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Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim

14ers in California and Washington state or any other peak in the USA
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Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim

Postby anthony156 » Mon Sep 16, 2013 10:32 am

First off I just want to say that I can't believe how resilient everyone is out there. It is really tough to see everything on the news of a place I call my second home(I live in San Diego but everyone in Colorado is so friendly everyone makes me feel welcome).

Anyways I hope this isn't going to come across as selfish with all the rescue and volunteer efforts underway but I do have a question that I know someone on this site will be able to answer.

Any words of advice on hiking the Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim. I would go with a group of friends so we would not be running.
The only complete trip reports I saw on here involved running(I'm not Andy Anderson)

I'm most curious about the trip length and want to know if anyone has done RT in 3 days or less.

Stay strong!

Anthony
“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!”
― Hunter S. Thompson

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Re: Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim

Postby tlongpine » Mon Sep 16, 2013 10:56 am

To clarify: Rim to Rim? Or Rim to Rim to Rim (roundtrip)? Or Rim to River?
I am unable to walk away from the mountain without climbing it. An unclimbed mountain tugs at my consciousness with the eternal weight of time itself. Until I've pressed my face into it's alpine winds, hugged it's ancient granite walls, and put it's weathered summit beneath my heal I'm unable to resist it's attraction.Knowing nature gives the mountain more time than she gives us adds urgency to the obsession. As has been said before; the mountain doesn't care.

It can wait forever. I cannot.

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Re: Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim

Postby anthony156 » Mon Sep 16, 2013 11:04 am

Rim to Rim to Rim

I'm thinking we would do South Rim to the North Rim, then back to the South Rim.
“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!”
― Hunter S. Thompson

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Re: Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim

Postby geol_climber » Mon Sep 16, 2013 11:10 am

My wife and I did it in 11 hours (running). Walking, sure, you can do it in 3 days. It might be long days, but sounds like a blast. Wish I were going on the trip. Look at Davy Crockett's blogs. He has done the r2r2tr like 30 times.

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Re: Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim

Postby AndyJB444 » Mon Sep 16, 2013 11:12 am

Done something similar - we did 2 nights down in the canyon starting from the south rim. Day 1: S. Kaibab -> Cottonwood, Day 2: Cottonwood -> North Rim (going light) -> Phantom Ranch, Day 3: Phantom Ranch -> Bright Angel

All days are big, but not ridiculous for someone with decent fitness.

Cheers!

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Re: Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim

Postby edhaman » Mon Sep 16, 2013 11:17 am

This is from my recollection of my South Rim to Phantom Ranch round trip about 10 years ago (I did not do the North Rim part), so some of the information may have changed since then.

It's about 7.4 miles and 4,846 vertical from the South Rim to Phantom Ranch via the S. Kaibab Trail. I think it's about 14 miles from Phantom Ranch to the North Rim. It's about 9.9 miles and 4,446 vertical from Phantom Ranch to the South Rim via the Bright Angel Trail.

It took me 11:50 to hike from Phantom Ranch up to the South Rim in winter. For the South Rim, the generally recommended route is to descend the S. Kaibab Trail and come back up Bright Angel Trail.

For accommodations at Phantom Ranch, you have the option of the campground or a dormitory bed. The dorms are segregated by gender, and can be reserved about 2 years in advance. The cabins are reserved for those coming down by mule. You can arrange for dinners at Phantom Ranch. When I was there, you had a choice of two times for dinner, with stew served at one time and steak at the other. The food was good.

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Re: Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim

Postby tlongpine » Mon Sep 16, 2013 11:17 am

Depending on your trail choice, milage for RRR is at least 40 miles. I did it in four days, and wished I would've spent more time enjoying the show and exploring. While 3 days is possible for the fit and ambitious this adventure gets better with every sunrise and sunset. It rewards the patient.

South Kaibab is the shorter option, but much steeper. It is 41 miles roundtrip. This trail is used by NPS supply mules. So, they'll be poop.

Bright Angel route is a less steep route. It's 46 miles. It's the park's most popular route, so you'll deal with crowds. There is water along this trail, although I think it's seasonal. Might want to call the Park office.

One option would be to form a figure 8 route to see more of the park. Example: down Kaibab, up Bright Angel, down Kaibab, up Bright Angel. (or vice-versa, depending on whether you prefer ascent or descent for the steeper Kaibab route)
Last edited by tlongpine on Mon Sep 16, 2013 11:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
I am unable to walk away from the mountain without climbing it. An unclimbed mountain tugs at my consciousness with the eternal weight of time itself. Until I've pressed my face into it's alpine winds, hugged it's ancient granite walls, and put it's weathered summit beneath my heal I'm unable to resist it's attraction.Knowing nature gives the mountain more time than she gives us adds urgency to the obsession. As has been said before; the mountain doesn't care.

It can wait forever. I cannot.

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Re: Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim

Postby Prairie Dog » Mon Sep 16, 2013 11:27 am

I have done rim to rim to rim. My girlfriend and I did it in two days. We did it in the Spring (May if I remember correctly) a few years ago.

We started early in the morning on the North Rim and came up the South Kaibab trail to the South Rim. (On the south rim, you can either take the South Kaibab Trail or the Bright Angel Trail - the South Kaibab is a little shorter (therefore steeper) and has no reliable water sources once you leave the river. The Bright Angel is longer, not as steep, and has few places to obtain water along the route.) The distance to cross is approximately 20 miles each way (depending on which trail you choose) and the time will totally depend on how fast you move. For us, we hiked approximately 12 hours each day.

Once we arrived at the south rim, we caught a shuttle from the South Kaibab trailhead to Canyon Village (check schedule - I don't know if they offer this service year round) and actually checked into a lodge (reservations required) had hot shower, a nice meal, and a comfy bed to sleep in - then got up early the next morning and hiked back down the Bright Angel Trail and up the North Kaibab back to the North Rim.

Be prepared for a long day of hiking and be sure to take enough water - you should be fine.

Chris

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Re: Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim

Postby Tommy Dorr » Mon Sep 16, 2013 11:49 am

If I were doing it over three days, I would go with the itinerary stated by AndyJB444. That's pretty spot on.

We did it last Thanksgiving over five days. Four adults and two 11 year olds. I think five days was great. It gave plenty of time for really enjoying the sights and side trips. Three days is very doable, and still have good time though.

I liked late November because the canyon itself is still warm, even though the rims are kinda cold by then. But be mindful of "possible" snow conditions on the North Rim and/or an early shutoff of the water spigots all along the route.

With the dinner and breakfast at Phantom Ranch along with all of the clean water sources along the way, it felt like cheating :lol: It was a really good trip. I hope you guys have a great time.

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Re: Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim

Postby peter303 » Mon Sep 16, 2013 11:51 am

You should note the north rim road and facilities close in the winter, should you want to overnight there.
The south is open year round.
In the summer the rim is comfortable and the inner canyon blazing hot.
In the winter the inner canyon is comfortable and the rim possibly snow/iced up.
The elevation of Flagstaff and the South Rim are around 7000 feet, similar to Evergreen. They both get snow.

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Re: Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim

Postby painless4u2 » Mon Sep 16, 2013 12:05 pm

We did North Kaibab to Bright Angel Rim to Rim, 23.9 miles in 10 hours mid-May. Our plan was to either hike back via South Kaibab to North Kaibab or ride the shuttle back. The shuttle won that time. However, it would certainly be doable with an overnight on the South Rim. If done back to back, it would be a very LONG day.
We stayed in the cabins on the North Rim and left with snow on the ground, but by the time we got to the river it was 100 degrees. There's very little shade on the climb back up Bright Angel and was HOT. I would recommend taking a lot of electrolytes with you.
In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps. Proverbs 16:9

Bad decisions often make good stories.

"Well, that didn't go as expected." - Brett Maune

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Re: Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim

Postby JsinDeAZ » Mon Sep 16, 2013 12:22 pm

I have done R2R2R several times each of the last few years. I favor the SK->NK->SK. And I don't run, but I do double time it on some of the downhill sections. I averaged about 14hrs over my last several trips. I've only done it in a single day, no multiple days. I would put in closer to 43 miles for the route I take (as I have to hoof it back to my car since you can't park at SK trailhead).

I favor November as the best time of year to do it. A google search will show you which water stations are on. Cottonwood may be the last source for water before heading up to North Rim, so that'd be about 14 miles with no access to water (7 up, 7 back down). Be prepared as this is a monster of a day hike and the heat will kick your buttocks. Extra water is never a bad thing. Calories are key as well. Have fun! I'm heading back in November to do it again :-D
-----------------------------
I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in. - John Muir

...I love not man the less, but Nature more... - Lord Byron

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