|Hiking||5.20 Miles|| 8 Hrs 45 Mns || ||0.59 mph|
|700 ft AEG|| || || |
This trip used the saddle overlooking Tortilla Creek (see my 11/18/08 trip report) and then west on Tortilla creek to the point where we turned around on the 11/11/08 hike from Tortilla Flat. That blockage isn't hard to get around (I added photos of the bypass to that trip report).
There are several places on the descent where it's possible to cliff-out but the cliffs are scattered and there are probably half a dozen ways down. If there's a best way, it wasn't obvious. We took a path down from the top that tended to head west. On another trip, I'd probably try the eastern side. All the options are steep, loose, and full of prickly things.
After descending from the saddle, at first we weren't sure we would be able to proceed. It's a jungle down there. Large and small trees, giant reed, flood debris, and miscellaneous other vegetation. I can't say there's surface water all year but the area doesn't get desert dry.
We found that the low bench on the north side of the creek allowed passage. The "jungle" lasts for about a quarter mile headed west. The route to the east seemed even more clogged with vegetation but we didn't make much of an effort to explore in that direction.
A car-shuttle hike (to avoid hiking the roads) from Tortilla Flat to the road at the ex-bridge would take me 8-9 hours with the water conditions we ran into. (That includes taking 200 or so photos.)