Oh my gosh we did it! I have been eyeing this hike for a year now because it is in the book "100 Classic Hikes in Arizona" by Scott Warren. My goal is to do them all but I don't like to camp much. That presents a bit of a challange on a hike like this. Most if not all people take 3 to 5 days to complete the hike from the White House Trailhead in Utah to Lee's Ferry at the Colorado River. It is a 38 mile one way Canyon hike that is written up as one of the best canyon hikes in the world. My plan was to do it as a day hike!
A while back Uphill Junkie (Amy) had agreed to do it with me. I went up early and cached water on Friday just in case our packs weren't sufficent or if the springs weren't flowing.
Amy and her boyfriend (Mark) showed up late Friday night. We got an early start and Mark drove us up to the Whitehouse Trailhead. We headed out at 6AM. Four miles later we were in the Narrows. This is the part that is so often photographed and for a good reason. We were both in total awe as we sloshed our way through the channel. Along the way we passed some random others who were camping and making their way through as well.
The close walls continued on for close to 15 miles. The springs along the way all seemed to be flowing well. The weather was just right so our water consumption was minimal. The river was fairly low so muddy sloppy sand wasn't much of a problem. Quick sand was non-existent except for a small spot that Amy managed to find. Sadly it wasn't very deep and she was able to get out.
When we hit Judd Hollow we almost walked right by without seeing the old machinery. This made a great spot to take a short break and have some lunch. Amy spotted me a piece of cheese in exchange for some hot tamales.
Back on our way we went. It wasn't until probably 20-25 miles into the trek that we had realized how far we had come because we were just enjoying the hike so much. After that the Canyon begins to open up and while still beautiful it wasn't as breath taking. By the time we hit the water cache at mile 30 we were out of the river and on what is known as the "high water" trail. We really didn't need the water but it was nice to have as a backup.
Those last few miles heading towards Lonely Dell Ranch at Lee's Ferry were starting to get painful. The sun was just starting to set and we crossed the finish line at 7:37PM. Wow, we made it! Even though there was minimal elevation gain encountered on this hike the distance combined with the wet shoes full of sand made for a long day. This is one of the coolest hikes I have ever done! I'm also really thankful it's over!
Amy thanks for going along and being a champ from start to finish. Whew....