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#29792 - 02/06/13 07:21 PM Grand Canyon, Rim to Rim, Car swap
Julius S. Offline


Registered: 09/26/11
Posts: 45
Loc: Mission Viejo CA.
Hi guys,
This is not a Mt. Whitney question but it's hiking related.

We secured permits for Rim to Rim hike,in the Grand Canyon, May 16-18. We'll start on the North side,
camp for two days in the Canyon then hike out. We'll top out at Bright Angel trail head sometimes on Saturday May 18th, in the afternoon.

Our 7 year old daughter is excited about the hike. Getting back to the North side seems to be a bit of an issue.
The shuttle is 85$ per person and leaves the South side at 1:30 PM.

We were interested to see if anybody will hike the Canyon at about the same time, maybe we can do a car swap.

Are there any other alternatives to the shuttle?


Thanks
Julius

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#29794 - 02/06/13 09:41 PM Re: Grand Canyon, Rim to Rim, Car swap? [Re: Julius S.]
Whitney Fan Offline


Registered: 12/02/09
Posts: 213
Loc: Las Vegas
"Are there are any alternatives to the shuttle?"

Basically, only one -- turn around and walk back the way you came!

Have a great hike -- it's a blast. See my own trip report on this board.

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#29798 - 02/07/13 10:48 AM Re: Grand Canyon, Rim to Rim, Car swap? [Re: Julius S.]
Harvey Lankford Offline


Registered: 11/10/09
Posts: 1025
Loc: Richmond, Virginia
Originally Posted By: Julius S.
Our 7 year old daughter


I hope there have been previous trial hikes of similar considerable strain. 7 is young for this in my opinion and experience. Possible, of course. Trust but verify.

Edit: Thanks for you reply below. Wow. Simple wow. Have a good time!

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#29800 - 02/07/13 08:25 PM Re: Grand Canyon, Rim to Rim, Car swap? [Re: Harvey Lankford]
Julius S. Offline


Registered: 09/26/11
Posts: 45
Loc: Mission Viejo CA.
Originally Posted By: Harvey Lankford
Originally Posted By: Julius S.
Our 7 year old daughter


I hope there have been previous trial hikes of similar considerable strain. 7 is young for this in my opinion and experience. Possible, of course. Trust but verify.


She climbed Langley when she was 5, climbed Whitney when she was 6. I posted trip reports on this forum.

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#29802 - 02/07/13 09:15 PM Re: Grand Canyon, Rim to Rim, Car swap? [Re: Julius S.]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7910
Loc: Fresno, CA
Julius, call the shuttle people, and tell them one of the passengers is seven. They might give you a big discount. It would sure be worth a try.

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#29807 - 02/08/13 08:00 PM Re: Grand Canyon, Rim to Rim, Car swap? [Re: Julius S.]
JAGCHiker Offline


Registered: 11/13/11
Posts: 45
Loc: GC
Julius:Try asking on the Grand Canyon Hikers website:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Grand_Canyon_Hikers

You should have better success, since this is a prime site for GC info.

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#29820 - 02/09/13 10:55 PM Re: Grand Canyon, Rim to Rim, Car swap? [Re: JAGCHiker]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7910
Loc: Fresno, CA
I have signed on with Julius to do the car swap and hike the opposite direction. I've been wanting to do a R-2-R (Rim-to-Rim) as a day hike for years, but the transportation logistics have always been the biggest hurdle. So it finally dawned on me that THIS is the best opportunity I can get.

Trusting each other driving the other's car for hundreds of miles will be ...interesting.

I'll be reading and re-reading Whitney Fan's trip report carefully.

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#29834 - 02/10/13 08:56 PM Re: Grand Canyon, Rim to Rim, Car swap? [Re: Steve C]
Whitney Fan Offline


Registered: 12/02/09
Posts: 213
Loc: Las Vegas
Steve, looking at Julius' first post, I see he will camping overnight and not doing the R to R as a day hike.

If you are planning a day hike then you'll have at least one extra day before you get to your car.

What are your plans?

(And thanks for the flattery regarding checking out my trip report again. smile )

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#29835 - 02/10/13 09:46 PM Re: Grand Canyon, Rim to Rim, Car swap. [Re: Whitney Fan]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7910
Loc: Fresno, CA
Whitney Fan, maybe you (or anyone, please) can direct me to a good resource showing mileage, elevations and water points, plus parking and shuttle options on the South Rim.

Julius & company will hike N-to-S, starting Thurs, and finish Sat. I will day hike the entire distance S-to-N either Thurs or Fri. We'll exchange car keys mid-hike when we meet.

I need info, too: The Kaibab trail appears more direct than Bright Angel, and might offer more picturesque views of the dawn. But I'll be starting out before dawn.... What are the overnight parking options for that trail?

I guess I'll need to dig out the water filter for this trip. Haven't used it in years!

Gmap4 map: South Rim Grand Canyon

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#29841 - 02/11/13 05:44 PM Re: Grand Canyon, Rim to Rim, Car swap. [Re: Steve C]
Julius S. Offline


Registered: 09/26/11
Posts: 45
Loc: Mission Viejo CA.
Steve,

The South Kaibab trail starts at 7260ft, it is shorter than the Bright Angel by 2.5 miles. There's no water on that trail, so one must carry accordingly. Distance to Bright Angel campground 7.0 Miles, elevation 4780ft.

From what I remember, there's no parking at the trail head, one must leave the car in the parking lot by the road , then take a free shuttle. Service may not start until 7AM.
You can walk from the parking area, I don't know the distance.

The Bright Angel trail head is at 6860 ft, 9.5 miles to the
Bright Angel campground, 3 possible places to get water.

I got this info from the flyer sent to us with our permits.

For us either of the trails would work to go up on. The free park shuttles will take us to our vehicle, we would need to know where it is.


The key exchange on the trail may work however, we should have the spare key with us, in case we miss each other on the trail, or we can leave it at the Phantom Ranch ranger station.


We're planning on doing some side trails to waterfalls during the Friday stay at Phantom Ranch.


Julius


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#29842 - 02/11/13 07:08 PM Re: Grand Canyon, Rim to Rim, Car swap. [Re: Steve C]
John Sims Offline


Registered: 04/20/12
Posts: 551
Loc: Sunnyvale, California
Hi Steve,
Sorry, I cannot help with parking/shuttle service. However, I have done the S to N day hike, and really enjoyed it. I departed on the South Kaibab trail and exited the North Kaibab trail. When I did it my sister dropped us of at the trail head, and drove around to the North side. We stayed the night (after the hike) at the Grand Canyon Lodge. If you can get a reservation you should do it. Magnificant lodge, and not many other choices. The South rim has several hotels/motels nearby. If you stay the night prior to the hike they might even drop you off at the trail head.
If you cannot get a room at the Grand Canyon Lodge you "might" have the energy to drive back to the South Rim, but it is a long drive.
My number one lesson from the hike was learning the importance of fueling the body. I did not take enough to eat, and really had to work hard to hike up the North Kaibab trail. Not like Whitney, where gravity will get you home. I would advise hiking on Friday. That way you would have Saterday to drive Julius's car back to the South Rim. Both of you will likely prefer departing to home from the south Rim.
Just my 2 cents:-)

Enjoy!

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#29843 - 02/11/13 08:25 PM Re: Grand Canyon, Rim to Rim, Car swap. [Re: John Sims]
Whitney Fan Offline


Registered: 12/02/09
Posts: 213
Loc: Las Vegas
Gosh, Steve, I didn't do the South Kaibab Trail, nor did I travel from South to North. Some of your questions can't, therefore, really be answered by me authoritatively. But the answers are out there online -- I could Google, but that would deprive you of the fun! (And you've got the motivation for it.)

That "disclaimer" out of the way, here is what I can input to you.

Some links I found quite helpful:

http://www.grandcanyonlodgenorth.com/ (Grand Canyon Lodge North Rim. Remember -- although this is the only lodging on the rim, per se, there is also lodging (less expensive) about 20 miles north (as mentioned in my trip report).)

http://www.grandcanyonlodges.com/lodging-overview-411.html (ALL lodging on the South Rim. Compare rates and other stuff. I'll bet lots of your questions will have answers on this site. For example, the shuttle to the South Kaibab trailhead is mentioned.)

http://www.grand.canyon.national-park.com/map.htm (Scroll a bit down here and there's a nice map of the South Rim.)

http://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/upload/North_Kaibab_Trail.pdf (North Kaibab Trail description, elevations, water sources, mileages -- don't let the latter trip you up, read carefully).)

http://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/upload/South_Kaibab_Trail.pdf (South Kaibab Trail -- same type of info as preceding. See! I "cheated" -- I wasn't supposed to give you this! But I knew it was there, identical in format, authorship, and facts to the North Kaibab Trail. Also one for the Bright Angel Trail.)

Immerse yourself in all the above . . . get back to me if still questions. I guess the biggest thing I failed to give you is info about parking for the South Kaibab trailhead. But the answer is out there somewhere. May be there is no lot right there (but there's a shuttle to the trailhead). Plenty of parking elsewhere on the South Rim in connection with all the hotels).

Now (editorial and punditry department) -- although the South Kaibab Trail is shorter it's also (of course) steeper. I saw briefly on the description linked to above that there's, apparently, only one water source on the trail. In contrast, just for you to consider,there are multiple water sources on the Bright Angel Trail. The North Kaibab Trail also has multiple water sources. If you were doing Bright Angel and North Kaibab you absolutely don't need your water filter. And, I dare say, I doubt you need it for the South Kaibab -- there IS one source. Start off with enough water -- do the math and the thinking -- and I'll bet you find you really don't need your filter for this route either.

I was a bit surprised you are going for the south to north route. The North Kaibab Trail is brutal going up -- remember that the North Rim is some 1,500 feet higher than the South. (I posit that you're doing it this way because of Julius' plans?) Much of my own trip report will, as a result, not be as relevant to you -- you're exploring new ground that I didn't!

That's enough fun for one post. But keep asking questions here or via PM if I can help.

I'm so glad you are doing this hike. I expect a trip report the equal of mine when it's over! grin

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#29845 - 02/11/13 10:02 PM Re: Grand Canyon, Rim to Rim, Car swap. [Re: Whitney Fan]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7910
Loc: Fresno, CA
Julius, John, Whitney Fan:  Thanks for the input!

Just to make it clear, Julius is leaving my car at the North Rim, and I leave his at the South Rim. We're trading cars in Barstow. I am pretty good at driving after a hike -- mind is racing, body happy to sit for hours grin So I am going to drive a good distance toward home afterward, stopping wherever I need, to sleep. St George maybe. For that matter, it's a small wagon, and I've slept in back at Horseshoe Meadows parking lot before, and that works, so I could just pull off the road.

I am going to try really hard to get to the Kaibab trail head from the nearest legal long-term parking spot. Hoping to leave the trail an hour before dawn (sunrise@6:21), so not sure what my options will be. Maybe I can arrange an early ride for cash. I'll contact the lodging outfits, too.

I am sure I can carry enough water down the river, since that leg (7 miles, -4800') should take no more than 4 hours. Good to hear I can leave the filter home. John, do you recall what time you started and how long it took? (How many years ago, too wink )

Edit: Whoa! checking lodging, all rooms are booked for Wed or Thursday nights in that week in May!
... Grand Canyon average temps
... There's a 24-hour taxi service at the S rim: 928-638-2631!

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#29846 - 02/11/13 11:25 PM Re: Grand Canyon, Rim to Rim, Car swap. [Re: Steve C]
RenoFrank Offline


Registered: 08/06/11
Posts: 437
Loc: Reno, NV
Steve, check this out:

http://www.americansouthwest.net/arizona/grand_canyon/south_kaibab.html

It mentions parking for the South Kaibab Trail "along the highway by the turn-off". I used this parking area last May. It's a turn out almost directly across the hiway from the turn to Yaki Point Road which you would walk to the trailhead. There is room for about 15 cars . It also says it's .5 miles to the trailhead. That sounds about right although it always seems farther especially on the return trip (which you will not be doing). This parking area is right off the main hiway so I expect it is always accessible.

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#29850 - 02/12/13 08:57 AM Re: Grand Canyon, Rim to Rim, Car swap. [Re: RenoFrank]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7910
Loc: Fresno, CA
Excellent, Frank! Thank you! I can see it in the crosshairs on this satellite view. Looks like a few car lengths to the east of the actual turnoff.

Note: The map is interactive, so you can zoom in and click/drag it around. Yaki point is a mile north, the trailhead is on the left (west) spur at half a mile.) You can also switch the map type (upper right corner) to "t1 Terrain" for Google's terrain view, or my favorite, "t4 Topo High". Gmap4 is the best!

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#29855 - 02/12/13 02:33 PM Re: Grand Canyon, Rim to Rim, Car swap. [Re: Steve C]
John Sims Offline


Registered: 04/20/12
Posts: 551
Loc: Sunnyvale, California
Hi Steve,
My hike was in early October, 1998. Started at just before sunrise, and reached end of North Kaibab ~ 1 hour after sunset. Time table for Oct., 1998 says only 11.5 hours of sun, so my guess is max time was 14 hours. More likely 13. I did not eat enough (one orange, and one sandwich all day), my nephew was with me (~14 years old) and I ended up having to share my water with him, so finish was painful. Really impresses upon you the importance of fuel and hydration.
My brother, who lives in Phoenix and has done this hike a few times, cautions that the inner gorge can be triple digits in May, so recommends you go early.
Enjoy!
John

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#29856 - 02/12/13 03:30 PM Re: Grand Canyon, Rim to Rim, Car swap. [Re: John Sims]
Whitney Fan Offline


Registered: 12/02/09
Posts: 213
Loc: Las Vegas
Steve, I forgot in my last post to comment about what you found about -- the need to reserve WAY in advance for hotel lodging at either the South or North rims. I'd mentioned that earlier in other posts but wanted to remind you of it again.

What is your situation with that right now? What are your plans for lodging at both rims?

Also, John brought up a good point about the temperature. I focused my hike for the fall and through research learned that I would be "safe" in early October. I never fully researched the spring months. You should -- if you haven't already -- authenticate if the likely temperatures (in the canyon) when you will be going will or will not be a show stopper.

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#29857 - 02/12/13 04:43 PM Re: Grand Canyon, Rim to Rim, Car swap. [Re: Whitney Fan]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7910
Loc: Fresno, CA
Lodging: South rim -- stealth camp, leave no trace, in after dark, out at 4 AM. North rim -- I'm hitting the road, aiming for St. George. How about brunch in LAS Friday morning? cool

Food: I called and tried to make a breakfast reservation at Phantom Ranch -- should be there about 9 AM. But they're booked solid, and only serve at 5 and 6:30 crazy
So then I called the "Transportation Desk" on S. Rim -- they are the go-to for info on the Phantom Ranch canteen. Get this: They have peanuts, cookies, chips, lemonade and beer. ...beer, but no soft drinks! So what the heck -- I'll have a beer at 9 AM and my own breakfast. laugh

John, your sandwich and apple experience is about what I had on a Langley day hike years ago. Not good! I'll be packing pastries, granola, granola bars, sardines, crackers and candy on this trip.

Whitney Fan: average temps (deg F, low-high) in May: S. Rim 39-70, Phantom Ranch 63-92, N. Rim 34-62

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#29859 - 02/12/13 06:12 PM Re: Grand Canyon, Rim to Rim, Car swap. [Re: Steve C]
Whitney Fan Offline


Registered: 12/02/09
Posts: 213
Loc: Las Vegas
As Alice said, "curioser and curioser".

"Stealth camp" -- meaning just sleeping in your car somewhere? Or finding a hopefully random bush you can crawl behind where no one will bother you? (And I thought I was "cheap" being a Motel 6 guy -- LOL!)

That's on May 15 (Wednesday) if I'm following all this, right? You then do your day hike on the 16th (Thursday) -- with a swap of car keys somewhere in the vicinity of the Colorado River (Phantom Ranch?) -- and drive immediately to St. George for some sleep (still "stealth camping"?!). Then on the 17th (Friday) you mention LAS -- you're flying out of there to get back home?

Comments -- must be high drama planning to arrange when and where you'll meet Julius for the key swap (a CRITICAL action!). St. George -- will your sleeping venue allow you a chance to shower?! If affirmative, and if LAS is a crucial stop (for a flight?), yeah, brunch is a possibility. If affirmative, and if LAS isn't crucial, or is but timing allows, brunch (or whatever) would be even better at my humble abode, and we could finally meet. Let me know more specifically your plans and timing that day. Shoot me a PM and we'll talk this some more.

Yet more comments -- you've got an average high in May (and you'll be right in the middle of May) on the canyon floor of 92. In October, when I did my hike, the comparable temperature is 84. 8 degress higher for you! BUT -- since my hike was on the 3d of the month the average high is probably closer to 90 (almost "halfway" to the September average high of 97) for that specific day. Meaning -- you should be fine, with, like me, no worries about hitting an unbearable temperature condition. (Disclaimer -- Mother Nature can always ignore averages.)

Like the beer for breakfast idea -- especially if it's an IPA!

You should be excited about finally doing this hike -- its a gas.

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#29860 - 02/12/13 06:17 PM Re: Grand Canyon, Rim to Rim, Car swap. [Re: Whitney Fan]
Whitney Fan Offline


Registered: 12/02/09
Posts: 213
Loc: Las Vegas
ERROR ABOVE.

I'm surprised no one apparently noticed that I posted the link to the Bright Angel Trai instead of -- what I'd intended to do -- the South Kaibab Trail.

I've edited the post -- it IS the correct link now, to the South Kaibab Trail.

(Steve, I'll bet you noticed the error but were savvy enough to find the South Kaibab Trail anyway.)

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