|Backpack||9.00 Miles||7 Days 4 Hrs 30 Mns || |
|4,660 ft AEG|| || || |
Arrived at the Rim and got some great photos before the weather set in. That night it snowed upwards, it was quite interesting to watch.
The first half mile of Tanner had a bit of snow and ice. A little slippery and I almost lost the trail in one section where it wasn't clear which way to go. Once past the beginning the rest of the trail was much easier than I had been led to believe. I passed a few people headed out of the canyon, the last souls I would speak to for days. I reached Tanner Beach in about 4.5 hours and checked it out in its entirety.
From there I found the start of the Beamer trail and added another ~4 miles until I reached a nice beach near Palisades Beach. All told, ~12-14 miles and I had camp set up by 1 PM. This was fortunate because a rainstorm came roaring from up canyon and rained for about 30 minutes as it passed over me like a locomotive. An hour later and skies were sunny again but it stayed windy all day.
I took the next 6-7 miles of the Beamer to the LCR. First a steep climb then a few 50 foot sections of trail 10 inches wide with a 400 foot drop-off to the left. Cool!
Checked out Beamer's cabin and set up camp the legal distance away from the LCR delta. I spent the next hour trying to find a safe place to cross the roaring LCR. After busting a strap on my hiking pole fighting the current, about 5 tries later I made it across. I filtered water from the Colorado on the good side of the LCR and drank until I was full. It was wonderful. Due to wasting so much time I was unable to explore much of the LCR gorge; it will have to wait for another time.
I took the Beamer and beach trails over to Cardenas. Temperatures nearly hit 90 on the furnace flats. Holy cow was it hot. I finished the 12-14 mile journey by 3:30 PM and met a group of rafters. They were nice and fed me dinner. After spotting a huge rat and trading stories over chocolate cake, we retreated to our numerous tents.
I said my goodbyes to the rafters and headed out on the trail I was most nervous about: doing the full Escalante Route. I began by climbing Cardenas Butte. I saw the ruins after I was past them and made my way up to the head of the unnamed drainage. It was no problem.
Next came the worst part of the trip: the long traverse. For over a mile you walk along a precipitous trail. It's more than a boot sole wide but it requires caution and takes a long time until you reach the front of the butte. Once at the edge you have great views.
The descent into Escalante Canyon is easy enough and you continue through the east arm to get to the west arm. Once there I found many trails but headed down the canyon. After a quarter mile or so you reach a 100 foot pour off but there is a convenient trail that will take you around the rest of the canyon to the bottom.
From the beach you begin an easy climb until you are staring down into 75 mile canyon. You traverse along the rim of the canyon until you reach a down climb about a mile away from the river. The walk down the slot canyon is gravel filled and easy going.
Once I neared 75 mile beach I saw a trail headed high up stairs to the east. Later I found out this was the high route and the easier low route goes along the beach itself. The high route to Papago is rocky and somewhat unpleasant to navigate, however I managed it without too much of a problem.
Finally at Papago beach I arrived hot and sweaty since the temps were again in the upper 80s. Luckily another group of backpackers offered snacks and sunscreen and I cooled down in the Colorado. Next I tackled the feared Papago Wall. I read you needed rope and it was a difficult climb. In reality it is about 25 feet tall and took all of 25 seconds to figure out the route and climb it. I didn't even take off my pack. 2 mantles could be described as semi technical but it is really easy unless you are very short.
On top of the wall it took me a little while to find where the route continues to climb up rocks and through a crack until you top out and follow the ridge to the Papago slide. From the top it looks intimidating but is about 250 feet of mixed large rocks and loose scree. I was careful and took my time going down. In reality it is a gut check staring down at it from the top but turned out to not be that difficult.
Camp was at Red Canyon where I met up with the backpackers who were so kind to me near Papago and we traded stories until bedtime.
Joined forces with my new friends and headed over to Hance Creek. After setting up camp we explored about 2 miles up the west arm of Hance Creek. Spotted a possible old mine site about 1.3 miles in and a spring up canyon but otherwise was fairly uneventful. We spent the day learning a bit about each other's experiences and past trips.
We took the Tonto over to Cottonwood Creek. Set up camp and then climbed up to explore Cave of the Domes. Spent maybe 45 minutes inside where it was more humid than expected and quite warm. We spotted the signatures of past explorers in the domes and found a great formation with a 12+ foot stalactite. We headed over to the west arm of Horseshoe Mesa for some photos and were awestruck by the grandeur of the canyon. Down the west arm we went and made it back to camp.
Headed back up to Horseshoe Mesa and climbed the Grandview out to the rim. Cloud cover kept the sun from baking us and it was a great end to the week. We played celebrity on top for awhile with all the tourists before getting a ride back to Lipan to retrieve my car.
||Wildflowers Observation Isolated
Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, ankle-twisting, HAZmaster crushing ROCKS!!
Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, shin-stabbing, skin-shredding plants!
Hike Arizona it is full of striking, biting, stabbing, venomous wildlife!