I never would have fathomed even in my dreams that i would hike canyon in mid 80's during August/early Sept. Yes both days high's were in mid 80's, lucky us and it turned out to be an awesome pleasant trip, surprisingly
We (group of six) were greeted with rain and thunderstorms when entered SR park entrance on Aug 30th. In fact, was worried the trip would fall through due to weather, after almost an year of planning went into it, but things favored us as you can see from the pictures link below.
Summary on our trip itinerary and logistics --
1. Aug 29th, SJC to LAS (southwest), stayed in Vegas for the night 2. Aug 30th, Vegas to SR (Rental Van), parked car in backcountry parking lot (Just opp. to Bright Angel Lodge), took TransCanyon Shuttle to NR 3. Stayed at Canyon Lodge in NR for the night and hiked out next morning, Aug 31st. 4. Stayed at Phantom Ranch for the night, had their healthy dinner and next day early AM breakfast and left for SR via BA trail. 5. Sept 1st, stayed at BA Lodge for the night and left early AM to Vegas to catch our flight back to SJC.
Highlight of the trip being the food at Canyon lodge, NR. Anything you would order from their menu was super delicious. Never expected the quality of food to be that high, especially places like NR where visitors is much lesser than SR. Also their cabins were great for staying especially with families. Second, would be Ribbon Falls, our stay in phantom ranch totally different experience all together, of course the spectacular views of the canyon throughout the hike.
For those who don't know this already, at NR, deli shop opens at 5.30am and serve hot burritos for take out on the trail. Though we were prepared, this option tempted us to skip our pre-packaged food for BF and use the deli instead
I can understand it taking a year to plan. You got to stay in all the nice places, and that takes making reservations nearly a year in advance.
You had unusual weather ...lucky, that it was so cool, and the trails were actually damp. The streams were clear when I was there, but really muddy on your trip. At the end of your hike, the clearing clouds really enhanced the pictures.
When I was at the North Rim Lodge in May on opening week, the place was packed, with long waits for dinner. How was it when you were there?
Looking at this picture, how many were hiking in your group?
If i remember right, I made reservations to PR exactly 12 months prior to trip start date, so i would say Aug 1st, 2012 for Aug 31st, 2013 trip date. Well, i also used 4 phones to call Xanterra number, when the window opened up
For lodging at SR and NR, they open up 12 months in advance, so i reserved them as and when it opened up.
Transcanyon Shuttle between SR and NR was like 4 months back, Dining reservation opens up only 7 days in advance at NR and SR BA lodge dinning doesn't accept reservation but you have loads of options out there.
BTW, Canyon lodge at NR does provide complimentary shuttle to North Kaibab trailhead at 5.30am and another one at 6am. You can only reserve spots a day prior to the start date. That being said, whoever shows up first, gets picked up and they happily do another trip if more than 12 people are seen.
For Phantom Ranch reservations, I always try a week or two ahead when you usually get cancellations open up. Always call in the middle of the week in the afternoon. Once I get the dormitory bed, then I do my south rim lodge/ camp ground, rental car, and then air lines booking in that order. In one very hot August, while doing R-T-R, we just queried at the Phantom ranch for accommodations and they have an ac cabin available for the four of us along with dinner and breakfast. You just need to be flexible!