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Backpacker Magazine – June 2011

National Parks: Grand Canyon

Discover surprising solitude and endless vistas on an easy-access multiday trip between rim and river.

by: Michael Lanza

Overlooking Granite Gorge (Valerie Long)
Overlooking Granite Gorge (Valerie Long)
Hance Creek From Horseshoe Mesa (Valerie Long)
Hance Creek From Horseshoe Mesa (Valerie Long)
View Of 7,128-Foot Zoraster Temple (Michael Lanza)
View Of 7,128-Foot Zoraster Temple (Michael Lanza)
South Kaibab Trail (Sasha Buzko)
South Kaibab Trail (Sasha Buzko)
Hermits Rest To Dripping Springs Dayhike (Elias Butler)
Hermits Rest To Dripping Springs Dayhike (Elias Butler)
Upper North Kaibab Trail (Michael Lanza)
Upper North Kaibab Trail (Michael Lanza)


The Way The way The park is 77 miles northwest of Flagstaff via US 180 and AZ 64. Start: Take Desert View Dr. 12 miles east to Grandview Point. End: Shuttle via taxi; (928) 638-2822.

Season March to May and October to November. Inner canyon temps from June to September are often above 100 degrees.

Key gear Wide-brim hat and six liters of water storage

Map/book Trails Illustrated Grand Canyon ($12, Hiking Grand Canyon National Park, 3rd Edition, by Ron Adkinson and Ben Adkinson ($19,

Permits $10 per permit, plus $5/person per night. Apply ( ) on the first of the month four months prior to your hike date (e.g., June 1 for a hike beginning in Nov.) and fax it to (928) 638-2125.

Water There are four water sources along this route, and only Grapevine Creek (mile 8.8) flows year-round. The other sources--Cottonwood Creek (mile 3.3), Boulder Creek (mile 14.2), and Lone Tree Creek (mile 17.1)--usually dry up by June.

Contact Backcountry Information Office: (928) 638-7875 (from 1 to 5 p.m., Monday to Thursday),

Trip data Download a GPS track, complete with waypoints and turn-by-turn directions, at

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AZ Hiker
Jun 26, 2013

When you explore where others don't, STAY ORIENTED because sometimes getting lost can be easier than staying found and that's what makes short hikes the most dangerous. No matter how well they know the trail, many people never consider that they might end up unexpectedly spending the night outdoors or waiting for medical help --and so they hike without the essentials. Felix! the Sugar Glider Be Safe Hike Smart (Amazon) teaches essential day-hiking skills, items to pack, how to navigate your way with and without a map or compass, and how to get rescued. Learn to stay found by using a compass and paying attention to your surroundings. A compass doesn't need a signal or batteries and works in all types of weather, day or night, but you need to know how to use it and this book makes learning how to use a compass easy. This book is for all ages. Felix! the Sugar Glider Be Safe Hike Smart (Amazon) is a fast, easy read that will definitely make your hike more safe and enjoyable!


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