Actually, if you love no crowds, the window of "closed but accessible" is a great time to visit the North Rim. There would be some great places to hang a hammock there with little chance of seeing anyone, and some awesome scenery. However, beware getting too far from your vehicle, or the vehicle too far from the main highway in. One good snow and/or wind storm could easily strand your car out there for the entire winter. This happened to a hiker in 2005 when the weather changed exceptionally early in late October and he had to hike himself out and wait until the following May to get his car out.
HUGS - J
My trip planning is going well on this. I am leaving on the 26th with someone from WB. Because there is someone else willing to share the driving and I drive a fuel efficient car the travel cost will be less than $300 split by 2. We are going to hike in the Grandveiw trail. Up the canyon on the Tonto and out by the S. Kaibab or Bright Angel trail. Than we will spend a day in the Painted Desert / Petrified Forrest. Then 2 days to hike Buckskin Gulch in Utah. Buckskin is one of the longest slot canyons.
I emailed GCNP and asked about hammocks. They said it is a grey area, but feel tying to the trees is not good LNT policy. Grey area is code for it isn't illegal, and I can try it if I do it reasonably. I think finding trees will be a real problem especially since I think my partner is a ground dweller. Imaging 11 straight days with a ground dweller. Luckily for him I am a tolerant person. Anyhow I was planning on taking;
Self inflating thermo rest
My no sniv clone quilt
My Old man rag clone quilt
30 ft of webbing and triglides
Some coreplus rope
That way if the opportunity presents itself to hammock I can do so or I can use the ATHH for a tarp if it is raining or cold and put both quilts on top of me. Does anyone know if wire titanium stakes hole in desert soil?
My gear list is a work in process and it will be so for another 2 months.
you better plan on something more substantial than ti skewers. the entire canyon floor is made of sand - as you may imagine. I think the Easton blue alum. stakes would fair better. again, there are trees there. you may have to "fudge" your destination as stated on the permit to find them, but just look in the drainages. Cottonwood creek is a good example (just NW of the Horseshoe mesa at the mid Grandview tr. junction. but FYI, there are something like 12 rangers that patrol the entire park. so stealth works well, imo.
get er done!
Dutch you might think about taken a couple of cam's to put into the cracks of rocks that way you can always find a crack to hang the cam's in and then hang the hammock to those no different then the climbers hanging on walls.
I have done that in the past and had rangers say it was great to see it hanging that way. when I went to Moab that is how I had to hang cause of no tree's
"Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it"
CLARK HAMMOCK HOW TOO VIDEO
one more thing: make sure you protect your food. the mice are voracious and the ravens are smart enough to open pack zippers. a "ratsack" may be in order. keep an eye peeled for Bighorn Sheep too!
I'll second that comment about the mice and ravens. A mouse took my hat I left on the ground next to me and a raven flew off with a whole pack of tortillas.
You'll have a great time!
You can use a hammock on the rim but it's not a good idea to try it in the canyon. It's a desert and the few trees should be treated with care.
The ground is essentially rock, both on the rim and in the canyon. I find it best to forget about stakes and just attach my tarp or tent to the loose rocks that you find everywhere.
There are cacti both in the canyon and on the rim. Be very careful with your inflatable pad. I destroyed a couple before I gave up on inflatables in the canyon.
Near New Years the temperature on the rim typically goes from 18 to 41 but I've had it go to minus 7 and it can go into the 60's. Inside the canyon the average is 36 to 56 but it can go to the low 20's or the 70's. There will probably be snow and ice on the top part of Grandview and you will need the cheap instep crampons that you can buy at the general store on the south rim. If you don't need the crampons on Grandview, you are unlikely to need them on either the South Kaibab or Bright Angel trail when you come out. It probably will not snow on the Tonto where you will do most of your hiking. If you have precipitation at that level it is more likely to be rain. With snow at the higher elevations the canyon is spectacular.
Ravens and other small animals are a bad problem in warm weather but are only a minor problem in the winter. They are even less of a problem if you don't camp where others normally camp. When you reach the busy area they provide a safe way to store your food.
When you pick up your permit ask the rangers about water reports. You may find that a long section is dry, or they may give you advice about how to find the water.
You planned a great trip. I'll be hiking in the same area. Hope you have a good time.
I am leaving tomarrow at 4:30 PM I am doing the Grand Canyon, Buckskin Gulch, Coyote Bluffs, and the Painted Desert. I have adbandoned the idea of taking a hammock and will use my Maccat tarp. I don't own a backpacking tent. I will still take my BB just in case I camp on the way. Work has sucked up all my time as of late and it will be good to let it be someone else's problems for a couple weeks. This is a trip I have been waiting for. I haven't been West of Cincinatti since I was 7 years old. Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas.