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hiking out of grand canyon

maryland
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238 posts
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hiking out of grand canyon

Hi,

We are thinking of taking a raft trip in the Grand Canyon that ends with a hike up the Bright Angel Trail. We thought we were in pretty good shape but the information that came from the rafting company was a bit daunting. It was filled with warnings about the difficulty of the hike espically since we will have to carry a pack with our personal gear out. Tents, sleeping bags, cooking equipment, etc. is taken care of by the company.

Has anyone done this hike? Can you give us an idea of what type of condition we need to be in before we do this?

Thank you.

Colorado Western...
Destination Expert
for Ouray, Outdoors / Adventure Travel, Montrose
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666 posts
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1. Re: hiking out of grand canyon

There's certainly nothing *technically* difficult about the hike out -- you'll be on a good trail the entire way. The issue, as you say, is being in good condition to manage the elevation gain of around 4400 feet.

Are there any hills nearby? Go hike up and down them for several hours at a time. No hills? Are there any tall buildings nearby where you can climb up many flights of stairs? Again, work up to being able to climb stairs for several hours. (Yes, taking breaks is allowed -- but don't count the break time toward your total climbing time).

Stair-Master machines are also an option. Keep the resistance setting fairly low, but keep at it for a long time. You're going for endurance, not just strength.

A reasonably fit hiker will probably take about 4-5 hours to gain 4400 feet in elevation.

Flagstaff, Arizona
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2. Re: hiking out of grand canyon

Hi there,

You have gotten excellent advice from everyone at TA. I am a river and hiking guide in the canyon and if you do what everyone has suggested, you should be fine, as you are probably in decent shape from your description. The river companies really want people to take the hike seriously, as you have. If you continue with a training regime, you should do well, even though you may find it one of the most challenging and rewarding things, you have ever done.

To lighten your load, you can leave items behind that you don’t want to carry out. Such as dirty clothes, towels, sunscreen, misc toiletries, etc. The guides or other passengers will use or throw away the items. Sometimes items go to Goodwill after trips.

There will be a hiking escort, who stays with the slowest hiker, which may give you some reassurance. You will be fairly acclimated to the heat after being on the river for 5 ½ days. Most of all don’t stress over the hike, that anxiety can add to physical stresses your body will already be dealing with. It is an amazing hike and best to take time to enjoy it. When resting look around at the views and stop in the shade not the sun.

you will have a great trip1

maryland
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3. Re: hiking out of grand canyon

Thank you for your advice. I really appreciate it. I think I feel good about doing this and liked your suggesstion of leaving some things behind.

western WA
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4. Re: hiking out of grand canyon

You can't really leave stuff behind at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, though, unless you give it to someone and they agree to take it.

Don't bring it in if you can't carry it out.

maryland
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5. Re: hiking out of grand canyon

HOw reliable are the mules for bringing your stuff out? can you reserve them? I heard that they do not always come up on the same day you do.

Flagstaff, Arizona
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6. Re: hiking out of grand canyon

Hi there,

Yes you can reserve duffel out on the mules (for $64/30lbs of gear), if there is still space available. The number to call is 888-297 2757. Your duffel will not arrive at the rim until 3pm the following day, because the duffel has to be dropped off by 7am the morning of your hike out. Most river outfitters will not guarantee that they can get you to Phantom Ranch by then, as they may have to camp upstream a few miles the night before. They are not allowed to camp at the Phantom Ranch boat beach. You can leave unwanted stuff behind with the river trip, you can not leave anything behind at Phantom. The rafts will have the room to carry your trash or unwanted items to the complete end of the raft trip, where they take it all back their warehouse. Backpackers into the canyon must carry all their stuff they carried in, out of the canyon.

cabo san lucas
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7. Re: hiking out of grand canyon

It has been a few years, but the hike is a trek and then some. It is absolutely beautiful, but be ready to hike several miles up steep slopes and lots of stairs. It whipped me when I was in college, 15 years ago. Have you looked into the Havasupai Falls areas? The land of the blue-green water people. It is a hike in and out, but the indians help with donkeys.

conn
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8. Re: hiking out of grand canyon

if you can manage a weekend backpacking trip on the AT in maryland then you can mange the hike out of the GC

9. Re: hiking out of grand canyon

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