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Late April

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Late April

Postby daw37 » Fri Dec 10, 2010 9:31 pm

Hi,

I'm looking for a good hiking destination for late april 2011. What will conditions be like in Zion / Bryce / Grand Canyon? I know the road to the Grand Canyon North Rim will be shut but I understand backpacking into the canyon would be fine. Can you do Angels Landing at this time of year - is there any ice? (that may be a daft question - I really don't know!!!)

Thanks,

David
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Re: Late April

Postby Day Hiker » Sat Dec 11, 2010 7:15 am

April is typically perfect for hiking most of the Colorado Plateau.

It's definitely perfect for Zion. It's also great for hiking the Grand Canyon, although my favorite is the summer because I don't mind the heat in the canyon, my hikes are near water then, and that's the only time of year you don't freeze your balls off on the North Rim in the morning and evening. But for hiking and backpacking, most people might agree it's best to avoid GC in summer and hit it in the spring (or fall) like you plan.

Angels Landing can get ice and snow in the winter, but by late April there is a 99.9% chance on it being too warm for that. The summit elevation is only around 5800 feet.

I was in Bryce in the spring, but it was only once (02 May 1998), so my experience is limited. I do remember it was nice then. But I think it's not so much a sure thing that time of year. Bryce is at 8000 to 9000+ feet.

Edit: Just saw U.K. Sorry about the imperial crap I posted.

Zion - canyon floor: 1300m
Zion - Angels Landing: 1750m
Zion - overall: 1200m to 2650m, but if you stay in the Zion Canyon area, most hiking is below 2000m or so.

GC South Rim: 2100m
GC canyon bottom: 750m
GC North Rim (closed in April): 2500m

Bryce: 2400m to 2800m
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Re: Late April

Postby daw37 » Sat Dec 11, 2010 8:29 am

Thanks both. Looks like a possibility. Main reason for thinking of that time is because in the UK we are getting four bank holidays over two weekends - you gotta love a royal wedding! :)

@ Day Hiker - I can cope with imperial, we tend to use both just to confuse things!!!
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Re: Late April

Postby coldfoot » Sun Dec 12, 2010 9:10 am

Grand Canyon - Should be good but if you plan to backpack, read on the GC NP website about the permit process. By April it will be in-season and for popular trails you have to reserve campsites several months ahead. This is less of an issue for camping on the rim and day-hiking, but you really should try the full-value backpack experience.

Zion - I would expect Angels Landing to be fine. If for some reason there was late snow/ice on it, there'd always be some other trail to do.

Bryce - since you camp in the canyon bottom in Zion and on the rim at Bryce, it's colder in Bryce. However I found the campgrounds at Bryce less crowded and more pleasant than Zion, on busy weekends. Hikes down into Bryce should be great then.
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Re: Late April

Postby daw37 » Mon Dec 13, 2010 8:25 pm

@coldfoot - Backpacking would definitely be my intent. I've put in a permit request but was unfortunately not right at the beginning of the month so I guess I'll see what I get.

For Bryce I'd intend to go into the Canyon, but would probably consider taking my 4 season bag just in case.
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