to rent one of those bungalow things at Phantom ranch. You would have access to showers and wouldn't need to hump a tent/sleeping bag into the canyon. But doing a tent trip is a must too!

Personally, I wouldn't stay at indian gardens unless you did it on NIGHT TWO, and split your hike out over two days. But that is being a WIMP!
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 6:42:17 AM EDT
Just did the hike two weeks ago with the wifey. (Second time)

I Hiked down Kiabab (yes, I did the Kiabab shuffle), spent two nights at Phantom Ranch in the dorms, and hiked out Bright Angel.

Weather at the top is damn cold (this time of year)
Weather at the bottom was identical to Tucson
Kiabab is steeper and shorter
Bright Angel is longer and shallower, however you spend two miles hiking along the river not gaining any elevation.
Phantom Ranch to Indian Gardens is a snap. Indian Gardens to the top sucks.
The way in hurts (the next day too). Lighter packs really reduce this pain.
They way out is exhausting but not painful.
When you get to the top, realize that you might be dodging cars immediately.
As you get to the top, realize the better people smell, the worse they act.
Eat your meals at Phantom Ranch if possible.
Eat the early breakfast on your last morning at the bottom. It allows for an early start.
Get sack lunches if possible too.
The Stew is better than the Steak at Phantom Ranch.
Take cash, it works everywhere.
When climbing out remember that the air gets thinner and you are getting more and more tired as you get higher. Do not be afraid to rest every quarter mile during the last 1 to 2 miles out.


And, a biggie size Wendy's double burger, fries, Dr. Pepper and frostie 10 minutes out of the Grand Canyon really REALLY hit the spot.
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 6:55:44 AM EDT
One of my favorite places, and well worth the effort to get there.

You'll want a minimum of two nights, the more the better. It's a lot of work to get there, might as well enjoy it and see the sights while you're there. Camping is at designated sites in both of these campgrounds, grab whatever is available. If you stay at Indian Gardens, yes, get out to Plateau Point. It's an easy (fairly level) walk and will help loosen up your legs.

If you have the time and energy it's a 7 mile hike up the N. Kaibab trail to Ribbon Falls. For a shorter hike with spectacular views there's a faint trail that leaves from the northernmost campsite at BA campground (by the bridge). This takes you up "piano alley" to Utah Flats, with great views of the Canyon and river. It's a scramble with a day pack, and even more fun if you have a backpack and are heading for Phantom Creek. Another hike is up the N. Kaibab to the Clear Creek trail. Just a mile or so up the Clear Creek trail you top out on the "north tonto" and have some good views of the canyon and river.

Definately want to take beer money. Remember that it's hauled in by mule, and isn't cheap, but nothing like a cold beer after hiking into the Canyon. Enjoy, and let us know how it went.
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 8:03:21 AM EDT
plateu point is an awesome vertigo spot, bring a camera.
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 8:43:07 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/25/2006 8:44:14 AM EDT by freeride21a]
when you going? Im attempting to do it the 10-13 of march.. s kaibab to bright angel camp, then out via indian gardens and bright angel trail.

If you have any equipment questions let me know.. i work in the outdoor industry, certified gregory pack fitter.
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 8:50:46 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/25/2006 8:52:28 AM EDT by demigod]

Originally Posted By ghengiskhabb:
Bright Angel is longer and shallower, however you spend two miles hiking along the river not gaining any elevation.



That's what I was talking about! It crapped me out the first time because I thought I had reached the end. But you have a long hump along the river and you actually end up gaining elevation before you come back down and hit the bridge!


And, a biggie size Wendy's double burger, fries, Dr. Pepper and frostie 10 minutes out of the Grand Canyon really REALLY hit the spot.


A BIG ASS BURGER and FRIES is mandatory! Then you drive home and try to stand up after the car ride!
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 4:33:52 PM EDT
Its worth it. 100x over.

Here's a pic from the Indian Gardens overlook, looking back up...



All my wife and I did was pack food and water. Although, we're in pretty good shape anyhow.

Erik Johnson
Link Posted: 1/25/2006 5:24:29 PM EDT
The view from Plateau Point is awesome. Here's a teaser.


A Grand Canyon overnighter requires permits. Start applying @ midnight on the first of the month, four months in advance. Good Luck!
Link Posted: 1/26/2006 12:05:17 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/26/2006 12:07:26 PM EDT by hard_cover]
My wife and I went down Kaibab and back out Bright Angel in June. I do not recommend that you try this. We spent about an hour at Phantom Ranch. Total trip time was about 7.5 hours. I remember the thermometer at Indian Gardens reading 101 on the way out. I knew it was going to suck and it did. My wife is super strong and kept asking if she could take my pack so I would move faster. hinking.gif

I highly recommend a set of Leki poles for the way down. They really soften the beating that your knees will take.
Link Posted: 1/26/2006 9:14:26 PM EDT
I hiked down at 14 years old. It was a bitch! For a kid I should've handled it better, but getting out was so difficult. I stayed overnight at one of those two places (Phantom Ranch?). Walking across that long bridge was cool, but my ass was beat to hell. I'm 33 now, so my memory isn't the greatest. All I know is my grandfather was doing better than me by a long shot and he was probably 65.
Link Posted: 1/26/2006 9:49:26 PM EDT
If you've never been, do the Havasupai hike. I did it when I was 14 or so with the boy scouts. It's a very beautiful area.. the waterfalls are awesome. It's almost like a damned tropical paradise down there. You would have to reserve a camping spot and maybe be put on a waiting list way ahead of time. I recommend it, but ya better be in damned decent shape.... Packing your own food etc in is a must, so a decent sized pack would be good. Also, you can rent horses if you decide you can't make it back out or what not.. I bet your lady friend would love it.
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