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Topic: April Grand Canyon Trip Planning< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 04 2012, 11:55 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Just found out we got our permit for an early April Grand Canyon backpacking trip!

I had a few organizational questions.  
- Are there any decent, inexpensive hotels near the park?  Some of the people I'm going with are a bit price-sensitive, so I was hoping to find a place that wasn't too expensive.  Hopefully around $60-$70/night would be great.  
- Alternately, if we can't find any hotels, I was looking at Mather campground.  Is this an ok campground? Any idea if the showers would be available in early april?
- We'll be starting at the South Kaibab trail, and coming back up the Bright Angel trail.  Where would we end up leaving he cars?
- Ideally, I'd like to bring some extra stuff with us, but I'm not sure I'd like to leave it in the car.  Is there any place/service in Grand Canyon Village where I could store some stuff for a few days?
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 05 2012, 12:09 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Depending on what you mean by near the park, we have always used Mather going into the GC, then Flagstaff on the way out for a recuperation night with plenty of options.

Going into the park, we would go with Mather and it's as good a campground as any in a popular park.  We could fit a couple vehicles, tents around a picnic table, etc.. (realizing it's high ponderosa type desert, so you can see your neighbor).  Get your reservation for that ASAP if that's the way you want to go.

We would go with Mather going in as to get breakfast early (cafeteria nearby - the Rim isn't really a wilderness), move the vehicles to wilderness parking, and then hit the shuttle.

Flagstaff on the way out with green chile cheeseburgers and brews, clean up, etc...  Lots of hotels at various levels and there's always sharing a room.  

 Hope this helps.


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 10 2012, 3:48 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have only found it possible to store things if I stay at a lodge both before and after my trips into the Canyon.  When I can do that, then the lodge will store my things.  Mostly, I just leave things in the trunk while the car is parked in the Back Country Office parking lot.  Never had a problem there at all.

You will need to leave your car at the BC parking lot, and ride the shuttle to S.K.  Then when you get out of Bright Angel, take the shuttle back to the BC lot and retrieve your car.

Showers at Mather should be running in April, and it is a good campsite.  Reserve soon.  Sorry, but I cannot help with cheaper accommodations at the Rim, but Flagstaff does have several choices and is about 90 minutes from the Rim.


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 10 2012, 3:53 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

It would truly be nice for national p[arks to more generally provide frontcountry storage to enable people arriving via public transportation to leave behind their frontcountry stuff like luggage etc. which they only need for the travel portion to and from the park.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 10 2012, 4:42 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Congrats on the permit!  I'll be there late March/early April myself.

I've stayed in Flagstaff and Tusayan but, personally, I think it's worth the few extra $$ to stay in the Park.  I love getting up for sunrise at the rim -- throw a jacket over my PJ's and grab a cup of coffee and watch the sun come up over the Canyon.  Really can't beat it.  The sunrises below the rim are actually not as spectacular.

The least expensive rooms are the "lodge rooms" at Bright Angel Lodge.  They're in the Powell Lodge building, right behind the rim cabins.  There are some with shared baths in the $75 range.  With a full bath, they're still below $100.  Maswik and Yavapai also have rooms under $100 and work better if there are a few of you to share a room; they each have two queen beds.

Mather's a decent campground.  There are also a couple of backpacker sites at Mather.  You share the site, pay a nominal per person price.  They're intended for people without transportation; you can't park your car and if they know you have a car, they'll turn you away and tell you to get one of the regular car-camping sites.  There are showers at Mather, open year-round.  It takes quarters.

I usually stay at BA Lodge and, for Bright Angel or South Kaibab trails, I leave my car in the Bright Angel trailhead lot.  The entrance is through the BA cabins; a lot of people don't even know it's there.  It's currently closed off for construction (they're working on the BA trailhead area) and I don't know what it will be like in March/April.  I always leave everything in the car, even if I've stayed in one of the lodges, and have never had any problems.

You can catch the hikers express shuttle in the morning from either the backcountry office or the bus stop in front of BA Lodge.


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 10 2012, 4:50 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

+1 on staying at the rim the night before by whichever of those options you prefer or can get.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 11 2012, 2:08 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(big_load @ Dec. 10 2012, 2:50 pm)
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+1 on staying at the rim the night before by whichever of those options you prefer or can get.

Mather the night before gets you in the mood for the next day backpack.  Realize that the South Rim (away from the views) is kind of touristy, even with theaters, cafeterias, various restaurants, etc.. so it's easy to get wrapped up in it all (which is the way it's designed of course).

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 08 2013, 6:40 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

I've become a fan of staying in the Kaibab National Forest (free) before trips.
I like WeCook Pizza in Tusayan (nice salad bar too - always a plus after a few days in) - cheaper than in the park, especially with my 20% off  'local' discount card.
Showers (camper services) are a 'go' year round.


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