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Cardenas Butte, AZ

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87 8 1
Guide 8 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Northwest > South Rim
Rated
4.6
4.6 of 5 by 5
 
1
Statistics
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Difficulty 3.5 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance Round Trip 6.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 7,390 feet
Elevation Gain -1,932 feet
Accumulated Gain 2,757 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 4 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 20.29
Interest Off Trail Hiking & Peak
Backpack Connecting Only
Dogs not allowed
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Collective Slideshow
Inaugural Calculation next Tap
4  2018-06-09
Tanner Trail
friendofThunderg
6  2018-06-09
Tanner Trail
carriejane
9  2016-10-29 BiFrost
11  2015-05-03 John9L
1  2014-03-23 BobP
45  2013-04-26
Cardenas Escalante Loop
chumley
21  2013-04-26
Cardenas Escalante Loop
Hippy
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Jun, Aug, Jul, Sep → 8 AM
Seasons   Spring to Autumn
Sun  7:04am - 5:20pm
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Route Scout App
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Official Route
 
1 Linked
 
Water
Nearby Area Water
Escalante Butte
Escalante Butte
0.0 mi away
5.1 mi
2,871 ft
Tanner Trail
Tanner Trail
0.0 mi away
7.7 mi
363 ft
Tusayan Ruins Trail
Tusayan Ruins Trail
1.6 mi away
0.3 mi
2 ft
Cedar Mountain 7061 - Desert View
Cedar Mountain 7061 - Desert View
1.6 mi away
11.0 mi
1,850 ft
Cape Solitude
1.8 mi away
30.0 mi
3,630 ft
Pinal Point - Grand Canyon
2.0 mi away
2.5 mi
200 ft
Solomon Temple
3.9 mi away
Tonto Trail
Tonto Trail
3.9 mi away
78.1 mi
Mount Acaba
3.9 mi away
Tonto Trail: New Hance Trail to Grandview Tr
3.9 mi away
9.1 mi
1,370 ft
[ View More! ]
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Finders keepers!
by chumley

Overview
Cardenas Butte is one of two prominent summits just west of the Tanner Trail below the eastern Grand Canyon's Lipan Point (Escalante Butte being the other). It is accessed by descending 2000 feet along 2.5 miles of the Tanner Trail before scrambling off-trail for half a mile up a steep ridge to the peak nearly 700 feet above you.


History
García López de Cárdenas was a Spanish Conquistador under Francisco Vasquez de Coronado and is credited with being the first European explorer to "discover" the Grand Canyon after first seeing it in 1540 while on an expedition in search of the mythical Seven Cities of Gold (Cíbola). After three days of attempts to reach the river, he and his party were forced to retreat, because they were low on supplies and water. It was three centuries later before the next known Europeans happened upon the Grand Canyon!

Hike
Begin this hike from the Lipan Point trailhead, descending on the mostly-unmaintained Tanner Trail. Tanner is steep and loose, and descending 1500 feet in the first mile is slow-going. Think about it as you descend, because you'll be returning back up in a couple of hours! As you descend, nice views of both Escalante and Cardenas Buttes present themselves before you. Once reaching the saddle between Tanner Canyon to the east and Seventyfive Mile Canyon to the west, Tanner levels considerably, and a moderate pace can be attained when rounding the eastern base of Escalante Butte, and continuing around the wide drainage between Escalante and Cardenas.

At about the 2.75 mile mark, you will reach a well-defined ridge that climbs the southeast slope of Cardenas Butte. There are no cairns and no visible signs of use. But at this point, leave Tanner and begin the 675-foot ascent to the top of Cardenas Butte. The route takes you through a series of "steps" as you ascend through the multiple layers of the Supai Group. None presents too much of a challenge, but each requires a bit of a scramble and you will use your hands. About 150-feet below the summit, you reach a lower peak, and proceed north across the saddle toward the ultimate goal.

Here you cross a somewhat narrow neck, with a very steep, exposed, scree-filled chute leading west down toward the dry Cardenas Creek, with expansive views of the canyon, and the vertical western face of Cardenas Butte. The obvious route is to stay to the east, and here a bit of route-finding will be necessary to find the easiest way up the final ascent. After proceeding along the eastern side of the butte about half the distance of the butte, there are a couple of routes that can be climbed with no need for technical gear. From there, the peak is a short scramble farther up, and the views here are some of the best you'll find anywhere.

You can return to the trailhead the way you came, or from the lower peak south of the butte, you can follow the ridgeline to the southwest and summit Cardenas Butte's bigger brother Escalante Butte!

Warning
This route involves off-trail scrambling and requires use of hands on some portions. This route should only be attempted by hikers who are comfortable and experienced hiking off-trail in the Grand Canyon or other desert locales. There is no water on this route and no shade. It should not be attempted during hot weather.

chumley
    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.

    Permit $$
    NPS


    Directions
    Map Drive
    or
    Road
    Paved - Car Okay

    To Lipan Point Trailhead
    Follow SR-64 32.9 miles from SR-89 or 20 miles from Grand Canyon Village.

    Park at Lipan Point, walk back down the road a few steps, and look for the trailhead east of the
    pavement.

    From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 233 mi - about 3 hours 44 mins
    From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 338 mi - about 5 hours 15 mins
    From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 87.1 mi - about 1 hour 37 mins
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