This technical canyon & area has been on my GC list for some time now and finally got around to visiting these amAZing gems.
Drove up Friday night and camped at Monument Point before dropping down the Bill Hall trail early the next morning. Such amAZing views from this trail!
Dropped Gatorades at the junction with Thunder River trail and continued across the slickrock and thru the Redwall and down into Surprise Valley and east towards Thunder River. I've seen loads of pics of Thunder River, but you really need to see it for yourself to fully soak it all in.
We stopped at the falls for a bit with a few of us scrambling up to the springs coming out of the cliff. Roped up we continued up to the left spring and up and into the cave entrance. We didn't get very far into the cave, just enough to do some stemming and check out the hallway behind the springs. Sweet!
We stemmed back out of the cave entrance and rappelled & scrambled back down to our friends & packs before continuing on to our campsite at Upper Tapeats Creek. Such an awesome campsite with the sun setting across the canyon walls high above and the gushing creek nearby. Gotta love Grand Canyon camping!
The next morning, we broke camp early and headed further down Tapeats Creek staying to the right side of the canyon to avoid any dicy creek crossings. Eventually we hiked along the cool looking lower Tapeats narrows but unfortunately we didn't have any packrafts on this trip.
We filtered some more Tapeats water before making the hike downstream along the scenic Colorado River. It stayed fairly flat with some sandy & scrambling sections but as it neared Deer Creek it climbs 500ft to reach a saddle before dropping into Deer Creek. We dropped our packs and walked the trail down canyon while admiring the amAZingly sweet narrows that were the main goal of the whole trip.
I ran down and evaluated the flow of the falls while they rest stayed back and setup camp. The falls were flowing pretty good but not so much that I felt it'd be too risky to descend.
Ran back up and setup camp while downplaying the flow of the falls and started gearing up for a late afternoon run thru Deer Creek Narrows. Afterwards we crashed back in camp and enjoyed a much need large dinner.
Technical beta on narrows:
It starts off with a slick downclimb on the far side of the narrows just below the first two falls. You down the narrows with loads of wading, rock hopping, occasional down climb, and potentially loads of rafters gawking from above.
Eventually you reach the first 15ft rappel alongside a gushing falls but you can avoid most of the flow. Some more creek spelunking and you reach the 2nd rappel. I had them put me on belay while I climbed up the the bolts.
This is a double drop alongside a 40ft falls into a pool and then the creek bends around a corner and drops another 15ft. We used whistles here in order to stay in contact and I stayed at the anchors and had a contingency anchor setup in case someone had issues while rappelling the falls. At the bottom of the 2nd rappel are the anchors for the 3rd 20ft drop but I'm glad we had a 80ft rope for that drop since the current below is kinna strong as it gushes down the 180ft falls.
I stayed on rope as I waded/swam across to the final anchors and set it up while my two partners came down and joined me before making the final flipping amAZing 180ft rappel.
Such a sweet falls to rappel and since it was gushing quite well, we got hammered by the lower falls before reaching the bottom pool.
The next morning we slept in a bit before gearing back up for another technical run thru Deer Creek Narrows.
If you're going to haul all that extra weight around, you might as well get a 2nd run out of it...
Afterwards we dropped the wet gear in camp to dry a bit before heading up creek and checking out Deer Creek Springs and the Throne room. After enjoying those gems we returned to break down camp and pack up all the dry canyoneering gear before making a late afternoon climb thru Surprise Valley and up to the top of the Esplanade just after sunset were we camped our third and final night in the canyon.
The next morning, we huffed it along the slickrock and up the final climbs on the Bill Hall trail to finally top out at the super scenic Monument Point. Such an amAZing GC backpacking loop and I already can't wait to do it again!!!