I read most of the trip reports here and a bunch of other places and don't comment on them unless I have a question. Maybe a "like" button would be an efficient way to give a nod but it's a slippery slope from that to scores and ratings and who needs that?. I post here mostly as a convenient way to pass this around to local friends and to document things I wish I'd known for future travellers.
After having done these two GC trips this year I would probably simplify the May itinerary and stick with either Clear Creek or Phantom Creek rather than planning to go from Clear to Phantom in one day. It's not that the mileage was too high: we ended up doing quite a few more miles than planned on our last day when we hiked out early and we were fine. The reason to simplify would be to get the chance to explore more of one area in solitude and to really take advantage of the freedom of open camping.
I think I'll plan my next trip, which will probably be a few years away, for several days in the Phantom zone continuing up to Haunted Canyon. I think that the perfect itinerary would be to spend a night at Bright Angel Campground so we could ditch our stuff there and spend an afternoon splashing up Phantom Creek as far as possible. Then early the next morning tackle the Utah Flats Route and over the next few days see if we could close the loop by going down Phantom Canyon from upstream and look down on the point where we'd stopped coming from downstream. Then we could explore or just chill around Overhang, Hippy Camp, or whatever seemed interesting for a few days.
Clear Creek is definitely worth several days. It would be fun to camp in a few non-standard spots way up that canyon and also to spend one day going down to the river and back.
There's a reason the crowded places are crowded so it doesn't bother me much to see like-minded folks around the main attractions. Ribbon Falls is amazing and as popular as it is we had it mostly to ourselves for several of the hours that we were there. Plateau Point is also incredible, as much for the views of every one of the trails we'd been on as for the sunset.
There's so much to see there. BTW I'm in my late 50s so am not speedy but am also not in a hurry.
Edited by 41253 (07/22/17 06:55 PM)