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Hiking In Sedona: What You Should Know

To get you prepped for your hike in Sedona, we’ve compiled advice into a detailed guide on what to expect when going for a hike in Sedona.

Snowshoeing in Durango: Our 7 Favorite Trails

Snowshoeing in Durango, Colorado this season? Here’s a few of our favorite snowshoeing trails for your next Microadventure in Durango!

Our 10 Favorite Places to Hike in Tucson, AZ

As you’re planning you Tucson, Arizona trip, here are our 10 favorite places to hike with trails around Tucson.

Snowshoeing in Boulder: Our 7 Favorite Trails

Snowshoeing in Boulder, CO this Winter? We’ve compiled a list of our favorite snowshoeing trails to explore in and around the Boulder area.

5 Best Portable Induction Cookers For RVs and Vans

To aid you in your next Microdventure, we have compiled a list of the 5 best portable Induction Cookers for your RV or van.

Our 10 Favorite Family-Friendly Hikes in the Grand Canyon

If you’re considering hiking with your family in the Grand Canyon, here are our 10 favorite family-friendly hiking trails.

What is Car Camping?

Trying to figure out what car camping is and why so many people are doing it? Here we define car camping for you in a simple way.

Car Camping Packing List for Your Microadventure

To aid in getting you set for your next car camping trip, here’s a list of essential and luxury things to pack.

Payson, AZ Free Dispersed Camping Areas

In order to help you narrow down where to camp, here’s a list of our favorite free, dispersed camping spots and areas around Payson, Arizona.

Flagstaff Free Dispersed Camping Map

To help make a decision on where to camp around Flagstaff, AZ, here’s a map of our favorite free, dispersed camping areas and spots.

Our 10 Favorite Hiking Trails in Flagstaff

Looking to go hiking in Flagstaff? Here’s a brief list of our favorite hikes and hiking trails in Flagstaff, Arizona.

A Guide to Camping in Sedona

The famous Red Rock Country city that is Sedona, Arizona. For those who haven’t visited, Sedona is a mecca for Microadventures. With miles of hiking and biking trails, climbing, and towering red sandstone views, you could spend a lifetime exploring Sedona and not see...

Sedona Free Dispersed Camping and Campgrounds Map

Trying to figure out where to camp around Sedona, AZ? We built a map of our favorite established campgrounds and dispersed camping areas.

Our 10 Favorite Hiking Trails in Sedona

With over 200 miles of trails, there’s a lot to choose from in Sedona, Arizona! Here’s a brief list of our favorite hikes in Sedona.

FAQS for Grand Canyon Rim to Rim

We’ve compiled a blog answering some of the most frequently asked questions surrounding the Rim to Rim hike in the Grand Canyon.

Grand Canyon: To the River and Back

The Do’s and Don’ts of the “Rim-to-River and Back” Grand Canyon Hike.

 

Backpacking in the Grand Canyon is near the top of bucket lists for most southwest travelers. The most common backpacking trip, by far, is rim-to-rim: starting at the South rim, hiking to the river, and trekking up and out to the North rim.

It’s not an easy endeavor- it’s challenging and not easily just “checked” off your bucket list. The weather is a major factor for backpacking in the Grand Canyon. The trick is to avoid the heat in the summer and the snow in the winter. This translates to spring before the summer heat kicks in and fall after the monsoons and before the snow.

In addition, getting a permit is no easy task outside of the two worst seasons to be in the Grand Canyon. NPS has documented the success rate of obtaining backcountry permits in the Grand Canyon. NPS states that you have about a 40% chance of getting a permit in the spring and fall and nearly a 100% chance during the winter and summer (when you shouldn’t be in the Grand Canyon at all).

And probably most important to mention, Rim-to-River and Back is one of the best ways to avoid the crowds in the Grand Canyon.

 

The Workaround

Fortunately, there are several major trails that offer plenty of opportunities to enjoy the wonders that the Grand Canyon has to offer. The two major arteries of the South Rim are the Bright Angel and South Kaibab trails. In this segment, we’ll be detailing out a popular hike that connects the two together and offers an spectacular and memorable way to experience the Grand Canyon.

Description of the Route

 

For detailing out the route, let’s be frank and state that there are multiple ways to visit the river. This is the way that on of our writers took with a few friends and was picked specifically for hiking the whole trail in a single day.

  • Entry point: South Kaibab trailhead
  • Exit point: Bright Angel trailhead
  • Total miles: 21
  • Total time door-to-door: 9.5 hours

Here is a view of the actual route and time through Strava:

What to Expect and Tips for Trekking

 

We caught the first Orange Shuttle bus to the South Kaibab Trailhead at 7:00am sharp. Do not be late for the shuttle! The driver told us the drivers are on a strict schedule and aren’t allowed to wait around for straggling hikers. It’s imperative that you take the earliest shuttle that is available in the park. This allows you to maximize your daylight and allows some leeway in case your need extra breaks or hike slower than most.

The South Kaibab trail descents over 3,000 feet from the top of the rim to the river. The trail is very well maintained and easy to follow. Since mule trains use the same trail as hikers, the trail is a mix of long sections of compacted dirt and steep steps. If descending is hard on your knees or hips, I suggest wearing a brace or taping your knees to reduce the impact of each step.

 

Trekking poles are a MUST!

We cannot stress that enough. It will help keep your weight equalized and will reduce the impact of each step. There are multiple rest areas on the descent: Ooh Aah Point, Cedar Ridge, Skelton Point, and the Tip Off. There are pit toilets at Cedar Ridge and the Tip Off and no water until you hit Phantom Ranch at the river. Take enough water for the entire descent. Each of our guys drank about two liters of water on the way down.

Expect at least three hours to get to Phantom Ranch and the river. Phantom Ranch is really an oasis in the middle of the canyon- both with the floral and the amenities that are available at the Cantina. You can not only refill your water, but get lunch, hot coffee, and ice-cold beer! Even if you don’t have the desire to buy food or drinks at the Cantina, at least stop in to mail a postcard via the Pony Express. It’s an eclectic thing to do- my family definitely appreciated getting postcards from the bottom of the Grand Canyon.

Hiking back up to the top of the South Rim via the Bright Angel trail is no walk in the park. Expect a lot of breaks and mental gymnastics as you sludge your way to the top of the canyon. Water is available year-round at Indian Gardens, about halfway up to the rim. Besides that, there’s no much for amenities until you get back to the trailhead. The trek from Phantom Ranch to the top of the rim took about four hours. The last mile and a half was by far the toughest of the entire trek.

Overall, the trek is absolutely fantastic. It is a true test of one’s strength and stamina. With proper gear, plenty of food and water, and some pep-in-your-step, you will be able to make it to the river and back in a single day.

If you’re looking for different ways to the bottom, there are several routes to the bottom of the Grand Canyon other than Rim-to-River, but we do like this one the best! The views are worth is alone.

Photos courtesy of contributor: Jon- https://jonwedell.com

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Nick The Rambling Man
Nick The Rambling Man

Nick is the owner and regular content writer for Southwest Microadventures. When he’s not writing, you can find him rock climbing, peak bagging, mountain biking, backpacking, or drinking strong coffee.

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