Hammock Camping in the Grand Canyon

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15 Responses

  1. Awesome post – you’re an incredible asset to the hammock camping community Derek, keep it up!

  2. esku75 says:

    Nice report, I saw Paul’s report too on HF, I’m from Spain and Grand Canyon is dreamt trip for me. I hope one day I’ll be able to go there and now I now it’s hammock able maybe not the best but who knows in a near future it would become better for us (hangers) with your contribution and help training rangers in hammock knowledge 😉 thx

    • Derek says:

      Thanks! Yes, I’m hopeful we can be the catalyst for improvements in the canyon. Who knows what the future may hold!

  3. Anthony says:

    Hello Derek. I just discovered your incredible site! A group of friends and I have been camping at the Bright Angel Campground every November for the last five years. We usually sleep under the stars (no tents/hammocks) but after a nasty storm in 2011 we all decided to bring shelters. Last year was the first year we have not secured the rock house. I had went out on a limb and brounght my ENO Double Nest. We had the other group site and I was thankful to be able to use the backpack posts. I lucked out despite being new to hammock camping.

    Thanks for your efforts to work with the park staff! I think this would be great if they added stands down there.

    Doing the Hermit-Boucher Trail Loop in two weeks. Not sure if can source a Handy Hammock Stand in time for this one though. Great write-up!

    • Derek says:

      Yes, you are lucky! Those backpack posts are perfect for a hammock, maybe two in a pinch. It will be great if we can get some support to get hammock posts in all the sites at Bright Angel.

  4. Mike Kinging says:

    Nice guys for the post and info. I’m going in Feb for 5 nights to the canyon and will be hanging wherever possible and bivy style with hiking poles where not. I hope to keep promoting hammocks with any rangers I see as well.

  5. Rusty says:

    Hello Derek. I just discovered your incredible web site also! I’m planning a backpacking trip to Grand Canyon for 2016 in early March. I would love to hammock there too. Would you mind if I pick your brain while getting these plans nailed down?

  6. Mike King says:

    Rusty and Derek… I did 5 nights by hammock at the end of Feb this year, it was an awesome trip. One night at bright angel I had hammock on the ground with my poles to hold open a bivy style. Unfortunately that night poured and water pooled underneath me. Still stayed dry but wish I was hanging. I was able to hang using a piknic table in one of the multi level sites up at cottonwood and then came back to bright angle. Got to hang in one site from the rocks (was a bit of a outcrop on each side). Then 2 nights at indian gardens was perfect for hammocks as the new pack hangs make it easy to sling from the pack hang to the covered table at each site. Not all work, but look around the sites, if you have some selection you should easily find one that works well.

  7. I do not understand the thinking behind taking a hammock stand. It alone weighs more than a fully-equiped TarpTent (made in the USA!). Also, hammock use, as noted, is highly impractical (and not legal) in The Canyon because trees are a rare resource. You might wish to consider a TarpTent – which uses trekking poles (reducing weight). Hammock camping in desert areas? Not very practical. I can see how they might be useful when camping below tree line, yet above the scrub, on a precipitous side-hill (yet, who wants to camp here?). Tree line? Hummm, another of the many wonderful environments where hammock camping makes little practical sense. Hiking the JMT, nahhh. Hiking the PCT, Nahhh. Hiking the GEM – nahhh.

    • Derek says:

      Rob, thanks for your insightful comments. You are correct, and I would echo your statements, that hammocks are not ideal everywhere. I suppose that goes without saying. I will add, however, that for some folks, the comfort and good rest achieved in a hammock is worth the 1.5 kg additional weight of a backpacking stand (which, I must clarify, is only really practical in places devoid of trees or where that resource is unavailable for whatever reason). If you are a weight weenie, there are lots of ways to hammock camp and still be at the SUL weight.

      I did want to clarify your note about the Grand Canyon, in case you missed it in the article: hammock camping is legal in the canyon, so long as you do it under the direction of the rangers, as we did as I highlighted in this article.

    • Mike King says:

      I agree Derek, the thinking behind a hammock stand would be to simply get the best night’s sleep possible while backpacking. I know that is what a hammock gives me and I always get an awesome rest in my hammock. Being from Calgary,CAN, near the rockies, most of the time, its the simplest shelter that goes up anywhere, as we have no shortage of trees, but some areas, its not ideal. Personally, I’d trade 2 nights bivy style for one night hanging in the woods if it comes down to it, as that is still the best sleep I can get.

  8. Glad to hear they are considerin hammock posts, ill be movin to Nevada soon plan on campin/hikin there alot. gonna have to use a tent for now, but look forward to be able to go hammockin down there

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