After going twice last year I thought it would be a while before returning, but we just can't stay away. Here's the plan:
Fly into Las Vegas.
Spend two nights in a hotel just outside Bryce Canyon NP (day hiking trail ideas welcome).
Spend one night on the South Rim.
Drive to the Visitor Center and catch the first shuttle to the South Kaibab trail head. I figured out last time that it's much much more convenient to leave the car at the Visitor Center than in Grand Canyon Village: the buses are more frequent and the ride is much shorter. The plan is to grab a site at CBG, hang most of our stuff, have some lemonade and ice cream
at Phantom Ranch, and head up towards Ribbon Falls or until we decide to turn around. We'll probably eat an early dinner on the trail rather than at the campground.
I'd really like to go up Phantom Creek just to see how far I can get from the bottom up and then see how close I can approach that same point from the top down in a few days. I'm afraid April would be a bad time for a trip up Phantom Creek, though. I was there this past July and although the air was well over 100 degrees the water was very cold. I stopped at the cascading pools after a mandatory swim (there's no way to walk around I could find) that was really pleasant in July but probably not a good idea in April.
The next morning we'll head up the Kamikaze route to Utah Flats and spend the night up towards the Hippy Camp.
The next day will just be wandering and exploring and we'll spend our second AP9-permitted night either at the Overhang Camp or maybe up on the Flats.
The next day will be a little long: we have a site at Horn Creek. I want to try to break off the Bright Angel Trail at the top of Devils Corkscrew to follow a section of the old Bright Angel Trail, within sight of the old phone lines, until it intersects the Tonto. I did this section of trail from the top down on a day hike from Indian Gardens in July in hopes of seeing some ruins but never found them. I've since done a little more research and want to try again. The plan is to spend a little time relaxing on Plateau Point, maybe having dinner there. I'd like to be there for sunset but am not sure how the two-mile hike to Horn Creek would be in the dark (ideas?).
The next morning we hike out and spend the night either on the South Rim (no reservations yet, watching the site for an opening) or somewhere on the way back to Las Vegas.
Any ideas or suggestions welcome. I'm especially interested in finding Native American ruins, my record so far has been pretty dismal in that regard.