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  1. #1

    :banana Havasupai and Rim to Rim?

    https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/havasupai.htm

    After trying for years I just scored a permit to hike on the Havasupai Reservation.

    My permit is for the 6th - 10th of February. I am wondering about doing a Rim to Rim hike while I am down there... anyone have any advice on February in the Canyon?

    I know the weather for Havasupai is actually taken from the South Rim (almost 8,000 higher).

    thanks!
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  2. #2

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    Well those are two different things, both worth doing.
    The Havasupai hike is 8 miles down, then more to the beautiful waterfalls. Very high volume area, lots of people. Huge campground almost a mile long. But worth the bother.

    It's a long drive back up to the Park, and then you need to decide which trails to use; Bright Angel or Kaibab. You didn't say how much time you want to take. If one day (if you are very fit), have at it. Otherwise, it may be difficult to get permits to make it possible to do Rim to Rim hiking over several days.

    Feb weather should be great. But still, be prepared. There are perhaps more hiking epics (not in a good way) in the Canyon than anywhere else...

  3. #3
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    I've done several R2R2R hikes, in Feb, March and April. In Feb, you may want traction devices on the South Rim, and you may need them on the North Rim. Once I turned around at a flow of water ice on North Kaibab.

    I've never had a problem getting a walk-in permit for Bright Angel CG. Once they wouldn't give me a permit for Cottonwood (an attempt to do it with one night out), even though I found it was empty when I walked past it the next morning. I think they have a maximum daily mileage for the permit. So unless you can do a 28 mile day (Bright Angel to North Rim and back), you may need to take two days to get to Cottonwood (14 mile RT to North Rim). I think that's the way most backpackers do it.

    A friend once stealth camped at the North Rim as part of an overnight R2R2R, but that's illegal in the NP.

    Try to avoid Spring Break weeks.

  4. #4
    Peakbagger Extraordinaire The Solemates's Avatar
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    I’ve hiked havasupai south rim to Colorado to south rim several times, but I’m not sure you can do a true rim to rim in havasupai.
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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Solemates View Post
    I’ve hiked havasupai south rim to Colorado to south rim several times, but I’m not sure you can do a true rim to rim in havasupai.
    Thank you, no... I am talking about two separate hikes . Thank you
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  6. #6
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    N Rim and possibly S Rim will have snow with it occurring prolly in the inner canyon to some extent. Expect freezing night time lows.

  7. #7
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    In addition to our yearly RRR (17 years running) in March or April, we've also backpacked in the GC the last 5 January's, and for the most part, it has been delightful. Every year, however, we have remarked afterwards how we think February would be even better, given the extra daylight. Here are my thoughts on your visit, though I have no insight on you Havasupai portion, never having been specifically there.

    As said, expect lots of snow on both rims, especially the north rim if you actually get all the way over there. We deal with north rim snow pretty much every year on our March RRR hikes. And all 5 of our Jamuary visits we have had lots of south rim snow. Take traction devices (micro spikes) for the initial hike down from the south rim in February. You'll only need them for the first 1000-2000 feet of descent or so, unless you have a big fresh snowfall where you might need them lower.

    Avoid camping at Indian Gardens that time of year, it doesn't get much sun and is cold-cold-cold.

    The bright angel campground at the bottom near Phantom Ranch is delightful in the winter; it works as a good base-camp for a lot of hiking from the bottom, including a venture up the north side. But as said, it is a 28 mile roundtrip up to the north rim and back, though it is a pretty "easy" 28 miles, meaning a nice gradual ascent/descent and fantastic trail, for the most part. But the last few miles below the north rim should have pretty annoying snow to slow you down.

    If you can score a campsite at Cottonwood, you might have a good chance of making the north rim up and back from there.

    But really, the north side trail is most gorgeous well below the north rim; you'd have a fantastic hike just getting up to the bridge below the Supai tunnel, call it 3 miles below the north rim, meaning a 22 mile roundtrip from Phantom, or only 8 mile roundtrip from Cottonwood.

    A couple other fantastic hikes from Phantom includes Ribbon Falls and the Clear Creek trail.

    One January, we did a fantastic loop hike from Hermit's Rest down the Hermit, up the Boucher, spending two nights near the bottom. Check that one out. Another loop we did in January included the Escalante route and the Grandview trail, but that is a much tougher route and sometimes water can be an issue, because the only available water in the CO river, which can be extremely silty.

    Every year but one we had delightful weather at the bottom, low maybe around freezing at night, sunny days highs in the low 50's. Last January was an exception, only got into the mid 30's in the daytime at the bottom, mid 20's at night.

    I could go on and on... holler if you want more. I cannot say enough great things about the Grand Canyon in the winter.

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