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Topic: Hiking Arizona in April, Help please< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 03 2013, 8:27 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I am arriving in AZ on in early January and looking to just relax. We are going to head to the Grand Canyon at some point but we are looking to do some back country camping. I know with it being January weather can be an issue. Does anyone have any advise or information about camping this time of year in Arizona. I have casually looked at Tonto National Forest, however I am not sure it will be warm enough for the people I am traveling with. I see Joshua tree is not to far off also. So please if anyone has any info please help me out. I have also never done any camping in the sw so please any info at all would be grateful. Thank  you all .
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 03 2013, 8:32 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I am an IDIOT!!!! I have no idea why I typed Hiking in APRIL. I am hiking In JANUARY
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 03 2013, 9:09 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

There's plenty of good backpacking at lower elevations in January.  Check out the Traildex at HikeArizona.com.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 05 2013, 1:30 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thank you for the info! I'm getting mixed information browsing around about hiking around or in the Grand Canyon in January. What advise if any would you give to someone who has never camped the sw. I'm looking to do back country mostly. Concerns- weather-safety-general conditions

Experience : smoky mountains / Montana (minimal ) / the camino (Spain )
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 05 2013, 4:34 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Camping down in the Grand Canyon takes a permit.  The deadline for January was September.  There may still be some openings for walk ups, if you are flexible.  

As for the hiking itself, the Canyon is unlike anything else.  you need to stay on what is called Corridor trails until you figure out the intricacies of the land.  Water is a premium, and you may have to carry a gallon of it per person, per day.  Hiking down to a known water source like Bright Angel Campground is the most popular, so the campsites fill quickly.  Hiking back out means you need to carry all of your water needs uphill.  

All that said, the Canyon is a great place to hike and once you acclimate, it can be a favorite place to go in what is the off season for most of the other good backpacking places.  


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 05 2013, 5:43 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

So in January, the North Rim, complete snow cover. How about the South Rim? it's a few thousand feet lower but still high.

This is informative overall but how about specifically January?
http://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/winter-recreation.htm

Though given they report packed snow on the south rim roads already….
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 05 2013, 6:12 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

General rule, daytime temps: Indian Gardens is 10* warmer than the S. Rim.  Phantom Ranch is 20* warmer than the S. Rim.  Right now, S. Rim is 25*.  Night time temps, there is little difference between the Gardens and Phantom.  Both are about 20* warmer than the S.Rim.  South Rim is only about 1000 ft lower than the North, but it is true that the snow accumulates less.  I would expect the ground to be completely covered by Xmas, unless there is a long sun spell with warming air.  

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 06 2013, 12:28 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Re January permits. I'm often there in Jan./Feb.. Typically, after the New Years holiday walk up permits are there, it's a quiet time.

That's not a guarantee -- but I don't do advance permits for my annual (winter) trips and it is usually not an issue. Most of my trips are outside "The Corridor" but I'm sometimes at Indian Gardens or Bright Angel C.G. and have not seen them "fill" on permits.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 06 2013, 7:42 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The Tonto is pretty good in Janurary but the higher elevations may require solid 3-season gear.  I've had water freeze overnight.  The higher you go, the more likely snow will be encountered.  The Chiricuahua's southeast of Tucson will be snow-bound through March and I've waded through thigh deep snow lingering in shadows during April backpacks (the main TH was still closed due to a previous fire btw, something else to look at).

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 06 2013, 10:49 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

You might get lucky, but norhtern AZ in January is cold and frequently snowy.
Head for Phoenix (Superstitions and Lost Dutchman State Park) or Tucson and Saguaro Nation Park East or West. (There are two sections.)Great serious day hikes out of Saguaro Nat. Park West. Car Camp at Gilbert Ray County Park. You can overnight backpack at Saguaro National Park East. No problem getting at permit - just show up. Also consider Organ Pipe National Monument south of Phoenix. Great Car Camping and some less than serious day hikes. Frankly, I'd think twice before I'd plan a big trip in N. AZ in Jan.
Enojy the West.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 08 2013, 3:32 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

"norhtern AZ in January is cold and frequently snowy"

Depends a lot on elevation, specific location. Phantom Ranch, river level of Grand Canyon, statistically averages a high of 58, low of 38 for New Year's. Tonto Plateau, little higher is maybe 8 degrees cooler, and there's a ton of good hiking, on and off trail on the Tonto.

My thoughts? Those temperatures are just fine for backpacking. I've done 34 midwinter backpacking trips at GC, only once seen snow stick on the Tonto and it was gone a half day later.

That's not to say those other, south AZ, destinations are not good -- it's saying that winter in the GC has many outstanding attributes if you are comfy with those temperatures. And some of us don't consider that cold. (I'm Wisconsin based)
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 09 2013, 9:26 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

You probably already know this, but the aridity will make your days warm.  Conversely, expect (not just a possibility) sub freezing temperatures at night, even in Southern, low-elevation areas.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 10 2013, 3:47 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE



The Superstition Wilderness would be a great place to go backpacking in January.  Breathtakingly beautiful.  It is outside of Phoenix.

Scott

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 10 2013, 5:20 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I was standing in that very trail last November, 2013.  I did not make it to the top, but my bud did.  Felt like a great place to hike.   We also hiked in to some great waterfalls north of Tucson, but right on the city edges. 

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 10 2013, 6:15 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(ol-zeke @ Dec. 10 2013, 5:20 pm)
QUOTE
I was standing in that very trail last November, 2013.  I did not make it to the top, but my bud did.  Felt like a great place to hike.   We also hiked in to some great waterfalls north of Tucson, but right on the city edges. 

I did some backpacking and dayhiking in the Supes around Thanksgiving, too.  I hike there at least twice a year.  It is high on my list of favorite places.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 22 2013, 2:29 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Aravaipa Canyon would be excellent. The temps will be cold at night (probably 30) but days should be nice, and you won't see anyone. You won't have to worry about water (perennial stream), the hiking is easy (no climbs), and the scenery is spectacular.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 22 2013, 9:13 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Rics @ Dec. 06 2013, 8:49 pm)
QUOTE
You might get lucky, but norhtern AZ in January is cold and frequently snowy.
Head for Phoenix (Superstitions and Lost Dutchman State Park) or Tucson and Saguaro Nation Park East or West. (There are two sections.)Great serious day hikes out of Saguaro Nat. Park West. Car Camp at Gilbert Ray County Park. You can overnight backpack at Saguaro National Park East. No problem getting at permit - just show up. Also consider Organ Pipe National Monument south of Phoenix. Great Car Camping and some less than serious day hikes. Frankly, I'd think twice before I'd plan a big trip in N. AZ in Jan.
Enojy the West.
Rics in Silver City, NM.

+1

While I have never hiked to the bottom (sad - I live in AZ:( ), I have been to the S. Rim in January and it is pretty cold at the top. Granted, it gets warmer as you go down, but I think this also means you have to bring more with you to be prepared for the variations. This potentially means more weight to carry down, and worse - back up. You mentioned potential concerns about snow/cold weaather as a possibility for some in your group and if this is the case, January may not be the best time.

The S. Rim on Jan. 1st a few years back:


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 02 2014, 11:34 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I just want to thank everyone who posted. The info you all took the time to share was extremely helpful in planning our trip. We plan on checking out a few places you all have suggested and will post pictures and info when we return. Thanks again to everyone!
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 07 2014, 1:16 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I live in east Mesa ( can see The Flatiron from my balcony).  The weather is perfect and the Superstitions have incredible hiking.  Anything around Weaver's Needle is grand and keep in mind that the AZ Trail runs through the Supes as well.  I have done a lot of these trails and can give you some good ideas.  Enjoy the Valley!  The great weather this time of year more than makes up for August.  DM me if you want more info.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 06 2014, 12:27 am Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE


(ScottStillman @ Dec. 10 2013, 3:47 pm)
QUOTE


The Superstition Wilderness would be a great place to go backpacking in January.  Breathtakingly beautiful.  It is outside of Phoenix.

Scott

www.scottstillmanblog.com

Where was this picture taken?

Its a TH I am not familiar with.

Supers are very dry right now- few flowers out there.  But then, its still February.  Hopefully conditions will change soon.


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