New Hance Trail (Apr-8-10): The snow on New Hance Trail is melting off fast. The top 1 1/2 miles are practically snow free and crampons are not necessary. A recent rock fall on top of the Redwall can be negotiated safely.
Grandview Trail (Apr-1-10): The north facing aspect means melting is slow and the narrow, exposed nature make crampons and poles essential.
Due to intermittent ice on the South Kaibab and Bright Angel Trails it is recommended that hikers use hiking poles and wear external traction devices over their boots to minimize the risk of slipping and falling.
Wintery trail conditions at 7000 feet (South Rim) can be expected most years from December through late March or early April. Instead of attempting to find an updated trail report, which can be frustrating, especially when you can’t get through to talk to a ranger, experienced hikers carry external boot traction (such as the in-step crampon) as part of their standard gear. This way you are prepared and can evaluate conditions at the trailhead.
*in-step crampons cost $12 to $15 and can often be purchased across from the visitor center at the main bookstore (928-638-7145) or at the park’s general store (928-638-2234, ask for backcountry equipment). Recently, supply has run down and crampons are back ordered so calling ahead is recommended. Other options are often available but cost in the range of $22 to $60. Many of the outdoor stores in Flagstaff also carry the in-step crampon.
South Kaibab Trail (Mar-25-10): Intermittent ice on the trail, it is recommended that hikers use hiking poles and wear external traction devices over their boots.
Bright Angel Trail (Mar-25-10): Intermittent ice on the trail, it is recommended that hikers use hiking poles and wear external traction devices over their boots.
Hermit Trail (Mar-23-10): Hiking without crampons is not unreasonable, though cautious hikers may still want them to get through a few “slippery” spots.
South Bass Trail (Mar-22-10): Please read the South Bass trailhead access post elsewhere on this page for more info about that area.
North Kaibab Trail (Mar-12-10): Multiple feet of snow above Supai Tunnel.
Tanner Trail (Mar-10-10): The snow is about 3-4 feet thick at the top. Hikers will be postholing down about two feet from the Coconino rockfall steps to the rim. Below the Coconino the snow is patchy and then gone once you hit the 75 mile saddle. Be aware this report came in before the March 9 snow.
Unimproved dirt roads at the 4000 foot and 5000 foot level can be saturated and travel may extremely risky. It may be possible to travel over these roads early in the morning if the low temperatures freezes the mud. This “hard freeze” needs a night time low well below freezing!
Unimproved dirt roads at the 7000 foot level still have snow. When the snow melts, the roads will still need a couple weeks of sun to dry out.
For those starting to plan ahead it is worth noting that access to remote destinations at the 8000 foot level on the North Rim may not be accessible until mid to late June. This includes North Bass and Point Sublime. Stay tuned.