2010 summer vacation just changed

4:18 p.m. on July 19, 2010 (EDT)
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So my yellowstone backcountry trip just turned upside down on me. Now i guess we are going to the southwest. i.e. Canyonlands NP, Bryce Canyon, Zion, Arches, Mesa Verde, Grand Canyon, Glen Canyon and Monument Valley. Since were packing all of this into 12 days does anyone have any recomendations on some real good day hikes at any of these places. After 2-1/2 months of researching Yellowstone and the backcountry area we would be in and getting everything together i would need for that area, it all changed. Now i need to start looking into differant clothes sleeping bag lots more water where water will be scarce. If anyone has any pointers for me in this area that would be appreciated also. Thanks in advance for helping this newbie out

5:24 p.m. on July 19, 2010 (EDT)
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Yes, water will be more of a factor now as the southwest us a lot drier. Especially this time of year. Just becarefull as July and August are the rainy seasons in many of the parks you mention, especially if you plan to hike any narrow canyons in Canyonlands, Zion and the Grand Canyon.

I have no experience in many you mention but have hiked a lot in Zion, the Grand Canyon and many areas in betwwen.

Good day hikes in Zion especially because of the water is to hike the main narrows which is for the most part spent walking in the North Forth of the Virgin River.

If you want to do any of the hikes above the canyon walls like Angels Landing, Observation Point or Cable Mountain,be sure to start the dayhike around or before sunrise to beat the heat. All three hikes are moderately strenous with hikes of over 2000 feet of elevation gain. But are very nice to do for the views.

This me on Angels Landing with South Zion Canyon behind me.at about 9:30 in the morning in September. The morning sun is still rising over the cliffs behind me to the east. Most of this hike was done in the shade of early morning.

The Grand Canyon will be very hot still all the way to about late September in the inner canyon. On any given day a good idea of the inner canyon temps are the same as Pheonix. In summer the North rim is about 70-80, while the South Rim is about 80-90 and the bottom at the Colrado, Bright Angel Camp and Phantom Ranch will be around 120. I went down there once in summer back in July of 1986 with a yound friend from Tucson. We spent 90% of the day like everyone else soaking in the cool waters of Bright Angel Creek, it was 119 degrees.

If you are driving to the Grand Canyon, go to the North rim. Its cooler, the views are best I think and its less crowded. There are excellent views of the south rim, the San Francisco peaks near here in Flagstaff and the vast open desert to the east on the Navajo Reservation. It's mostly Ponderosa pines and Aspens on the rim. Its a farther hike to the Colorado going down into the canyon at about 14 miles, compared to only 7 miles from the south rim.

I don't have any pictures of the Grand Canyon even after 20 years of hiking there. I hiked there in the middle of the winter when rim temps were 20 degrees with snow, but the inner canyon was warm enough in Dec/Jan to be in shorts and a tshirt at about 40-60 degrees. It rarely snows to the bottom of the canyon.

What month are you planning to be out here in the west? Where are you now? Much experience with Desert hiking?

6:37 a.m. on July 20, 2010 (EDT)
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Dennis:
I would recommend spending at least three days in anyone of these venues. Shuttle time between venues is in addition to time at a destination. Take your choice; they are all good, but collectively way too much to fit into twelve days. Otherwise you will be little better off than those tour busses that leave their clients little more than a few hours with their feet on the ground at any location, reducing the trip to a tour of scenic parking lots.
Ed

11:08 a.m. on July 20, 2010 (EDT)
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We are leaving western IL (St.Louis) on August 23rd and this will be my first desert hike. I really want to hike the narrows at Zion but with it being monsoon season who knows. Does it rain all day or is it just pop up storms which is what we call them where im from. It rains hard for like 20-30 minutes

2:20 p.m. on July 20, 2010 (EDT)
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dwoods........ The desert in August? I do not think you have an imagination for how hot and dry it can be. Not saying it can not be done, just saying.

8:23 p.m. on July 20, 2010 (EDT)
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We are leaving western IL (St.Louis) on August 23rd and this will be my first desert hike. I really want to hike the narrows at Zion but with it being monsoon season who knows...

The Narrows are often closed due to flash flood hazard during the rainy seasons. Even a brief shower up stream can send a wall of water through the Narrows, since much of the geography upsteam lacks fauna that will absorb or retard water shed. Call the park service to find out if closures are automatic or contingent on day to day weather status.
Ed

December 22, 2014
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