A few months ago, I asked for some advice from any TGR maggots who had done the Rim to Rim to Rim hike in the Grand Canyon http://www.tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php/273630-Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim-Grand-Canyon-Hike-Beta?highlight= I really want to thank everyone who responded to that thread, especially dantheman who gave me some great insight into what I was getting into. I was completely ignorant on the GC having only been there once, on the South Rim looking over the edge several years ago.
Five of us headed to the GC last Monday, the 19th to make the hike. The route was from the South Rim via the South Kaibab trail down to Phantom Ranch, then the North Kaibab trail up to the North Rim. There we spent the night at the Grand Canyon Lodge then back down the North Kaibab trail and up the Bright Angel trail to the South Rim. The first day starts at about 7,260', dropping to the river at 2,400', then up to 8,260'. Total elevation descent and ascent of 10,720'. The next day is a little less elevation differential as the BA trail head is at 6,840'. Total elevation gain is 10,300' and drop is 10,720'. First day miles is just over 21 and the second day (with a side trip to Ribbon Falls) was just about 24. Long days.
Dantheman did this trip in one day in around 15 hours. We weren't nearly that fast having taken lots of pictures and having a couple of guys who were a little slower. Oddly enough, one guy in our group is the father of two of my buddies, is 75 years old and killed it. He wasn't one of the slower guys and held his own the entire way. I think if we were to push it, myself and one of my buddies, and maybe his dad, could do it in around 19-20 hours but our group took a total of about 25 hours, 12 the first day and 13 the second. Weather was great; I don't think it got above 90 on the first day and probably just over 90 the second day in the bottom of the canyon. We only had to deal with the heat for a couple of hours that day as we made our way through the bottom relatively quickly. We had plenty of water and all the water stations along the route were working so never had to worry about resupply. Time for some photos.
First, here is the map of the route we took, along with a profile and mileage/elevation information.
Maybe if we had seen this sign the first day, we would have re-thought our plan:
Looking across the canyon, the drainage in the shadows in the middle of the shot is the up-route for the N. Kaibab trail
One of the many switchback sections going up one of the walls.
Going down the S. Kaibab, following an open ridge. Views were spectacular, here.
First look at the Colorado River from the south. It was surprisingly clear water.
Definitely a 'no-fall' zone. Pretty incredible drops, especially once you get into Roaring Creek canyon.
This is in Roaring Creek canyon, getting closer to the N. Rim.
This shot is looking down to the bottom from where we came. You can see sections of the trail all the way to the bottom, if you look closely enough. A lot of vertical in a fairly short section, something like 3,500' in three miles.
Amazing striations in the rock.
Looking down Roaring Creek again.
That's about it. Great trip and a great hike. Thanks again to all who responded to my beta request. This was well worth it.
Edited by GoldMember - 5/29/14 at 3:18pm