Grand Canyon Experts; Sleeping Bag Rating Question?

Hey everyone... I'll be rafting the Colorado here in a few weeks. May 24-June 2. I just bought the Western Ponderosa due to it's large size, made in USA. It's rated for 15 degrees and is made with untreated down. I'm now worried that it may be too warm for down there, even though I'm a cold sleeper. I thought being near the cool water down in there would be colder than up top, but apparently it's the opposite Any advice is welcome
I would have gotten a poly filled bag, they are much less expensive and still warm. Unless of course you are putting the down bag in a dry bag to keep it from getting soaked. If it is too warm you can always sleep (fully dressed) on top of it and use it to enhance your sleeping mat.
Did the rafting company post any suggestions for equipment to bring?
Thanks for the quick response. I wanted the breathability of down and it was a good excuse to finally get a nice bag. I have a couple others but always wanted the pondo. It will be double stuffed into 2 waterproof bags. they provide bags, but I'm weird and don't want anyone else's "stuff" floating in my bag(yes, I know they wash them-but....). Have you been down there in May/June? Not too much info out there on specifics. It may be hot, or it may be cold...
I've backpacked through the Grand Canyon and it does get very hot. It's much hotter in the canyon than it is on the rim. However, I doubt that you will find much of a difference between a 15 deg bag and a 40 deg bag other than the weight of it because you'll probably be sleeping on top of it anyways. With the extra fill it may even be more comfy.
You are going to roast. Phantom is already 90s during the day and 60s at night, only going up. The coolest night I remember having was at Lee's on the June into July trip I was on, and then it was only up from there. If you are definitely going to take that bag I would buy a set of sheets from walmart to pack. One for on top of the pad and one for over. keep the bag at your feet unzipped as a comforter to pull up at 4 am when you get chilled. I think sleeping on top of it would be hot too.

Honestly, I would leave the fancy new bag at home and take something cheaper and lighter. Sand will infiltrate everything you take on the trip. My wife and I on desert river trips just push the two pads together, fitted sheet over both, flat sheet, and then a light down comforter if needed. You won't need to be bundled up into a bag. 60s might feel cool after you roast in the sun all day, but I would still say a 15 deg bag is overkill.

have an awesome trip! it's a whole other world down there.
Thanks for all the replies. I will report back.....
I wanted to add that last night when I checked the weather at Phantom it was 30 degrees? Seemed a bit cold. I planned on a flannel sheet for sure, I just don't want to be cold. Thanks again
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As others have said, you are going to roast. I was working up there last week and it’s getting warmer almost every day
A good rule of thumb is that the temps at the bottom are similar to Phoenix temps, similar elevation.

Here is link from the national weather service that I use for temp information.

Please note, the large header at the top of the page will show you the current temp at Grand Canyon Airport, this can be misleading. You have to look down into the body of the page to see temps at the ranch.

Are you sleeping on a cot or a pad, in a tent? The sand will get into everything. I usually take something like a light fleece blanket and maybe something like a poncho liner, these are both ez to shake out in the morning. I’ve packed one of those on several summer trips with a light cotton sheet and was not cold in the least. I like something that covers the vinyl of the sleeping pad YRMV.
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Badger Wrangler
One way to stay cool down there on the River?

Bring one of those things you can watch movies on (Kindle?), and movies about really cold places. Shackleton and Company freezing to death might do the trick...


I was about to ask if he grabbed the temp from the North Rim and not Phantom. That link is where I got my info yesterday. It did look like it was in the 30s up on the rim. I found this interesting little chart on averages from the North Rim, South rim and inner canyon. I can't blame you though, I don't like to be cold either!
The hit the trail site that you linked is an excellent source of Grand Canyon (and SW hiking). I try to make it required reading for any first timers I take below the rim
Many thanks everybody...Yes the weather I was looking at was for the airport. I'll be sleeping on the raft on a pad. Hitthetrail states that there's sometimes freakish weather into June. I'll bring my old beater sleeping bag and hope for the best.
On the boat is the coolest place to sleep, which is generally preferred. The more up the bank or near rocks you go the warmer it is. The rocks and sand absorb that heat all day and keep things toasty.


Expedition Leader
Well. This advice is way to late. I hope you had a good trip. I was going to suggest a Paco Pad. Thats way more important !

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Trip was fantastic! Weather was great. Fireman, I treated myself to the Silverback Paco Pad- worth every penny. Thanks again


Sweet! Glad you enjoyed it.

The Canyon is a magical place. The access you get to some of the inner canyon destinations almost makes it feel like you’re “cheating” compared to the effort it takes to get to the location from the rim.
Good choice on the Paco pad, I should have suggested it by name when I responded to your initial question concerning the expected temps.