We started by crossing of the Grand Canyon from the South Rim to the North Rim via the Bright Angel and North Kaibab trails. Then we succumbed to the heat of the canyon bottom at the end of May and missed out the western part of the Hayduke’s Grand Canyon traverse and instead skipped forward to finish with a sweltering hot hike through Zion National Park.
Section 12|Bright Angel Trail We enjoyed the mix of hiking up to South Rim on the South Kaibab Trail and then descending back to the Colorado River via the Bright Angel Trail. We dropped from the rim at about 4.45am to get some early hiking in before the heat of the day hit us and that worked out well. I think we made it to Phantom Ranch in the canyon bottom by 8am or so. It was already blisteringly hot in the sun by then though (26th May).
Section 12|28.1 Ribbon Falls are an oasis in the heat of the North Kaibab Trail. Our afternoon was spent in the shade and dipping in the falls before we felt it was safe to head on to Cottonwood Campground.
Section 14|54.2 East Fork Virgin River. There is a drop off here and we followed the climb up a gulley on the left bank about 50 feet before the drop off. Then turn right (downstream) before dropping down a chimney between huge boulders back down to river level. We had to hand packs down this stretch to get through but it was ok (see pic on right). More details from’Across Utah’ website
Section 14|54.9 Once you negotiate the drop off, you have about 0.7 miles to go before the exit out of the East Fork. There is a canyon coming in from the right as a marker at this point and the exit route is straight ahead- a vegetated steep corner. It is a bit of a scrabble up the corner with the easier line heading out right away from the corner- but if you have got this far it will be fine! There are some rock slabs at the top of the vegetation and then the odd cairn and trail heading north. ‘Across Utah’ website describes a better sounding alternate
Section 14|57.4 There was a good trail heading up the draw to the narrow saddle. This has now more use than described in the Hayduke guidebook from hikers returning back north to the road from canyon trips.
Section 14|58.7 Confirming Li’s map statement that there are many deep stagnant pools in the slickrock as you approach the road.
Section 14|65.6 Stave Spring. This was as good as dry when we passed by (2nd June) and it looked like it dries up in the heat of summer – but you only have another 4 miles to Weeping Wall and Zion Canyon!