We have four cars driving from San Diego County to the Grand Canyon, with two people making their way to the south rim separately and one more being picked up at the Ontario airport. Our outbound count is as follows:
Our post-hike count is as follows:
We'll plan on meeting in advance to exchange car keys and overnight bags. (You'll want to leave one bag behind when you hike across the canyon and have another one waiting for you on the other side.)
I've provided a map of the Grand Canyon area and a detailed maps of the North Rim. This is a map of the South Rim, but the map in the Grand Canyon Guide Newspaper is better and there's also good current information like shuttle schedules.
Our main North Rim hotel is the Jacob Lake Inn at the intersection of Alt Route 89 and Route 67. The best route is Route 9 to Route 59 to Route 389, rather than Route 9 to Route 89 to Alt Route 89.
Jacob Lake Inn
HWY 89A & AZ-67
Jacob Lake, AZ 86022
We have one group of three who is staying at the Kaibab Lodge on Route 67 after the hike.
AZ-67, 26 mi south of Jacob Lake and 18 mi north of the North Rim
928-638-9866 front desk 4-10 PM
928-638-2389 reservations/cancellations 8 AM-4 PM
We have three different South Rim hotels; two inside the park on Friday night:
928-638-2631 (main switchboard)
Inside the Park near the Visitor Center
928-638-2631 (main switchboard)
Inside the Park near the Backcountry information center
For Saturday night, we have rooms at the Canyon Plaza Resort in town:
Canyon Plaza Resort
406 Canyon Plaza Lane
Grand Canyon, AZ 86023
The Jacob Lake Inn is about 44 miles north of the North Kaibab trailhead, but it is on the way to everywhere, so there are no miles lost. Plan on an hour from hotel to trailhead. So a 6:00 AM start means a 5:00 departure from the hotel.
The parking lot at the North Kaibab trailhead is not too large and it's easy to find.
The Yavapai Lodge is near the Vistor Center in the main part of the park (near the entrance, not in the old village). It is less than a mile from the hotel to the shuttle bus stop for the North Kaibab trailhead. (There is no parking or vehicle access to that trailhead.)
The group leaving the South Rim will park the cars near the Bright Angel trailhead. The group coming up that afternoon can freely choose either trail for the ascent, but you'll want to catch the bus from the South Kaibab trailhead back to the village. Visitors are instructed to be waiting for the last bus no later than 30 minutes after sunset. That is 6:38 PM on October 4. If you come up the South Kaibab trail and miss that bus, then it's an extra two miles back to the village (but not uphill).
You should use the Grand Canyon Guide Newspaper for parking. The groups departing from the South Rim will park as close to the Bright Angel trailhead as possible. In order, the candidate lots are:
After parking, take one or more pictures of the parking location, or a screenshot of your location using your smartphone. Then text the information to the other group. Even though they probably won't have cell reception until they finish the hike, they can still get the text when they get out. The plan is still to exchange car keys and parking information when we pass each other on the trail, but the text message is a cheap form of insurance for anything unforeseen.
The group staying at Maswik Lodge will probably want to find a final parking space for the car on Friday night, then catch a shuttle bus as a group to the Kaibab trailhead. (See pages 4 and 5 of the Guide Newspaper.) There are two choices:
Someone from the group staying at the Yavapai Lodge may drop the car off at night or in the morning. It's a leisurely walk of about 0.8 miles from the Lodge to the Grand Canyon Visitor Center to catch a bus sometime after 5 AM. It's also possible to catch the Village Route bus (eastbound) right outside the Yavapai Lodge sometime after 5:00 and take the five-minute ride to the Grand Canyon Visitor Center.