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Grand Canyon - Thunder River / Deer Creek Loop

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Grand Canyon - Thunder River / Deer Creek Loop

Postby halestorm » Tue Oct 15, 2013 2:34 pm

I have a permit to hike this loop with my sister starting November 4th. Has anybody else hiked it this time of year? Do you think getting to/from the trailhead in an Outback would be any problem? Do you think it would be okay to take a lightweight high-quality 32 degree bag to sleep in (with some insulated clothing) or would you take a 0 degree (my only 2 choices and I'm not buying a 15 degree just for this trip)? Any pointers/side trips/etc. you would recommend? Thanks for the time.

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Re: Grand Canyon - Thunder River / Deer Creek Loop

Postby Scott P » Tue Oct 15, 2013 3:22 pm

I have a permit to hike this loop with my sister starting November 4th. Has anybody else hiked it this time of year?


I've hiked in the area that time of year.

The problem with that loop is that it takes several days and the weather forecast may not be accurate that far out. Sometimes the roads are good and there is no snow and sometimes an early snowstorm can bury the road. The road is not plowed, so if a big storm does hit, your car may be snowbound until spring.

Keep in mind though that there is at least some risk that your car can be snowbound until spring if you are leaving it at Indian Hollow or the Bill Hall Trail.

Do you think it would be okay to take a lightweight high-quality 32 degree bag to sleep in (with some insulated clothing) or would you take a 0 degree (my only 2 choices and I'm not buying a 15 degree just for this trip)?


It's not that cold in the canyon itself, so it should be fine at low elevation. It will be chilly if you are camping near the rim the first night.
Last edited by Scott P on Wed Oct 16, 2013 6:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Grand Canyon - Thunder River / Deer Creek Loop

Postby rlrjamy » Wed Oct 16, 2013 2:52 pm

I'll miss you by a day. We are doing the loop Nov. 2-3. I think 14 miles the first day starting from Bill Hall TH. and then 11-12 miles day two going out. The road is graded dirt and should be no prob unless recent snow or rain. I was on the north rim 3 weeks ago and it was 30's at night on the rim and 60's at night in the canyon. I have a 15 degree bag and am usually a little warm in the canyon this time of year. Hikearizona.com has some good trip reports and pics for Deer Creek/Thunder River/Bill Hall/Tapeats.

Edit...Forgot to add ... Deer Creek Narrows are now closed to all public visitation.

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Re: Grand Canyon - Thunder River / Deer Creek Loop

Postby Scott P » Wed Oct 16, 2013 6:08 pm

Edit:

For some reason I was thinking of the longer (week long) Kanab Creek/Deer Creek Loop; I see that you are doing the shorter Thunder River/Deer Creek Loop.

In that case, the chances of getting snowed in are less and it's a shorter trip. Because the roads aren't plowed, I wouldn't go if there is going to be a really big snowstorm, but for a shorter trip, you should be fine if you pay attention to the weather forecast.
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Re: Grand Canyon - Thunder River / Deer Creek Loop

Postby halestorm » Thu Oct 17, 2013 8:32 am

many thanks for the great info

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Re: Grand Canyon - Thunder River / Deer Creek Loop

Postby Bethie » Thu Oct 17, 2013 7:43 pm

We did this trip in Nov a few years ago. It rained and snowed on top to the TH and the road was fine. Your Outback will be fine on the road. We slept in 15 degree (me) and 32 degree (hubby) bags and bivy sacks under the stars and we were fine. We did it in 3 days, Im not sure how many youre doing it in but I dont remember any side trips. Its an awesome trip! Youll enjoy it! We will be at the GC during the week of Thanksgiving doing the Royal Arch loop from South Bass TH, cant wait!

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Re: Grand Canyon - Thunder River / Deer Creek Loop

Postby Scott P » Thu Oct 17, 2013 7:52 pm

We did it in 3 days, Im not sure how many youre doing it in but I dont remember any side trips.


There are actually many great side trips if you have the time.

Some of the best are the hike up to Tapeats Cave, Lower Crazy Jug or the upper forks of Deer Creek. All are worthy of at least a few extra days of exploration if you have the time. Three days is about right for the loop without any side trips.
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