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If you don't have reservations for the mule ride, you'd better try to get them ASAP. It's probably too late, but you might luck out.


If I were running your trip, I'd try to go to Zion Canyon as well as the Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon is magnificent, but Zion Canyon is just plain beautiful.

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I agree with the others in recommending Zion Canyon. I would probably skip Bryce Canyon.


If you are going all the way to Hoover Dam, there are some river tours that operate out of Boulder City Nevada. Below the Grand Canyon, the Colorado River is actually a series of lakes, beginning with Lake Meade formed by Hoover Dam. You can go in below Hoover Dam and take these power boat trips some distance downstream and then back. You can also rent canoes from an outfitter and paddle down stream about 12 miles from Hoover Dam for a take out at Willow Beach (if memory serves correctly). Have all your boys qualified as BSA swimmers?

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Right now I'm not sure how we are getting there. It's a 24 hour drive, which with BSA guidelines is 3 days - so that seems too long.

Airfare seems much too expensive and the train ride takes just as long as the drive. Ack!!


As far as reservations, it's for next summer not this summer and I don't even know how many are going yet. Nor if they will pass their swim test - most of them have not even crossed over yet.

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Amtrak is a good option. Few if any of these boys will have ridden the train at all. A twenty four hour train ride is very competitive financially. The rolling stock is decent and the coach seating is the equivalent of airline first class seating. Chances are you would need to rent a van or something at the Arizona end, probably in Flagstaff.

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  • 2 months later...

Reaseyann - If you manage this trip to your abilities and to the abilities of your scouts, you should be fine.


I have backpacked into the canyon 4 times. Each time was different. All good experiences. I have never backpacked there in the summer - mostly March / April.


Judging by the experience level you have indicated, I would stick to the main trails (Rim Trail / Bright Angel Trail / South Kaibab). These are all well travelled and patrolled by rangers.


As someone before mentioned, a hike down the Bright Angel to 1.5 mile resthouse might be doable. Allow about 3 hrs roundtrip. Take at least 3 liters of water per hiker. I believe there's water at the resthouse. This is your turnaround point.


Plenty of sunscreen, loose fitting light colored clothes and a wide-brimmed hat also mandatory. No ballcaps - they don't protect the ears.


Also sunglasses!


There's plenty of checklists if you google "Grand Canyon Day Hike".





Hope this helps!




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