Advice on visiting the Grand Canyon
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09-05-2016, 11:35 PM
RE: Advice on visiting the Grand Canyon
(09-05-2016 06:35 PM)dancefortwo Wrote:  I'm going to the Grand Canyon around the end of June. Any advice would be welcome.
There's an interesting phenomenon at Wupatki National Monument that is east of Grand Canyon National Park. The ground there is volcanic and quite porous, filled with cavities. During the winter the air in this rock gets chilled but as the rock warms in the spring and summer the air expands and comes shooting out of a hole in the ground. It's called a blow-hole. In an area where it's over 100 degrees F in the shade it's quite impressive to have frigid air blowing out of a hole in the ground.

You have go be there at the right time of year to experience this. Too early and it has not started yet. Too late and the show's over. We were there in June 1997.




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09-05-2016, 11:44 PM
RE: Advice on visiting the Grand Canyon
(09-05-2016 06:35 PM)dancefortwo Wrote:  I'm going to the Grand Canyon around the end of June. Any advice would be welcome. So far I've listened to Ferde Grofe's Grand Canyon Suite... Thumbsup but something tells me I need a little more than that. Tongue

I've read that' it's a five hour hike down to the bottom and if it's five hours down it ain't gonna be much fun hiking back up . So if I don't go all the way down am I still going to see interesting stuff?
If you weigh less than 200 lbs take the mule ride. You have to book early.

If you are not in good shape do not try to hike down and back out. If you can't get out by yourself they will come and get you and then (so I'm told) send you a bill for the service.

Don't bother visiting the North Rim.

Don't horse around. People do fall in and get killed, usually some guy trying to impress a girl.

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10-05-2016, 01:24 AM
RE: Advice on visiting the Grand Canyon
I love the Grand Canyon but I agree with f Stop. If you want to go down to the river, take the mule ride. It's generally 2 days round trip on foot. There are lots of tourist traps on the south rim. The north rim is on the Rez and there is nothing there except scorpions and rattlers and 4 wheel drive trails.
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10-05-2016, 02:35 AM
RE: Advice on visiting the Grand Canyon
Been there. Would like to visit this one but the lack of facilities and the all important snack shops and native knick knack shops keeps me from booking it.

Aside from the pretty rocks and deep vistas this lesser known feature of Grand Canyon history might be of some interest.
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10-05-2016, 02:39 AM
RE: Advice on visiting the Grand Canyon
Advice? umm.. don't fall in?

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10-05-2016, 08:47 AM
RE: Advice on visiting the Grand Canyon
Been there, done that. It was one of the most awesome experiences of my life. I was with a guided tour group. We hiked all the way down via the South Kaibab Trail (about 6 or 7 miles), stayed overnight at Phantom Ranch, and then hiked out the next day via the Bright Angel Trail (about 9 or 10 miles). They say the Bright Angel Trail is better to hike out on, because it's less steep, but it follows the river for a mile or two before heading up, so the vertical part of it is probably not that much easier than the South Kaibab Trail. Some tips:

1. I have a healthy fear of heights, but that was never a problem. There are places where the trail is literally cut out of the cliff -- cliff going up on one side and down on the other (and these cliffs are hundreds if not thousands of feet high) -- but the trail is 4 or 5 feet wide. I never felt in any danger of falling off. But you do need to watch where you're going.

2. The standard advice is not to try hiking all the way down and back out in the same day. I certainly could not have done so. In general, going up takes twice as long as going down, so if you're doing a partial hike, you want to turn around when you've consumed 1/3 of your allotted time, if not sooner. On the other hand, I know a guy who ran, pretty much non-stop, from the south rim down to the river, then up to the north rim, then back down to the river, then back up to the south rim, all within a 24-hour period. But (a) he is an animal, and (b) he did extensive specific training in preparation for that. Most people would die or require rescue if they tried that.

3. We went in March, and daytime temperatures were in the 50s up on the rim, and in the 80s down in the canyon. In summer, it can be over 100 degrees in the canyon. Don't go in summer if you can help it. And in any case, carry plenty of water. There are very few places in the canyon to get water, and you will need lots of it if it's hot.

4. If you plan to stay overnight in the canyon, there are only two options: camping or Phantom Ranch. Be advised that Phantom Ranch is booked up years in advance, and is mostly for mule riders. If you as a hiker want to stay there, you have to be with a commercial group (like I was), or make your reservation years ahead of time. Otherwise, bring camping gear and be prepared to use it. Even then, I think you need to make a reservation with the Park to camp in the canyon, and I don't think you can just camp anywhere. All of this requires planning in advance.

5. That place with the semicircular walkway that is shown in one of the previous posts is not in the National Park. I believe it's run by one of the Indian reservations outside the park. The Grand Canyon is a huge place, and the National Park only covers part of it. During my trip, we did a 3-day side trip into Havasu Canyon, which is part of the Grand Canyon but not part of the National Park. That, too, was awesome, but not something you would just do casually. Like the main canyon, it requires advance planning.
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11-05-2016, 03:30 AM
RE: Advice on visiting the Grand Canyon
Watch for snakes.

Don't let those gnomes and their illusions get you down. They're just gnomes and illusions.

--Jake the Dog, Adventure Time

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11-05-2016, 04:05 PM
RE: Advice on visiting the Grand Canyon
If you go to the north rim, pack a jacket just in case. Found out the hard way that it actually snows at the Grand Canyon sometimes up there with the higher elevation than the south rim.

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