Mt Whitney Zone
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 smile

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 smile

Here are some pictures from the trip.

Whoa! Nice trip!

Especially notable:

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?
Yeah we had rain the first day for 2 hours after 11am and that's about it, then had cool breeze when i passed through THE BOX.

It was packed with long lines, since i had made reservations 7 days prior to the trip, we just showed up and were taken to our tables directly smile Highly recommend to have reservation made in advance.

Six of us from my group, starting from left. And rest are trail friends seen throughout hike from NR->SR. Also, they stayed at Phantom Ranch, been together at dinner, breakfast at PR.

> since i had made reservations 7 days prior to the trip, we just showed up and were taken to our tables directly smile Highly recommend to have reservation made in advance.

Good to know. I'd like to take my non-hiking family there sometime. How far in advance did you get the trail permits and the lodging reservations?
Perfect place for family trip!

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 wink

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.
Excellent Trip Stalin!

I'm going to do R2R next week, however we will be going from South to North in a day. We've booked all the trappings at the North Rim Lodge.

Thanks for the beta and photos.

P.S. Sorry I just flooded your google+ feed with 1+ and comment smile
Snacking Bear, in case you missed them, there are several R2R reports here:

Julius S: Grand Canyon Rim to Rim

Steve C: Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim day hike

Whitney Fan: Grand Canyon Rim to Rim Day Hike

smithb: Another Grand Canyon North Rim to South Rim

I'll be interested to see yours. Have fun, it is a beautiful place to hike!
Thanks for your comments.

weather seems to clear bit lately, so have a great trip and looking forward for your TR and pictures.
Amazing pictures! I love the shirts, and the ending pic of your whole group. Congratulations!
My write up on our recent Rim to Rim in the Grand Canyon:
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!
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