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This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

North Bass Trail, AZ

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Guide 22 Triplogs  2 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Northwest > North Rim
4.6 of 5 by 7
HAZ reminds you to respect the ruins. Please read the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 & Ruins Etiquette
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Difficulty 4 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance One Way 13.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 7,520 feet
Elevation Gain 5,620 feet
Accumulated Gain 6,000 feet
Avg Time One Way 4 days
Kokopelli Seeds 33.5
Interest Off Trail Hiking, Ruins, Historic, Seasonal Waterfall, Perennial Waterfall, Seasonal Creek & Perennial Creek
Backpack Yes
Dogs not allowed
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
23  2019-04-06 Mick
30  2018-04-15
Grand Canyon River Running
65  2016-04-09
Grand Canyon River Running
14  2015-09-30 Elisabeth
9  2014-11-24
South Bass Trail
29  2014-09-26 chumley
30  2014-09-26 John9L
21  2014-08-17
South Bass to Shinumo
Page 1,  2,  3
Author whereveriroam
author avatar Guides 8
Routes 0
Photos 48
Trips 57 map ( 501 miles )
Age 49 Male Gender
Location Apache Junction, AZ
Co-Author terricita10
co-author avatarGuides 1
Routes 0
Photos 0
Trips 1 map (3 Miles)
Age 59 Female Gender
Location mesa, az
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Jul, Jun, Aug, Sep → Early
Seasons   Early Autumn to Late Autumn
Sun  6:13am - 6:34pm
2 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
North Bass at last!
by whereveriroam & terricita10

Likely In-Season!
The North Bass trail once known as the Shinumo trail was renamed after the man who completed it in the 1890's; William Bass. Its reported that the upper sections of the trail were built by a lone prospector who went by the name of White and that William Bass improved on his route. I've read or heard somewhere that sections of this trail may have followed ancient Indian routes which too me makes sense but confirming that may have been lost to time. The North and South Bass trails meet near one another at the Colorado river and add another rim to rim option. Back in the day William Bass had strung a cable and attached a cable car and used it to shuttle people across. That method of crossing is long gone and can only be done today by PREPARED people who have a safe raft, the skill and plan on how to cross the river.

I'd been apprehensive about taking on this trail, even more so then Nankoweap. Due to process of elimination this was the last of the "recognized NPS trails" that I hadn't done in the Grand Canyon, I had to do it! Not too much info is available on this trail but I did get some useful info from the Falcon Guide "Hiking Grand Canyon National Park" but that still left me with lots of unanswered questions. My goal here is to hopefully clarify and present good and informative info on this trail for others to use.

The drive to the TH is a trip in itself. It takes a little more than an hour and around 20 miles of driving on dirt roads to get there from the Kaibab lodge. This trail really is "out in the middle of nowhere" and would be a long walk if you had vehicle issues. We found the first 12 miles of the drive to be in good shape as you drive through the Kaibab N.F.. The road conditions change when you enter GCNP. The road wasn't in bad shape but is much narrower, wagon tracked and a little rocky in spots. We had no problem in a 99 stock Jeep Cherokee with descent off-road tires. By the way you would have no problem finding a spot to car camp during this drive. I personally liked a spot overlooking the GC that is about 1/10th of a mile from the TH. Since this spot is in the NP you'll need an overnight permit to legally use it.

Upon arrival you'll find a TH kiosk which will be at the end of Swamp Point Ridge, you may be in awe with the view. Take a look over the edge and try to figure out how far the river is, you won't see it. It hit me then how long it will take to get to the river. Those thoughts quickly went away as I glanced over to the Powell Plateau and then further west to the Esplanade where I was able to pin-point where the Bill Hall and Thunder River trails start! Back in the direction in which we will head is Muav canyon, it is directly south and below you. If you look closely you'll be able to make out parts of the trail that you'll be on in a few hours.

The North Bass trail starts right next to the NPS kiosk and descends about 800' in 1 mile to Muav Saddle. You'll encounter 8 switchbacks including a very short one located behind the kiosk. This whole area leading to the saddle has burned in the not so distant past and is now well into the regrowth stage. There is no shade to be had here and I'd call the regrowth chaparral. The good news is we guessed the NPS had to rework the trail after the fire. The reason for our guess was the trail is wide, rocky and had no growth on the trail. As you get close to Muav Saddle you may see the roof of Muav cabin that is located in a nice stand of unburnt forest.

At the saddle you'll reach a sort of a 4-way intersection. Here you'll have to take a left to continue descending on North Bass. However to get to the cabin you'll need to take a right just prior to the previously mentioned left and enter the big pines. I think if you continue straight at this junction that this will lead you up the trail to the top of the Powell Plateau and maybe even to an old route that drops you into Muav Canyon. The cabin is in great shape and clean, it would be a good place to spend a night. If you do stay remember, no fires, your in the NP.

From the saddle it'll be a short 2-5 minute hike to Queen Anne spring. On our trip (10/2012) the spring was flowing at about 1/2 GPM and by the looks of all the lush vegetation around it, I'd say it's perennial. There are 2 faint trails by the spring, 1 before and 1 after. We didn't check out the one prior to it but we guessed that it leads to where the water emerges out of the cliff face. The one after leads to the remnants of a stone cabin. Not much is left except a wall, this might have been either a Bass cabin or the lone prospectors named White. The cabin remains are visible on your return trip so if you missed them don't worry.

After departing the spring and cabin ruin area you'll be on a section of trail that you were able to see from the TH and it is also recovering from fire. It'll start as a long descending traverse before hitting a few switchbacks which will lead to a ridge that separates 2 drainages. Prior to arriving at this ridge you'll have to cross water that feeds from Queen Anne spring, it was flowing on our trip and is tucked away in some really dense but cool vegetation. I'm not sure if this is perennial so I wouldn't count on it. Once at the ridge you'll start a steep and rocky descent that offers little shade but once you finish this plunge you'll get to one of the most enjoyable parts of this trip. I'm going to say that its between 1-1.5 miles from Muav saddle to this point.

After dropping off the ridge you'll be in the dry western arm that the ridge divided. Even though its cairned take a good look so you remember where you'll have to exit on your way back out. Hike down this drainage for a few minutes to where it ties into the wet eastern arm. For the next mile or so you'll have to fight through some pleasant but lush vegetation as you try to keep your feet dry. There will be numerous creek crossings to deal with, the creek wasn't deep or wide on our trip but I bet it can be. The creek will go underground and stay underground but will surface again later below the Redwall.

Somewhere in the wet section in the above mentioned paragraph we found a small campsite that could handle 1 tent. With the exception of the cabin area at Muav Saddle this is the only spot to camp to this point. The upcoming Redwall traverse will offer 4 or 5 good spots to camp but I don't think any will handle a large group. The Redwall section is dry so you'll want to fill up on water before the creek goes underground. This is important if you plan on camping on top of the Redwall either on your first or last night of your trip. You won't have to go to crazy loading up on water here if your plan is to drop off the Redwall on your first day, water will be available below the Redwall in Whites creek.

Now back to the trail; You'll continue hiking down the now dry creek bed and pass a lone but stately pine that seems way out of place here. This leg will cover around 1/2 mile until you reach a pour off that can't be descended. At this point look across the creek bed and look for cairns, they'll lead uphill and onto the top of the Redwall traverse. There will be lots of Pinyons and Junipers on top of the Redwall and as mentioned earlier good spots to camp. The traverse consists of 3 minor climbs and descents of feeder drainages (remember your in the GC). I'd say this section is about a mile long and you'll gain 200'-300' in elevation from the pour off to the top of the Redwall descent.

The start of the descent is deceptive. You'll descend into the 3rd small drainage and briefly climb, this will be followed by a traverse of maybe 100 yards or so. After this traverse the plunge begins! This plunge isn't long (1/2-3/4 mile) but is very steep in spots and rocky. 3 different spots come to mind as being very sketchy for footing, hiking poles are strongly recommended. You'll exit into Whites Creek by having to duck under some overgrowth. At this point its a really good ideal to study were you just exited so you'll know were it is on your way out, its cairned but you might not be on the same tract on your way out and miss it. On our way out we missed the turn but knew within a minute that we missed it. *FYI Later in the trip we climbed out on a cloudless day in the very early afternoon and were relieved to do more than 1/2 of the climb out in the shade!

Whites Creek will be dry here but you'll find running water in about 5 minutes time. For the next mile, its paradise, probably the nicest leg of the trip. It's really lush in here, has flowing water and your in a narrow canyon with Redwall all around you. They're a couple of campsites in this stretch with 1 of them being prime. Again here these spots will not work for a group. After a while you'll come to some slick rock which contain some deep tanks with resident frogs so we named them "Frog tanks". Water up here, it'll be the last until the still distant Shinumo creek and the last of the shade.

Once leaving the mini oasis of "Frog tanks" you'll quickly turn and climb out of the narrow canyon on the western side. Here again is a good place to stop and turn around to study were you just came from. Its probably not necessary but it may buy some piece of mind later on your way out. You'll stay away and above the now dry Whites creek for the next 1/4 mile or so before you drop back into it. Once your back in the creek bed you'll have a trail less, shadeless, dry, boulder hop for the next couple of hours. You will climb into and out of the creek many times and drink a lot of water. I'm not sure of the distance but I'll guess that its 3 miles and maybe more when you come to a spot in the creek bed were you'll have to make a choice.

We had discussed which way to go several times but couldn't decide until we got to this point. One choice is to continue down Whites creek bed and negotiate pour-offs with down climbs or the other choice; exit the creek bed in favor of hiking along the hot and shadeless Tonto platform and meandering around some small to medium sized drainages. Believe it or not we choose the Tonto platform since even though we were getting low on water. Our reasoning was the trail is on the west side of Whites creek bed and would offer some shade from canyon walls as the day grew long in the tooth. Also we guessed it would be quicker than tackling a bunch of down climbs. This portion is typical Tonto and we hiked around 3 small/medium sized drainages followed by a moderately steep descent and accent of a 4th. 5-15 minutes after climbing back out of the 4th drainage you'll finally come to an overlook that puts you right on top of Shinumo creek where you can see a nice place to camp more than 500' below. We were beat at this point and just wanted to get to camp.

From the overlook of Shinumo creek you'll have a pretty decent descent to get to the creek. Its a good trail but with our packs and the days mileage the arrival to the creek would have been welcomed much earlier. I'd say its only about 1/2 mile+ of hiking to the creek with a 500' drop. Once at the bottom there is a great spot to camp for a group, the only group sized one on this trip so far. We really didn't like this spot since it wasn't directly next to the creek (50'-100' away), offered no shade and with the temperature being very warm we decided to look further down creek. We couldn't find a good spot after crossing the creek so we went back to the group spot and hiked down creek from there. After 5-10 minutes we found a suitable spot for 1 tent next to and above the creek with a huge canyon wall that offered natural sunblock. We didn't have a thermometer but it had to be 5-15 degrees cooler here.

I'll have to do this trip again and stay in Whites creek and follow it to the confluence of Shinumo creek to find out which is the better way to go. Whites creek narrows down and deepens which will offer shade and MAY have water in it. Another advantage would be since its a drainage it'll descend instead of the up/down/up/down/up/down... nature of the Tonto platform. With the exception of a couple of dry but scenic camp spots on the Tonto shelf I wouldn't even think about camping anywhere on the stretch from "Frog tanks". I didn't check it out but I've heard that there is at least 1 good spot to camp at the junction of Whites and Shimuno creeks, I don't know how many this spot can handle. Another point I'll add is that on our way out from our campsite by Shinumo creek it took us only 1 hour and 15 minutes to get to the spot in Whites creek were we had to decide which way we'd go. We WERE hauling butt to beat the rising sun at the time but were rested and strong.

The following day was our "go to the river day". From our campsite it was a nice stroll down Shinumo creek with a small number of creek crossing to negotiate. It appears that there is more than 1 path in places so we tried to choose "the path of least resistance". Although it was early October the creek had really good flow to it so crossing was a little tricky, we mostly rock-hopped with the aid of our hiking poles. After about a mile you'll encounter 2 mini-falls which make great body dunking holes where you can get wet and take a nice break. Just down creek of these 2 spots is a large area to camp, it could handle a good sized group. This was the first good spot we came to camp after we left ours, I'm glad we found our little spot the day before. William Bass must have used this spot for something since we came upon the remnants of his camp very shortly afterward. You'll be on the east side of the creek in this area and you'll come to an alcove with all sorts of remnants of his camp. I was expecting to see more but its been over 100 years since he lived here. Besides the relics rusting away in the alcove the only other trace of habitation that we saw was an old foundation.

In about a 1/10th of a mile hike past the remains of Bass camp you'll see a cairn and trail heading up the eastern slope of Shinumo creek. Take it to get to the river. This trail requires you to climb 700' to a saddle that gives you your first look of the Colorado river. Its a little workout but since we'd only hiked about 2 miles so far on this day we had no problem. Unfortunately you'll soon have to give that all back as you descend to the river. The trail on both sides of the saddle is rocky but easy to follow. The North Bass beach area is huge and can handle multiple large groups. We didn't explore the area for too long since it was warming up past my liking and it wasn't even 10AM. We turned around and hiked back up to the saddle, it figures once we got there nice layers of clouds arrived and they stayed with us the rest of the day! Here we encountered a lone hiker wearing river shoes, we were surprised to see him (1st other person on this trip) as was he seeing us and we just said Hello and continued on our way.

We then dropped back down to Shinumo creek to the cairn and decided since we had half-a-day left and with the unexpected cloud cover settling in on us, how far down the creek we could safely go. We knew the lone hiker had to have come this way so we were optimistic that we could make it to the river. The hike down the creek is lots of fun with lots of water crossings. This to me was the 2nd nicest part of the trip. After awhile we came around a bend in the creek and there was a small group of river runners hanging out including the guy we saw earlier! This time we chatted with the group and then continued downstream. Of course we assumed that they all hiked up the creek from the river so we didn't ask them about the route. Should have! We continued on and got so close to the river that we could smell it. We got stopped at a pour off that may have been safe to jump but came to 2 conclusions; 1. We are very far from medical help if something went wrong? 2. What if we can't get back up?

We turned around and again ran into the river party and chatted. We found out that we were within 50 yards of the river but didn't take the bypass. We saw it earlier but thought it was a short-cut to North Bass beach. It's located on the eastern side of Shinumo creek, its cairned, and it looks like a ramp is the best way I can describe it. If you do this trip and try to make it to the Colorado, a useful tip is when you go down the creek if come across a structure and transmitter (used to measure creek flow), you went too far and missed the bypass.

  • I'm glad that I did this trip and want to go back and finish exploring the area.
  • Nankoweap is much harder!
  • This trip is trail less for long portions of it so be mentally comfortable with that.
  • Besides the river party we only saw 2 groups (3 and 6) of backpackers during our 4 day trip.
  • Early October is prime to do this trip, late spring may be better but that depends on what the winter brought to the North rim area.
  • This was easier to follow then what I expected, We think the NPS has probably really improved this trail/route in 2005.

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This is a moderately difficult hike.

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WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

Most recent Triplog Reviews
North Bass Trail
rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
This is my third Colorado River rafting trip through the Grand Canyon. Wade and I did the same trip two years ago in 2014--a 12-day hiking-intensive rafting trip with Hatch River Expeditions. I love this trip! Wade gave this to me for my 62nd birthday. This time; however, I went alone. Wade did not want to go as he's "Been there, Done that!" I was quite worried about the weather as it was supposed to rain the majority of the time based on weather reports at Phantom Ranch. God was looking out for us as the weather was perfect! We traveled from Lee's Ferry all the way to Whitmore Wash, 188 miles down the Colorado River taking in both the Upper and Lower Canyon. These motor rigs are 35' in length and 16' wide powered by a 30-horsepower, four-stroke motor. They have two tubes on the sides with you can ride in rapids if you want a great thrill! There were only 9 passengers and three crew on the upper canyon trip. Four hiked out at the Bright Angel Trail near Phantom Ranch leaving only 5 of us to go the full 12 days. 24 people hiked down from the South Rim to meet the boats at Pipe Creek for the next 6 days. If you've never done this trip, I highly recommend saving your $$ for this trip of a life time. It's not cheap, but worth every penny if you are adventurous, love to hike fairly difficult hikes and don't mind camping on the beach every night. You'll get to HATE SAND! But, heck, it's only sand. I will write more about his trip when I edit this triplog later. Some of the hikes that I can't find links to on HAZ include Saddle Canyon, the confluence of the Little Colorado River, Miner's Camp (North Bass Trail.) I'm doing my best to keep my "being" below the rim. I'm just not ready for real life yet, but it is nice to have a hot shower!
North Bass Trail
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Had Royal Arch on the HAZ calendar but the PM system must be down 'cause no one was able to get a hold of me. Decided to go back to Flint Creek instead. I spent a cold night in the back of my truck at South Bass TH. 17 was the predicted low. Was hard to get out of my bag in the morning so I didn't hit the trail until about 8:30am. Down South Bass and then crossed the river, same spot as last time. In an attempt to reduce weight and bulk, I used a small extending paddle instead of a kayak paddle and an inflatable life vest. Went up Shinumo and then up Flint Creek. Shinumo had a major flash flood since the last time I was here and the place is almost unrecognizable! Many of the cottonwoods are gone and the creek changed its course in many spots. Some of the Bass Camp artifacts are either buried in silt or washed down the creek. Shinumo used to run a few hundred feet from Bass Camp but now it's only about 25 feet away.
Didn't have enough time to get to my destination in Flint as I got a late start and wanted to get back to the river before it got dark. Saw some small ruins near Shinumo as a consolation. On one of the many crossings of Shinumo, I stepped on a trick rock that rolled out from under me, sending me up to my neck into the creek. R.I.P. Canon S110 :(

I left a water bottle cached at the Redwall on South Bass. On the way out I still had plenty of water so instead of dumping it I left the bottle on the trail in case someone needs it (I did last time. Thanks JoeyB!) Is this trash? Maybe. It's common for people to run out of water on SB while exiting the Royal Arch Route. I think the last water is typically Copper Canyon unless they make a side trip to the Colorado. I hope someone can use it and then carries out the empty.

FR328 vs. my truck: Broken front strut and missing sway bar link. No flats this time.

No one at the Rez gate, in or out.

2 1/4 liters
North Bass Trail
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Our original plan was to spend three days backpacking the North Bass Trail. We literally changed our plan right before the start of our trek due to the weather. We would day hike to Shinumo Creek and then return to the rim. This will be a lot but is better than getting caught in a flash flood.

We drove up on Thursday night and almost hit a black cow standing in the middle of Hwy 67. That was scary! We hit the dirt road (FR22) soon after and made the 19.5 mile drive to Swamp Point. This road is in great condition and was very smooth going all the way to trailhead. It looks like it was graded recently. You can make it in a sedan but I would recommend high clearance. We arrived at Swamp Point around 11pm and car camped. The drive took six plus hours from Phoenix.

We woke on Friday morning and started prepping for the backpack. The skies were clear and the weather pleasant. While getting ready Chumley turned on his NOAA Weather Radio and we listened to the weather report for southern Utah. They said there was a 90% chance of precipitation on Saturday with rain & thunderstorms in the morning, afternoon and evening. They specifically mentioned flash floods. After some quick soul searching we both agreed to alter our plan and day hike. From this moment we had to change gears with our packing. It took about thirty minutes to get situated and we hit the trail around 8:30am, a relatively late start for a day hike.

We dropped off the rim and made our way to the Muav Saddle. There are a handful of long switchbacks that lead down. We made the quick detour to Teddy’s Cabin and then continued hiking down into Muav Canyon. The top two miles are relatively easy to follow as we descended 2,000 ft. The trail is steep and overgrown in places but not an issue. We knew we could hike up this in darkness. From there we reached the creek bed and continued down. Our going slowed as we navigated heavy foliage and worked to keep our feet dry. I really enjoyed this section but it was a lot of work.

Things open up as we traversed the Supai. We saw there was a natural bridge to the east side but decided to hit it later if we had time (we didn’t). We continued on and enjoyed the view down the Redwall. After a mile we reached the top of the Redwall descent and started down. This is an amazing section although steep and loose. It’s relatively short and we were in the bottom of the canyon soon after. Once again the bottom is overgrown and slow going. This sucked up more energy as we worked our way down the creek bed. There were pockets of water roughly a mile below the break. Water was plentiful for this entire hike.

We continued down and then started our lasso loop. We stayed in the creek bed and headed towards the Tapeats Narrows. This is by far my favorite section. It starts near a massive drop (70-80ft) with two chockstones. We took the bypass down and then went back up the break to admire from the bottom. It was very cool! From there we made our way down the Tapeats Narrows. The going is very easy as you walk along the creek bed. We kept our feet dry and life was good! There are a few easy down climbs along the way. You could go up this section but it will be tough especially with overnight packs.

Before long the canyon opened up as we hit Shinumo Creek. Our original plan was to camp at this spot. We could tell the bench above the creek had flashed earlier this summer. We had a look around and then turned west. I wish we had more time to explore this area. We took a lunch break at the bottom of the Tonto Bypass and filtered water. There is another camp here. The east camp is way better. After our break we started the long return to the rim.

The Tonto Bypass starts off steep and loose. It’s an aggressive ascent up from Shinumo Creek and finally levels off above the Tapeats. The next mile is easy going with nice views of the Tapeats Narrows to the east. A few minutes later we dropped back into Whites Creek and started retracing our steps to the rim. We took several breaks along the way and stopped to filter more water about a half mile below the Redwall Break. The Redwall ascent was slow but the footing stable. It also helped being in the shade at this point. Once on top we continued north and made our way through the overgrown section as our light started to wane. We exited the creek and started making our way to the Muav Saddle in dusk. Chumley filtered a liter at the Queen Anne Spring. From there we made the last mile with our head lamps on. I was completely spent at this point. It was a slow trudge back to the rim. I did enjoy hiking under the cover of darkness. The temps were cool and pleasant. Soon after I topped off on the rim and that was that!

The North Bass Trail is an absolute dream! I loved it and can’t wait to return to see the final section to the river. I know we’ll go back and will finish what we started. Hopefully the weather is more cooperative. Thanks Chumley for joining me on this one!
North Bass Trail
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With a three day backpacking trip planned along North Bass, the forecast for extreme weather was not particularly welcome. After some discussion, we decided to make the drive and go for it anyway. After camping at the TH, I fired up my NOAA weather radio on Friday morning and was less than excited to hear that the forecast wasn't any better -- and was in fact worse -- than the earlier forecasts.

The sign at the trailhead warns users of flash flooding on the North Bass trail, since more than half the trail follows a creek bottom. Neither 9L nor I had ever hiked here, so we decided to be cautious. The rain wouldn't be a problem, but the potential for severe storms, lightning, and the flash flood watch already in effect made us decide to forego the backpacking trip and just make it a day hike.

Unfortunately, this last-minute decision came late, and we didn't get started hiking until 8:30. On the way down we paid attention to the trail condition and made a note of where we wanted to get back to before dark, knowing it would be an extended day.

We stopped at Teddy's Cabin at Muav Saddle (a name misappropriated by Mormons from the Arizona Strip, despite Teddy having never been there -- the cabin Teddy actually slept in was burned down by the NPS in the 1950s while they were trying to eradicate rodents ](*,) )

The first two miles of the hike, from the trailhead to the saddle, and then through the Coconino to the creek, are a solid, 2000-feet in 2-miles.

We were pleasantly surprised to find water at Queen Anne Spring, as well as in several places below it. There was no shortage of water all day long. And this was before the rain!

Once in White Creek, we were pleasantly surprised by the amount of water, including some waterfalls and cascades we were able to cool off in. The hiking here is difficult due to the dense growth in the creek bottom. There's an established route, but this is definitely slower going than most canyon trails!

The next two miles are relatively flat, losing only a few hundred feet in White Creek, before hitting the redwall break, a very steep and scree covered descent. Some of this is as steep as any section of trail I can remember. It's only about 600 feet, but you do it in not much more than a quarter of a mile.

From here, you stay in White Creek, where water once again surfaces. About a mile downstream of the redwall break, you reach a narrow with "fall" marked on the topo map. There's a bypass but you could downclimb it if you wanted to. Getting back up would be more difficult without the bypass.

At 7.3 miles we stayed left in the canyon, avoiding the obvious route up above the creek to the right. We skipped the trip to the natural bridge. This was one of the best parts of the hike. Suddenly the canyon drops in to a narrow slot, with a couple of huge chock stones about 70-80 feet above the bottom. Here there's a short bypass to get down below where you can hike back up to the lower chockstone and a small fall that can't be ascended.

The narrow canyon is scenic and pleasant for hiking, but would be a terrible place to be during rain. About two miles in lower White before it reaches Shinumo Creek.

Shinumo had clearly flashed this summer. Probably more than once. Signs of flooding was evident 10-15 feet above the current water level, destroying previously established camping areas on shelves above the creek you would normally think to be safely high. Nonetheless, the water was clear (even a little havasupai blue) and cool, with a very impressive flow. We were an hour past our turn around time, so we took a short break at the junction of the actual Bass trail (as opposed to the White Creek route), ate lunch, swam a bit, and then headed back up.

The sections of trail through the shale were rutted from the rains. The trail was pretty rough in places. This section was steep and difficult. I'd recommend the route in White so much more than this!

As we trekked along, the skies threatened. A few times it rained a little, and some thunder and lightning joined in. We were happy with our decision to day hike rather than backpack down here. Eventually it got dark, and those last two miles really hurt. I stopped at Queen Anne Spring and filtered a liter of water since I had been dry for a couple of miles. We were both really tired and took our time on the final ascent.

Back at the car we met a guide for REI adventures and chatted with him for a few minutes before heading out and finding a more sheltered camp site back in the forest where we could have a fire. I awoke several times overnight due to very heavy rain, thunder, and lightning. I was happy to not be in the canyon near one of those creeks.

But it was a great hike!
North Bass Trail
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The objective was to hike the North Bass Trail to Billy Bass’ Camp and perhaps beyond.
Our objective was to hike North Bass Trail up to and maybe above the old Billy Bass Tourist Camp. We tied the boats off at a small inlet and worked our way up to the North Bass Trail.

The chest cold was kicking in, but the hike felt good and I made a lot of side trips since the Lower Six were fairly slow hikers with the exception of the youngest of their group. Below us was Bass Camp on River right. It was our best camp back in 2012. I remember it as where we really met Linda and also where we learned to celebrate. It is one of our favorite spots in all the world. Another group was camped there of course, since it is a much desired camp on the River.

Billy Bass had installed a cable way across the River back in the day and people paid to hike down the South Bass, take the cable way across and then hike up to his camp. Mrs. Bass was less than enthusiastic about his enterprise since laundry took her three days; one to hike to the River with the laundry, one to do the laundry, and another to hike back up. Or so the story goes anyway.

The site of the Billy’s old camp is filled with artifacts – an old plow since he raised vegetables and fruit, rock drills, pots and pans, an old wood stove, tools, etc.

On the way back down JP and I were leading the way and well out front. We had to double back twice, once when one of the Lower Six took a nasty fall and the second time when we were telling each other jokes and tall tales and overshot the turn down to where the boats were moored. I think he was explaining his invention of titanium weightlifting sets, the idea being they weighed less. I covered for him by saying I wanted to see the anchor point for the old cable way. He just grinned like JP always grins.
North Bass Trail
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Mile for mile, I found NB to be the most challenging of the park's named trails. Some say Nankoweap is harder but I have yet to do that one. I don't think I could do this one as a day hike. Wouldn't want to either, too much to see.

Few notes:
*First day left the rim at 8:30a, at the river by 6pm. Second: on the trail at 3am, topped out at 11:30am.
*Took a side trip to walk across Butchart Arch.
*Did the Tapeats narrows on the way down (except for the first stretch which is guarded on each end by two 45ft rappels) and the Tonto bypass (park recommends) on the way up.
*Avoided the crowded boater's beach, had my own private beach for the night. Just me, one mouse, one scorpion.
*Took a side trip up Shinumo Creek to the short falls, just past the junction of Flint Creek. Shinumo is totally awesome. My new favorite place in the park. Bass was the smartest of earlier GC settlers.
*Skipped the Vishnu narrows section. There's always next time.
*Saw Ken Walters heading down as I was heading out. One of 6(?) who has gone end to end below the rim within the current borders.

(HAZ sync gave me 10,197 AEG. I need to clean up my track but for now: Rim (7500) to River (2200)= 5300, BM2917 bench overlooking CO = 457 going down, 717 back up, shinumo bypass 250, misc. 400?. 7100 seems fair.)
North Bass Trail
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My wife and I spent three days hanging out at the North Rim, sleeping in the back of our truck at night.

The first night was spent near Crazy Jug Point, which is not far from the Bill Hall TH. We tried to hike down Crazy Jug Canyon but turned back due to the excessive heat and not finding a good trail. We decided to take a drive over to Swamp Point and check out Powell Plateau instead. We probably didn't take the most direct route as it took us about three hours to get to Swamp Point from Crazy Jug. In that time the weather changed dramatically. It went from hot and sunny to cloudy, cool and breazy with a little rain during the drive. A nice surprise for a July day at the Canyon!

The Kaibab forest roads were in good shape and mostly passable by car until we got to the National Park Border. As soon as Swamp Point Road crosses into the Nat. Park, high clearance becomes necessary. I don't know if this is due to lack of maintenance or the changing terrain as you get closer to the rim.

We parked right on the rim at Swamp Point, arriving around 3:30p and picked up the trail that leads down to Muav Saddle, Teddy's Cabin and the North Bass Trail (I forget the official name of the trail, its probably North Bass though). We went down to the cabin, poked around for a while and then went up to Powell Plateau. Near the cabin is a trail junction: you can follow the North Bass Trail down White Creek/Muav Canyon or you can head up to Powell Plateau. The trail to PP is well used and easy to follow. Its comparable to most named trails in the canyon except the corridor trails. There was one section on the way up to the Plateau that goes through a wash for a bit. It was a little over-grown but the vegetation was not sharp and the trail was still visible. The rest of it is easy and the switchbacks help with the steepness. We made it to the rim of Powell from Swamp Point in about 2 hours at a normal pace, including the stop at Teddy's Cabin. We then followed the flat trail that leads to Dutton Point for about one mile. It was still quite a distance to DP from where we turned around. We really wanted to continue but it was getting late in the day and we were still unsure if the clouds were going to let loose again. We returned to Swamp Point the same way, making it back right at dusk.

As we were heading down to Muav saddle, we passed three Thai Buddhist Monks who were heading up. They are not allowed any contact at all with women, so my wife, who is also Thai, had to step completely off the trail so the monks could safely pass :oplz: . We spoke briefly with their handler, who was bringing up the rear. He said they started early in the morning from the TH and went all the way out to Dutton Point. They were from a San Diego monastery. They all looked exhausted!

Powell Plateau is definitely a place I would like to return to and explore more thoroughly. Its so beautiful and unspoiled. Except for the Dutton Point trail (which begins to fade the further you go), there is almost no sign of man. It really feels like being on a deserted island! ...A perfect place for some condos, maybe a 9 hole golf course ;) ....

Map Drive
High Clearance possible when dry

To hike
FROM NPS TRAIL SHEET - The remote North Bass trailhead is located at Swamp Point. Swamp Point is at the end of Swamp Ridge Road. Though it is possible to access the trailhead from the North rim village by taking the Point Sublime and Kanabownits Roads, it should be noted that passage is much easier from the west via Forest Service Roads. A North Kaibab National Forest map IS ESSENTIAL! The Swamp Ridge Road is gated and is not accessible by vehicle until the National Park Service fire crew has cleared it of down trees. In some years this road is not open until late May or early June,
$17 3L Hydration Bladder
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