Here's the abbreviated Backpacker article on hiking to Grandview/Horseshoe Mesa. http://bp2.trimbleoutdoors.com/ViewTrip ... pId=823945
I wonder about the liability the magazine has when they publish trail descriptions that can result in fatalities? We've all run into unprepared people out where they really don't belong because they did no preparation----I consider researching a hike via a national publication as something that qualifies as reasonable care. I've done hikes based on published trail descriptions and hiker blogs such as this forum. I personally would blame the magazine for someone in trouble, dehydrated, and stumbling around on Horseshoe Mesa based on the magazine's trail description. And yes, I did email them my concerns when I first read the article a few days ago---no response as of today 9/15.
I was at the Canyon last Sept. when the hiker was reported overdue and went searching along the trail down to the mesa when he was found way out on the Tonto.
Here's a description: "On September 9th, a search helicopter discovered the body of Andrew Brunelli, 43, of Clayton, North Carolina, who had been missing since August 31st. Brunelli had a history of short to medium day hikes in the canyon, so searchers initially concentrated on the Grandview Trail/Horseshoe Mesa/Hance Creek region, without success. After one of Brunelli's co-workers told authorities he was planning more ambitious trips, they expanded their search area westward. A helicopter eventually discovered Brunelli's body outside in a drainage north/downhill of the Tonto Trail, approximately two miles east of its junction with the South Kaibab Trail near Pattie Butte. This means that Brunelli had traveled most of the way along the Tonto Bench, from the foot of the very steep Grandview Trail, almost to the foot of the South Kaibab near Phantom Ranch.
The Problem: The Tonto Trail is notoriously hot and dry and the Park Service trail descriptions call it "dangerous in hot weather." Temperatures on the Tonto were over 100 Fahrenheit during his trip. The site where Brunelli was found is nearly 21 miles from where his car was parked. Only two reliable water sources (both trickles) can be found along this route, but neither are necessarily visible from trailside in hot weather.The search for Brunelli was complicated by the fact that he left no itinerary and did not fill out any overnight permit."
If Backpacker responds, I'll post their comments here. (By the way, what are we doing inside on a day like today!!! LOL).