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  1. #1
    Registered User TheTwanger's Avatar
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    Default South Kaibab Hike

    I'm having quite a bit of trouble finding any good information on the AZ trail as it runs through the south Kaibab National Forest...Hopefully somebody on the WB can help me out! Are there views from the Grand Canyon rim? and how closely does it parallel the rim? Are there reliable water sources?... As much as I would like to take a trip below the rim of the Grand Canyon, I am on a tight budget trying to see as much as I can of this country while minimally being screwed out of an arm and a leg for back-country camping, which usually is and should be free! .... Any other advice on experiencing Arizona or the southwest in general on my way through will be greatly appreciated!

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    Are you talking about the South Kaibab trail in the Grand Canyon or somewhere outside the GC? I hiked a trail of that name into the GC back in 1982 and camped down there at a few different spots over 3 days. Hiked in from the south rim. All I remember is before hiking down in we had to sit through some lecture the day before about safety, etc (dangers and cost of rescue), then they gave us a permit to hike in. I had absolutely NO money so I can't imagine it costing a lot.
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  3. #3
    Registered User SweetAss03's Avatar
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    I had the same question. I am guessing they are talking about in the GC. If that is the case...$20 permit, no longer any class that I know of. I hiked down a couple of years ago and spent two nights. Phantom Ranch and Indian Gardens. If you are in the area, travel over to Havisu (spelling) Falls. I think it was $20 but an amazing place!
    SweetAss

  4. #4
    Registered User Desert Reprobate's Avatar
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    Kaibab Trail to the bottom. Camp near Phantom Ranch. No water til the bottom. Hike back up the Bright Angel Trail. Spend a night at Indian Gardens. Two day hike out. Great trip. Best done before it gets too hot. When there is snow on the rim, it is shorts weather at the bottom. Great fishing down there too.

  5. #5
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    Try www.aztrail.org. Thats the official homepage for the arizona trail.

  6. #6

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    Hike Arizona always has lots of really good information and the Trip Logs are usually helpful. Also there is a pretty active discussion forum where I'm sure you can find what you are looking for:

    Here is the overview on the South Kaibab section:
    http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=2449

  7. #7
    Garlic
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    The official AZT route does not follow the Rim. It heads west at the Grandview tower and stays outside the Park into the town of Tusayan. Some hikers ignore the official route and walk 11 miles on the Rim road to the South Rim Village. That's what I did. To me it was preferable over the route through Tusayan, but it is road walking. You do not have canyon views all the way, just mainly at a few vehicle pullouts.

    By far the best hiking in the area is in the Canyon, and it would be a shame to miss it. You can do some excellent and challenging day hiking there without permits.

    There are no reliable water sources in the area north of Russell Tank (about 10 miles or so south of Grandview tower. It's very dry country and 30+ mile water carries are not uncommon. Water source information is available on the AZT website mentioned above.
    "Throw a loaf of bread and a pound of tea in an old sack and jump over the back fence." John Muir on expedition planning

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    Ditto Desert Reprobate. I have done the same hike. In October. South Kaibab is absolutely beautiful. Stunning. No water. Take a gallon and electrolyte powder. Better to carry heavy than run out. Nice big floppy hat for sun cover. Even in October it was in the 30s at the top before dawn almost 100 degrees at the bottom and hot hot by the noon stop. The sun is blazing and the cover is basically big rocks I would lean into for a water break. And even if you camp at the bottom, you can get a cold one at Phantom ranch.

  9. #9

    Default Havasu Falls

    Quote Originally Posted by SweetAss03 View Post
    I had the same question. I am guessing they are talking about in the GC. If that is the case...$20 permit, no longer any class that I know of. I hiked down a couple of years ago and spent two nights. Phantom Ranch and Indian Gardens. If you are in the area, travel over to Havisu (spelling) Falls. I think it was $20 but an amazing place!
    It is a great recommendation to hike to Havasu Falls, but there is a note on the official web site of the Havasu Tribe:

    Due to severe flood damages that occured on October 3, 5 & 6, 2010,Havasu Canyon is CLOSED TO VISITORS until rehabilitation work is completed and flood mitigation measures are in place. TRESPASSERS WILL BE PROSECUTED.ALL RESERVATIONS ARE CANCELLED and the Havasupai Tourism Office will not be taking reservations. Please contact Havasupai Tourism Office by email [email protected].
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  10. #10

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    The Supai people are planning on re-opening the trail to Havasupai canyon/falls on May 1st. If you are in the area then you really should check out the falls... I'll be out on my thru of the AT, however friends here locally have recently confirmed their reservations for the first week of May, and were told it should be accessible and to plan on coming down. It's well worth the hike.

  11. #11
    Registered User sonic's Avatar
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    I agree with Komuso, the trip to the falls is well worth the effort. I did it with my son and friend several years ago and would love to go back. Unbelievable, breathtaking views. Not sure this is the trail you are speaking of, but it is the greatest.

  12. #12

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    Just want to clarify fees for hiking in the National Park - $10 initial fee plus $5 per night per person - so one person two nights $20, two people 3 nights $40, etc.

    Havasu Falls is on the Indian reservation and much more expensive, but amazing and definitely worth the time and effort to visit.

    I live and work at the South Rim - the Canyon is a spectacular and obsessive place to hike!

  13. #13

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    And if you want to camp overnight in the canyon you have to apply for a permit, usually months in advance.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheTwanger View Post
    I'm having quite a bit of trouble finding any good information on the AZ trail as it runs through the south Kaibab National Forest...Hopefully somebody on the WB can help me out! Are there views from the Grand Canyon rim? and how closely does it parallel the rim? Are there reliable water sources?... As much as I would like to take a trip below the rim of the Grand Canyon, I am on a tight budget trying to see as much as I can of this country while minimally being screwed out of an arm and a leg for back-country camping, which usually is and should be free! .... Any other advice on experiencing Arizona or the southwest in general on my way through will be greatly appreciated!
    7 miles rim to river. I did it both ways one day. It doesn't follow the rim; it dives right in. Water in the Colorado River at the bottom, polluted...bring plenty of your own, and some way to treat the river water if you want to use that.

    "They" recommend one gallon per person making the ascent, and an estimated time of 4-6 hours. I did it in 3, and was damned lucky it was a full moon, 'cause that was after dark.

    And it gets really dark down in the canyon after the sun goes down...
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  15. #15

    Default Potable water

    Quote Originally Posted by camojack View Post
    7 miles rim to river. I did it both ways one day. It doesn't follow the rim; it dives right in. Water in the Colorado River at the bottom, polluted...bring plenty of your own, and some way to treat the river water if you want to use that.

    "They" recommend one gallon per person making the ascent, and an estimated time of 4-6 hours. I did it in 3, and was damned lucky it was a full moon, 'cause that was after dark.

    And it gets really dark down in the canyon after the sun goes down...
    It isn't necessary to drink water from the river. There is potable water available at the Boat Beach which is only 100 yards from the Black Bridge where the South Kaibab Trail reaches the Colorado River.

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  16. #16

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    Most of you have never been on that trail by the sounds of it. Do not ever step below the rim unless you are well prepaired. The GC is a place of beauty but why you are looking around and walking DOWN it may be to your doom. Take the donkeys or drive the extra day and go to the North Rim way cooler and less people.

  17. #17

    Default Grand Canyon

    Quote Originally Posted by Land_Shark View Post
    Most of you have never been on that trail by the sounds of it. Do not ever step below the rim unless you are well prepaired. The GC is a place of beauty but why you are looking around and walking DOWN it may be to your doom. Take the donkeys or drive the extra day and go to the North Rim way cooler and less people.
    Land Shark

    In my opinion, viewing the Grand Canyon from the rim or even riding a mule to the bottom don't compare favorably to a hike. While I agree with your suggestion that one should be prepared, there is nothing about a Grand Canyon hike that should scare a healthy hiker.

    I have done 13 hikes below the rim in the past six years. My wife and I enjoy it so much that we do the hike several times a year. We were there last week.

    One option that hasn't been mentioned in this thread is the duffle service. Xanterra, the contractor who manages Phantom Ranch, will send your pack to the bottom and back up again on a mule for about $125 round trip. It is money well spent.

    My favorite trail from the South Rim is the Bright Angel, but the South Kaibab is interesting too. The South Kaibab is a lot shorter and steeper. Neither is to be feared.

    While it is true that a lot of people are rescued out of the Grand Canyon each year, the percentage of hikers who have trouble is probably no higher than on other trails. Most people who hike down from the South Rim have no problem at all.













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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by DuctTape View Post
    Just want to clarify fees for hiking in the National Park - $10 initial fee plus $5 per night per person - so one person two nights $20, two people 3 nights $40, etc.

    Havasu Falls is on the Indian reservation and much more expensive, but amazing and definitely worth the time and effort to visit.

    I live and work at the South Rim - the Canyon is a spectacular and obsessive place to hike!
    DuctTape, I plan to hike from the S Rim to the N Rim this Fall. I have a NPS cabin reserved on the N Rim already. The next day I plan to hike back to the S Rim. Do you know if I'll need a permit for these day hikes?

    BTW, I'm in good enough shape to do this, especially with a light pack, but your post makes me wonder if I need a permit. I appreciate your feedback.

  19. #19

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    I am not Ducktape, but I can answer your question. You need a permit only if you stay below the rim over night.

    I met a guy last year who was doing exactly what you plan. I talked to him on the way to the north rim and again at Phantom Ranch on his way back. He said that my 5 day plan for the rim to rim to rim was a lot smarter. He said that he wasn't having fun.
    Shutterbug

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shutterbug View Post
    It isn't necessary to drink water from the river. There is potable water available at the Boat Beach which is only 100 yards from the Black Bridge where the South Kaibab Trail reaches the Colorado River.
    I wish I'd known that when I was there; I made it out on less than a quart...which was all I had left.
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