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I noticed the river is running silty in your pics... I sure hope the river clears up by the end of April, which is when my wife and I will be hiking down the Tanner trail to spend 4 nights along the Beamer trail. Less silt will make for easier water filtering.
Even permits to just zone camp are hard to get in Grand Canyon. My 4 night Tanner/Beamer trail backpacking trip was my 3rd alternate on my faxed itinerary request! I faxed it 4 months prior, which is the earliest they will take permit requests.Sure is nice just to walk up to the Panther Junction ranger station and ask for pretty much whatever I want.
Especially if your group is small, you can usually get a permit the morning of your hike, due to no-shows from people who do have reservations or people who leave earlier than originally planned. I think they also set aside a small number just for walkins. Just be sure to be at the permit desk first thing when they open. Of course, this does not give you the security of having them in-hand, before you go and you might have to wait an extra day.Read more: http://www.bigbendchat.com/portal/forum/index.php?action=post;topic=9248.15;num_replies=19#ixzz0j79IlQtW
BJ.....just got home from the airport after doing this hike in the opposite direction. My knee is swollen and stiff and I have countless other bodyaches but what an incredible introduction to the Grand Canyon this was. I didn't see the accumulations of snow that you did, but my trip down SK and night at Bright Angel featured powerful winds with gusts exceeding 50 mph and then a hail storm the next night at Indian Gardens.
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