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Topic: Grand Canyon / Phantom Ranch Alternative, Can't get reservation need alternative< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 15 2013, 4:07 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hi Folks.  I am very new to hiking.  I have been to GC twice and feel spiritually drawn to getting to the river and back.  I was planning a trip with 2 buddies to hike down and stay 2 nights at Phantom ranch.  We have tried to call at 7:00 AM on the first of the month for the last two months but were unable to get through. We were looking for Sept 2014 or Oct 2014. Phantom Ranch makes this trip really unique imho.  The fact that we can be in the wilderness and reach a comfortable bed and get a prepared meal is awesome.  Can anyone suggest an alternative trek?  We need to be able to coordinate our time off so we cannot work with last minute cancellations. Thank you.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 15 2013, 4:28 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

So you're asking about other wilderness lodges?

There's the AMC's White Mountain hut system, Glacier has two  (IIRC) backcountry lodges ("Chalets") and Yosemite has a system of canvas tent cabin "High Sierra Camps".

http://www.outdoors.org/lodging/whitemountains/huts/index.cfm

http://www.hikinginglacier.com/glacier-backcountry-chalets.htm

http://www.yosemitepark.com/high-sierra-camps.aspx

IIRC this book includes backcountry as well as front country national park lodges (so the White Mountain "hut" system won't be described).
http://www.amazon.com/Complet....l+parks
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 15 2013, 9:31 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Unfortunately, you've picked the most popular time for Phantom Ranch.  May 15 to October 15 is "R2R season".  If you can go in November, your chances go up dramatically.  It will still be great hiking weather in the Canyon; better than September, imo.

Btw, you say you were "unable to get through".  Understand that you should have several people on the phones and just keep hitting that re-dial.  It can often take a couple of hours of re-dialing to make it into the 'virtual waiting room'.

Two options I can think of and recommend are, as already mentioned, the High Sierra Camps at Yosemite and LeConte Lodge in the Smokies.  Both involve lotteries.  I think you've already missed the lottery for LeConte.  For the HSC at Yosemite, your issue is going to be timing.  Most of the camps close in early September for the season.  The HSC lottery is soon, I think.  I remember getting an answer in the January time-frame.  The good news is that, even if you don't get spots in the lottery, it's relatively easy to get a night or two when they release all the "leftovers".

There is also the Bearpaw High Sierra Camp on the High Sierra Trail in Sequoia NP.  I've never been there but have heard/read good reviews.  I think it, too, closes for the season in September.

LeConte has a sister lodge in Big South Fork called Charit Creek.


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 15 2013, 10:41 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

You're all missing the obvious. National parks are all shut down and so are the concessionnaires. Nor are they answering phones right now....

None of the High Sierra camps are going to be open in October. Or September, the latter half anyway. Anywhere at elevation in the Sierra shuts down Sept 15.

Most places have a five month lead time - check the park websites when they are back up at the end of the shutdown.


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 15 2013, 11:51 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

DNC is open for business and is answering their phones, they have lodging sales they're advertising as we speak. Why would anyone not fed and not located in a federal facility close? And, of course government shutdown means nothing to the Appalachian Mountain Club. Don't know who runs the Glacier Chalets.  

I'll let the OP decide their own priority , wilderness lodge or that specific timeframe which is optimal as mentioned for the GC, perhaps that was  why it was mentioned?

ETA: the Yosemite High Sierra Camp lottery is accepting applications now. :
"Applications will be available online from September 1, 2013 through November 1, 2013."

Here's the online application link, which works.

http://www.yosemitepark.com/lotteryapplication.aspx

For Sperry and Glacier Park Chalets their online and phone reservations for 2014 start October 28. : "RESERVATIONS
We will begin accepting 2014 reservations on Monday, October 28. Accepted online through this website, or by phone."

The one caveat for the shutdown is the Feds didn't finish processing their rates  so that's subject to modification as noted on the web page:
http://sperrychalet.com
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 16 2013, 8:05 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(AlmostThere @ Oct. 15 2013, 10:41 pm)
QUOTE
You're all missing the obvious. National parks are all shut down and so are the concessionnaires. Nor are they answering phones right now....

All the concessionaires I'm aware of are OPEN, at least in terms of taking reservations and answering phones at their offices.

The NPS websites for the parks that recently re-opened with state funds (Utah, Arizona) are back up as well.  GSMNP should follow soon, from what I understand.


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 16 2013, 9:56 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(TigerFan @ Oct. 16 2013, 8:05 am)
QUOTE

(AlmostThere @ Oct. 15 2013, 10:41 pm)
QUOTE
You're all missing the obvious. National parks are all shut down and so are the concessionnaires. Nor are they answering phones right now....

All the concessionaires I'm aware of are OPEN, at least in terms of taking reservations and answering phones at their offices.

The NPS websites for the parks that recently re-opened with state funds (Utah, Arizona) are back up as well.  GSMNP should follow soon, from what I understand.

SOME of them are taking calls. The Wawona Lodge, for example, was NOT until just a few days ago.

But expecting to be able to do much right now? My hiking group is extremely active this time of year, and the park closures are hampering us big time. And we've been working on next spring.

And again - the High Sierra camps won't be open in September or October, in any year.


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 16 2013, 12:02 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Don't understand what the issue is.

Parks are closed, as are the lodges.  Concessionaire websites and reservation systems, including phone centers, have been open.  Lotteries for 2014 season that are run by the concessionaires are proceeding as usual regardless of the shutdown -- at least that's what's being indicated by them.

The OP is trying to plan a trip for fall of 2014.  No reason why he has to or should wait.  In fact, he's already missed some opportunities.

Published HSC closing dates show early to mid-September scheduled closings.  Yes, there's always a risk that they'll close earlier due to weather (or, as in some years, never open at all due to the same...)


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 16 2013, 1:16 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Plus until the OP elaborates the Fall dates may have been chosen to better match the GC weather and for other backcountry lodges they'd be open to other, equally more location appropriate  seasons....

Unless what was being asked was for other Colorado River destinations with a backcountry lodge in which case that'll be up to someone else as none come to mind for me.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 16 2013, 2:15 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Yosemite DNC online giftshop is open and having a sale: 10% off for $25 and over...

http://yosemitegifts.com

Maybe it's time to get some mugs?
http://yosemitegifts.com/baronmug.html
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 31 2013, 6:24 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

September is arguably the greatest month in the Rocky Mountain West, and with dozens of enormous National Forests with Guard Stations you can rent possibilities for dayhikers are pretty darn incredible and endless at rates lower than you can probably begin to imagine. There are plenty of places more than capable of drawing your spirit for all your years to come.

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