Grand Hike 2011 Cheat Sheets – Everything You Need to Know
Dates Leave Fri. 5/13, hike/explore Sat. 5/14, return Sun. 5/15
Location Grand Canyon National Park, Mather Campground, 2 nights
Optional – South Rim Lodges
Hikes Full – South Kaibab Trail – Phantom Ranch – Bright Angel Trail – rim
Half – Bright Angel Trail – Indian Garden – Plateau Point – return
Rim – Rim Trail from village to Yavapai Point
Hermit – Shuttle from village to Hermit’s Rest
Cost $25/person (camping fees and food for Sat., park entrance NOT incl.)
Paypal ($27) to firstname.lastname@example.org
Pay me in advance or at the campground (cash or check)
Contact Charles@asu.edu or 480-201-1259 for questions / directions
Web http://www.madhiker.org/hiking/canyon.html (info)
http://www.madhiker.org/hiking/Canyon.doc (this cheat-sheet)
Drive North on I-17 to Flagstaff (I-17 enters Flagstaff and turns into Milton)
Follow Milton until it turns right, take first left (Humphreys St.) US180
Follow signs for Grand Canyon. US180 dead ends in AZ64, turn right.
Follow AZ64 into Grand Canyon Park, follow signs for campground
Arrival Arrive at the Mather Campground Friday afternoon / evening
Group Site #6 #7 – Sage Loop 1st left inside Mather C.G.
Check in at the guard shack when you arrive
Only 3 cars allowed at site, please park at general store
If you want your own individual site, please reserve on your own
Late You likely will save $25 if you arrive after the main entrance closes
Carpool If you need a ride or will take riders, I’ll post it for you on the website
Campground Tent camping, picnic table, charcoal grills, bathrooms throughout
campground, laundry, shower, free canyon bus shuttle
Check out: noon Sunday.
Lodges If you wish to stay in a lodge, please make your own reservations
Stores Groceries / souvenirs at Market Plaza, short walk from campground
Disclaimer: this is NOT a commercial venture, so I hereby disclaim all liability.
Your fee goes to food and camping costs, not to my wallet. Please attend and hike
at your own risk. I’ll help wherever I can, but you are ultimately responsible for
your safety and enjoyment. If this is unacceptable, please make your own plans.
Arrival at Mather Campground afternoon / evening.
No planned activities, you’re on your own.
Saturday “Full enchilada hikers”: (hike times will vary with hiking ability)
05:30 – Rise and shine, breakfast, PB&J sandwich assembly line
06:30 – Ready to head out for hike. (Drive or bus to Mather Point)
06:45 – Catch bus to South Kaibab Trailhead from Canyon Info Plaza
07:15 – Group photo at South Kaibab Trailhead, begin hike
10:15 – Arrive at Colorado River, play in Bright Angel Stream
11:00 – Lunch at Phantom Ranch Cantina
11:45 – Begin ascent on Bright Angel Trail
14:30 – Arrive at Indian Garden for rest and recoup
15:00 – Begin ascent from Indian Garden
18:00 – Arrive at South Rim, bus back to campground
18:15 – Hit the showers
18:45 – BBQ dinner / drinks, chill, hang out.
20:30 – More drinks, s’mores, etc.
21:45 – Camp fires, ghost stories, blister contest.
Saturday “Half enchilada hikers” and rim hikers:
Breakfast whenever. PB&J or sandwich assembly.
Last one to leave camp make sure food is all covered and secured.
See ???? for the “half-enchilada hike” to Plateau Point.
Sandwiches for lunch (build and take with you or come back to camp)
Sightseeing around rim / shuttles to Hermit’s Rest, or around village.
18:30 – BBQ dinner begins. Volunteers wanted to cook dinner.
NOTE: I will be staying back with the last group of hikers, so you all
can figure out how to get dinner started. Let’s keep it informal.
04:45 – Optional: rise & shine for sunrise viewing at Mather Point.
05:25 – Sunrise
05:45 – back to bed.
08:00 – breakfast (whatever is available from day before)
10:00 – Food give-away (I don’t want to take any leftovers home)
11:00 – pack up and clean up
12:00 – checkout from Mather campground
13:00 – Optional: lunch in Flagstaff
Provisions will be placed in boxes and containers labeled with contents. Help
yourself, but please put things back so others can find them.
DO NOT leave food out on Saturday morning. The birds will eat them.
Last one to leave the campground, make sure EVERYTHING is boxed.
Fruit: apples, bananas, yogurt
Pastries: croissants, bagels, muffins, energy bars
Milk & Cereal: Fruit Loops, Raisin Bran
Juices: orange, apple
Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (some assembly required)
Trail mix, granola bars, raisins, nuts
Fruit (bananas, apples)
Ham and turkey sandwiches (some assembly required)
Hot dogs, chips, soda
Carnivores: 1/3 lb burgers, X-large beef hotdogs, chicken breast
Herbivores: Veggie burgers, grilled portabella mushrooms
Potato salad, cole slaw, chips
Chips, pretzels, peanuts, crackers, twinkies, s’mores
Charcoal, grill tools
Paper plates, plastic forks, spoons, knives, paper towels, napkins
NOT INCLUDED (bring your own)
Dessert (I would cater, but people are picky about dessert)
Alcoholic beverages, glass bottles OK (recycling bins in campground)
Hot drinks requiring camp stove (bring your own equipment)
Drinking water for hikes (I can’t supply that much water, so bring your own)
Extra drinking water for campground
Any foods not listed above.
Hiker’s Packing List
Shoes Hiking shoes – must be ½ to full size bigger than you normally wear.
If they are not big enough, you could lose your toenails!
Please listen to me. Despite warnings, I see it happen every year.
Socks Merino wool hiking socks or synthetic blend socks. Bring 2 extra pairs.
Clothes Light colored T-shirt, shorts, fleece for early morning coolness
Hat and/or bandana
Food Minimum 3 liters (100 oz) of water per person (refill stations available)
Drink Gatorade powder (rapid hydration, electrolyte replacement)
3 PB&J sandwiches per person
2 bananas (prevents cramps)
Beef jerky, trail mix, granola bars, nuts
Salt tablet (in emergency, to replenish what you lose when sweating)
Gu / PowerGel / Clif Shot energy gels or equivalent (buy your own pls)
Essentials Sunblock, lip balm with SPF, sunglasses, folding umbrella (for shade),
moleskin (blister prevention), small scissors, emergency poncho,
small flashlight, band-aids, ace bandage, washcloth, antiseptic
ointment, drugs (aspirin, ibuprofen, pepcid), tissues, $$ for lemonade
at Phantom Ranch or a souvenir shirt.
Backpack Daypack, preferably with waist strap and chest clip
Medium to large Tupperware box to prevent food from being squished
Optional FRS radio (channel 6.9, with 5.9 as a back up), GPS, camera,
binoculars, walking stick / hiking pole. If you wish to send postcards
from the bottom, bring a pen, your address list, and some stamps.
Postcards available at the Phantom Ranch cantina.
Camping Packing List
Essentials Tent, sleeping bag (40 deg), pad / air mattress, pillow, camping chair.
I can help you find stuff if you don’t have it.
Cooking I’ll provide all grill tools / charcoal. If you wish to have hot drinks in
the morning, bring your own camp stove / mess kit.
Food Food for Saturday is taken care of. If you wish to eat at the
campground on Friday or Sunday, or if you have special dietary needs,
please bring your own food.
Clothing Extra pair of shoes, jackets, sweats, and gloves (expect 30-40 F at
night), shower shoes, toiletries, soap, towel.
Other Lantern, flashlights, extra set of car keys, $5.00 quarters for showers.
Fire At this time, there are no fire restrictions. But this could change.
Bring your own firewood.
You can also buy firewood at the Market Plaza.
Hike Description – Print and take this page with you on the hike!
Buses Drive to Mather Point or bus to Canyon Information Plaza.
You can park along the main road, but not in Mather Point lot.
Catch/change bus to South Kaibab Trailhead
Group photo at start of South Kaibab Trailhead
South Starts with switchbacks steep drop.
Kaibab Ooh-Ahh Point: 180-degree bend with view
(7 mi) More switchbacks on steep descent
Cedar Ridge: red dirt, open area, mule hitch, 1st toilet
Long ridge traverse, look for blooming Utah agave stalks
Skeleton Point: mule hitch, view of Tonto Plateau
More switchbacks down to plateau
Tonto Trail Junction: mule hitch, 2nd toilet
Tip-Off: First view of river and switchbacks below
Panorama Point: Red dirt, outcropping with view of river
More switchbacks, long traverse across red sandstone
River Trail junction (don’t take river trail)
Through tunnel, then cross the Colorado River on Black Bridge
Congrats! You’re all the way down. Now it’s just getting out.
Along Indian Ruins along River
Bottom Picnic table next to stream. Dip your feet, change socks
(1 mi) Bright Angel / North Kaibab Trail junction: info, water, toilet
Go north toward Phantom Ranch (10 minute detour)
Past Bright Angel Campground
Phantom Ranch Cantina: Post office, snacks, lemonade, shirts
Return to trail junction, fill up water. Must have 3 liters here!
Bright Cross Colorado River on Silver Bridge, look down at river.
Angel Hike 1 mile or so along river (up and down on sand, yuck)
To Look back often to take picture of river and Zoroaster Temple
Indian At Garden Creek junction, turn left and head into side canyon
Garden Take shirt and hat off and dip them in the stream to cool off
(4.5 mi) Trail goes flat into canyon, look for waterfall and cave on right
Ascend Devil’s Corkscrew (7 evil steep switchbacks, no shade)
Gentle straight toward lone cottonwood tree, take break here
Look back and take picture of Devil’s Corkscrew switchbacks
More switchbacks. Trail runs next to stream again – dip shirt!
Trail goes south for 1 mile (watch it level up with the plateau)
Tonto Trail Junction, Indian Garden, take long break in shade
Fill water (only 1.5 liter necessary at this point), change socks
Optional 1.1-mile flat hike to Plateau Point
Trail of 1.2-mile gentle climb toward canyon wall from Indian Garden
Misery Switchbacks to 3-mile rest house (water)
To Top 2.0 mile sign (just keep watching your feet and don’t look up)
(4.5 mi) Switchbacks to 1.5-mile rest house (water, toilet)
Tight switchbacks, then first rock arch at ¾ mile from top.
When trail straightens out, look up and back for house on top!
One more switchback, long straight, 2nd rock arch, you’re done!
Hiking Tips – Print and take this page with you on the hike!
Prepare #1 reason for trouble in the canyon is lack of preparation.
You MUST TRAIN for this hike.
Make sure you have everything on the hiker’s packing list above.
Buddy up with someone, preferably someone who’s done this before.
Fluids & “Eat before you’re hungry, and drink before you’re thirsty. If you’re
Food hungry or thirsty, it’s too late! You’ve blown the power curve.”
-- A friendly reminder from the Park Ranger.
Bananas contain high potassium, great for preventing cramps.
Eat one at bottom, and one again at Indian Garden.
Mix weak-strength Gatorade powder in water to retain electrolytes
(curl this page into a funnel for bottles with small openings)
PB&J has high energy content, great for long hikes.
Beef jerky has high salt content, great for replenishing lost sweat.
Gu / PowerGel / Clif Shot packets are excellent for instant energy!
Footwear Must have shoes that are ½ to full size bigger than you normally wear.
If not, you’ll likely get bloody blisters under toenails -- even lose them.
Do not curl your toes when walking downhill. This puts undue pressure
on the toenails and can also lead to blood blisters. Open your toes and
keep them pointed forward.
Moleskin Apply moleskin to places likely to get blisters: heels, around big toe
and little toe, front center part of sole. Do it as SOON as you feel
some friction, or it will be too late.
Sunblock Apply liberally before the hike, and reapply often. Don’t forget back of
neck, tops of ears, (if you’re losing hair like me) top of your head.
Pace Canyon hiking is unlike mountain hiking. You go up last, when you’re
already tired! So go at your own pace and save some gusto for the
last 3 tough miles!
Keep Whenever you can, take your shirt off and dip it in the stream or splash
Cool ample water on yourself. This will cool you down until it dries out.
Elevate When resting, elevate your feet to alleviate fatigue in your legs.
Watch Don’t get so carried away by the gorgeous scenery that you forget to
Your watch your step. If you twist an ankle, it’s all over! We leave you for
Step the buzzards. Lean forward slightly when going up, lean back slightly
when going down. Avoid stepping on loose rocks.
Mules When a mule train approaches, stand off the trail on the inside. Wait
for them to pass and don’t get kicked by mules!
FRS Use your FRS radio to communicate with the group and to call for help
Radio if necessary. We’ll use channel 6.0 as primary, 5.0 as back up. These
radios work great in the canyon. You can call someone on the rim all
the way from the bottom.
HAVE Most of all, have fun on the trip! Sing, take pictures, harass trip leader
FUN (not too much), joke about the dry heat, try to pick up on fellow
hikers, etc. Don’t let the hike become a Trail of Misery!