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  1. #1
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    Grand Canyon North rim..Anybody?

    I'm calling out to my Arizona Mtn biking brothers and sisters for some help on an itinerary for a North rim trip. I'm from NM and trying ta plan a bike packing trip ( with the BOB and unsupported) in the Kaibab NF. I have this old article from a magazine that talks about a 100 mile trip from Jacob lake ranger station to the rim and includes an 18 mi stretch of The rainbow rim trail and a 40 mi portion of the Arizona Trail...Anybody out there has done extended rides out there? Any water to filter? I'd love any bit of info...
    Thanks

  2. #2
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    I'm running a loop race up there in June (see my sig, below).

    There isn't much water, but you can find it, between springs (mostly on the west side), stock tanks, and a few small ponds. The whole AZT is highly recommended, and the Rainbow is also excellent. Lots of fun to ride dirt roads in between.

  3. #3
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    Iloveone

    I have done a couple of trips on the AZT in the spring of 2004 I rode around the canyon via Jacob Lake and the highway out to the north rim then back on the AZT. If you go out before the park opens on May 15 you can camp at the group site right on the rim inside the park. There is water at near the back country office any park ranger will show you and give directions to the groups sites. There is also some water along the AZT some good springs and stock tanks. Depending on the snow there are also some ponds of snow melt in places. As for the Rainbow rim there is also good camping on the rim and most likely stock tanks or snow melt not sure about springs. The key thing would be to find out how much snow there is at Jacob Lake and then figure there will be more on the trail as it is up to 1000 feet higher in places. On the 04 trip I was there right before opening day and there was no snow but still ponds. In 06 I got there one month earlier and there was too much snow to ride the trail.

    Tim

  4. #4
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    I've done the Rainbow Rim Trail and tried the AZ Trail at the East Rim last year. If you try the East Rim from there it won't be open till after the North Rim opens, last year there was snow and downfall not allowing much of a ride from the East Rim trailhead in late April. 14 miles round trip to the canyon's edge to the south. At highway 89a where the trail crosses the highway (near Jacob Lake) I went south for a while thru the pines. It was open and dry in April but a fairly easy ride for the distance I covered. It does get better, climbing thru the aspens. I have not gone north from there but plan to this year or next as the 20 mile section of AZ Trail to the Utah border features a 2000' descent, shuttle ride.
    The Rainbow Rim is a fun ride thru the pines with 5 main viewpoints. Camp in the trail's middle at Locust Point as you can drive off the road right to the canyon's edge and camp. No water or bathrooms on the trail. Do the ride as 2 out and backs. Horses kick up a lot of rocks and make the ride harder so avoid them when possible. Tempratures are generally fairly mild there, at 7800', for the elevation as the cold air drains off into the canyon. North Timp Point along the trail may be the best viewpoint I have ever seen.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for all the info guys!
    It is usuful. I'm waiting for maps to plan the itinerary.
    Tim, you make it sound like the opening date is a big deal, do you think after it opens there is access issues? I know it is a very touristy part of the world ...Does it get really crowded? Should I plan my trip before it opens?
    Thanks
    Julie

  6. #6
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    Tour duh Utah and AZ Trail

    I am planning a trip there in late May. My plan is to ride the Rainbow Rim as 2 out and backs from Locust Point, the East Rim/AZ Trail from the East Rim Viewpoint to the canyon's edge and back, then the AZ Trail from Jacob lake to the AZ/UT border. It's a 20 mile ride that features a 2000' descent. From there, Gooseberry Mesa in Utah, the best trail in the state. Nearby Little Creek Mesa the next day. Next the Virgin River Rim Trail and if I still have the energy the next couple days descending Brianhead's various descents, from 13,100' to 7000'. If I go farther, Fish Lake with the Mytoge Mountain Trail around the lake, 18 miles. Great fishing which I don't eat. Future trails in Utah that interest me, Iron Divide Trail System, Black Dragon Canyon shuttle and the Kodachrome Basin singletrack. Abe

  7. #7
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    I think it really depends on what you want out of your North Rim experience if you want to go light and need to restock on food you will want the park to be open. If on the other hand you plan on packing in all you need with the BOB and would like to have the place more to yourself then get there when the park is closed. I have only been out there once when the park was open and there were a lot of folks though we did manage to find a parking place there were not a lot to choose from. Not that parking is an issue with the bike, just a reference on how many people are there. I have been out there twice on the bike when the park is closed and it is very nice to have a big group site all to yourself. When the park is open I think all camping is by reservation and you will not have anything to yourself. Now if what you want to do is sit out on the big patio out in front of the lodge and order drinks then you need the park to be open. On the other hand when the park is closed you can sit any where you want to and no one will expect you to buy something and then leave a tip. Personally I prefer the park when it is closed but thatís just me.

  8. #8
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    Locust Point Camping

    Locust Point is on the Rainbow Rim Trail and about 1/4 long. I was last there in October '05 and it had 2-3 other campers. Never crowded and not necissary to pay any fees. The first time there, in summer '03 it wasn't much more crowded. Plenty of room and you can drive or set up a tent right to the canyon's edge, where the National Park begins and the National Forest ends.
    If you ride the Arizona Trail, there's a lot of camping just south to 89a, 1 mile to the east of Jacob Lake. A main campground with bathroom, just south of the road and many sweet sites to the south on several dirt roads west of the trail.

  9. #9
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    It's definetly a slef-supported 4 night trip. Don't really need established camp sites and bathroom...The information is good to know. Thanks Tim. I was wondering about restocking options...Sounds like I'll need to carry everything food wise...I'd rather carry everything than deal with crowds. The days are decided: May 6th through May 11th. Still haven't decided on Itinerary...
    Julie

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by iloveone
    It's definetly a slef-supported 4 night trip. Don't really need established camp sites and bathroom...The information is good to know. Thanks Tim. I was wondering about restocking options...Sounds like I'll need to carry everything food wise...I'd rather carry everything than deal with crowds. The days are decided: May 6th through May 11th. Still haven't decided on Itinerary...
    Julie
    Image391.jpg
    If you are hiking or bike touring, there is a special camping section in the NP. (The author of the Bike Magazine article, his wife and myself were the first ones to do the trip completely self-supported on consecutive days.)
    GCBOB1a.jpg
    We had one rest day in the Nat'l Park itself.
    (I have the old itinerary around here.) We took longer than you. We took a day in the park to hang out, eat. Our trip was 160 miles, total. We started at Jacob lake

    There is a general store in the GC campground that carries a lot for restocking. We used dehtdrated and took extra spices. It isn't much weight, but made the dinners taste really great.
    Image410.jpg

    The 'east rim' views are great, also.
    Image403.jpg


    Have fun!!!
    CJ
    WOW Arizona!

  11. #11
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    CJ ,
    Those are great pictures! Thanks for sharing those. We are also starting at Jacobs lake heading south on the AZT to North Rim trailhead then head west on dirt roads to the Rim trail then possibly to Indian Hollow. Finish the loop by heading back to Jacob's Lake Via dirt roads... That is a great idea about the dehydrated food. I have yet to do a trip where I can't restock every couple of days... So food ,water and coffee is going to be the logisitic challenge.
    Julie

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