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Grand Canyon in April.

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Grand Canyon in April.

Post by scotticus on Mon 26 Mar 2012, 5:35 pm

I understand that packrafters merely need a backpackers permit to hike in to run a stretch and then hike out down river, so I wanted to give it a try. If anyone wants to come with, they are free to use my packraft or riverboard. Anybody know of any good hike in and out stretches? Time is variable, couple days or a week. Will pay for gas if we ride down together. Otherwise, I be doing it while on a bicycle tour.

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Re: Grand Canyon in April.

Post by riverstud222 on Mon 26 Mar 2012, 9:03 pm

What? Seriously? This alone may be reason enough to get a packraft for me.

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Re: Grand Canyon in April.

Post by riverstud222 on Mon 26 Mar 2012, 9:11 pm

I just talked to my uncle who's a Grand Canyon boatman and he said you might be able to hike in and just cross the river but to actually run it you need a river permit. Where'd you get your info?

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Re: Grand Canyon in April.

Post by scotticus on Mon 26 Mar 2012, 10:53 pm

I got it from two seperate packrafting groups that wrote about their trip and made some youtube videos on the Alpackaraft forums

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Re: Grand Canyon in April.

Post by riverstud222 on Mon 26 Mar 2012, 11:00 pm

You'd better call the park service to verify. He said you have to tell em where you're hiking in and where you're hiking out and if there's a big stretch of river in between they won't let you go. He also said the consequences of boating without a permit are jail time, paying for the helicopter out and a 5 year ban.

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Re: Grand Canyon in April.

Post by scotticus on Mon 26 Mar 2012, 11:05 pm

I figure if it isnt true, well, whose gonna stop me from doing an annual backpacking trip into the Grand to run a couple class lll or IV rapids within a few miles of my camp when nobodies around, especially in the early morning of evening when nobodies travelling down river. It would be worth it my paddling gear including the alpacka only weighs ten lbs to hike in and the raft rolls up to the size of most air mattresses plus a couple lbs and can be used as such. I might consider hiking a considerable length of the grand canyon with my packraft and hit some rapids along the way. The entire 900 mile length of the Grand Canyon has been hiked at least 14 times.

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Re: Grand Canyon in April.

Post by scotticus on Mon 26 Mar 2012, 11:06 pm

Jail time sucks

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Re: Grand Canyon in April.

Post by scotticus on Mon 26 Mar 2012, 11:46 pm

But to go backpacking down from somewhere on the North Rim, hit up a few rapids and backpack up out via the next canyon each fall or winter when not much else in Utah is flowing would be pretty cool. Hwy 67 to the North Rim is closed each winter, but rhere are a fair number of remote jeep trail going towards the Grand west and east of the snowed in Kaibab Platea.

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Re: Grand Canyon in April.

Post by riverstud222 on Tue 27 Mar 2012, 12:02 am

If it's legal and legit I'd love to know and I'd do it myself for sure. If not, I have 4 Grand trips under my belt and enough experience with the GC Rangers to know they like to make examples of river poachers and they are crazy sticklers for even the most minute rules. They also regularly patrol the river. Not trying to scare you out of anything, just making sure you know what you're getting into if it's not legit.

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Re: Grand Canyon in April.

Post by scotticus on Tue 27 Mar 2012, 1:00 am

When I reviewed the latest backcountry permit form updated in November 2011, it had a box to check if you desired to use a packraft for the trip. When I request my permit, I'll see if the back country office will allow for the use of the packraft for more than just fording the river. However I'd wager many of the access points for fording would have rapids, as I understand rapids often form at side canyons of possible access. Unfortunately, I would have to wait to do the trip in mid April as the backcountry office needs at least 21 days to process the request and April is the most busy month for backcountry use. Otherwise I'd wait to do it the fall because I plan on spending my spring and summer in the Uintahs or up in Idaho. But the Grand Canyon would be a great place to go while I wait for the climate to warm up some.

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Re: Grand Canyon in April.

Post by wasatchbill on Tue 27 Mar 2012, 1:56 am

Scott, you might want to consider packrafting the Zion Narrows at lower water. When we hiked the lower part, I thought that packrafting from the top would be a good way to go, at around 140-175 cfs when they start giving boating permits. It would be perfect for walking the 6 miles in to the Deep creek confluence; and it would be better than swimming the deep pools like we did. Also, I think you can get a permit to camp overnight, if you are "hiking" the narrows from the top anyway.
You should pre-scout (and maybe portage) the woody drop above Temple of Sinawa, from the paved trail in the park. And you could probably packraft on down through the park, to Court of the Patriarchs (where the rocky IV starts).

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Re: Grand Canyon in April.

Post by Newty on Tue 27 Mar 2012, 8:40 pm

you can hike down to Hermit Rapid from the south rim. At the right flow it's the biggest standing wave train anywhere, you could lap that sucker a 1000 times then hike back out.
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Re: Grand Canyon in April.

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