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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.

Isis Temple, AZ

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426 18 1
Guide 18 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Northwest > North Rim
Rated
5
5 of 5 by 4
 
2
Warning! Technical climbing skills required. Risks include serious injury to death.  Risks are not eliminated by skill.
Climb Consensus (6) → View
Difficulty 5.8
Climb IV Trad
Rock Sandstone Not good
Length
Statistics
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Difficulty 5 of 5
Route Finding 5 of 5
Distance Round Trip 38.2 miles
Trailhead Elevation 6,953 feet
Elevation Gain -4,672 feet
Accumulated Gain 12,000 feet
Kokopelli Seeds 98.2
Interest Off Trail Hiking & Peak
Dogs not allowed
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
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21  2019-02-09 friendofThunderg
47  2014-10-24
Isis Cheops Double
BiFrost
44  2014-10-24
Isis Cheops Double
GrottoGirl
17  2014-06-01
Isis - Blazing Inferno
joebartels
25  2014-06-01
Isis - Blazing Inferno
BiFrost
15  2014-05-01
Isis V - SE Corner - Grateful to be Alive
joebartels
22  2014-05-01
Isis V - SE Corner - Grateful to be Alive
JuanJaimeiii
24  2014-04-26 sbkelley
Page 1,  2,  3
Author HAZ_Hikebot
author avatar Guides 16,882
Routes 16,052
Photos 24
Trips 1 map ( 6 miles )
Age 22 Male Gender
Location TrailDEX, HAZ
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Preferred   Jul, Jun, Aug, Sep
Sun  6:12am - 6:35pm
Official Route
 
6 Alternative
 
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double loop roller coaster tiers of joy
by HAZ_Hikebot

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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
    Isis Temple
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Isis - Blazing Inferno
    June is easily identifiable by the singing locust somewhere in the 3.8-5.5k range. Riparian areas sport life from damselflies to mosquitoes. Dinosaur sized crows keep the canyons and peaks in surveillance. If you aren't experiencing one of the above you may be hiking in a skillet.

    We set out with a feasible game plan. Dave was kind enough to wait for the BCO to open then catch up with the balance of the group. 7:30am from the auxiliary SK parking Karl and I made it to the river almost on time. Up Utah Flats, over to the SE corner and down to Phantom to fetch water. Next, 1.5 hours behind schedule, we would head back up to the SE corner to meet Dave and begin the ascent.

    The SE corner of Isis towered above us. We made our way up to the base. I could see and hear Dave up near the first obstacle. By the time we reached Dave we were 2.5 hours behind schedule. It was immediately apparent the game plan needed to change. On the same token Karl and Dave could still have a very memorable experience.

    I went up the first obstacle and Karl followed. Dave is really good at calculating safety ratios. He said he was pro-life and decided to do another hike. Which sucked as I enjoy his company. Well at least when he's not making fun of me. Karl and I made fair time heading up. We both lugged near 10 quarts of water. Our packs were in the 30-34 lb range. From the 1st obstacle to the top was 2 hours, 5pm. 1.5 is probably feasible. I'm certain I could clear it in an hour with a pack under ten pounds.

    At the base of Isis I gave Karl a couple options. Up 1 tier, around the west in the sun and down the jj shortcut in the morning. Or the shorter and shaded east side. We took the east and got to the north 7:40pm.

    Slept well with my new REI FLASH air pad in my Escape Bivvy. The only issue is it's too tight to turn or sleep on your side. It got down to 51 degrees which was borderline comfortable. Compared to tyvek, wind and forty degrees Robin Leach would approve.

    Day 2 we headed down the Shiva Exit and slow poked it to the south rim. Despite coming up short it was good exercise and great company!

    The inferno title is for the masses. By chance I Chrome Domed this one. While the results are questionable in the high humidity of August it's a home run in June.
    Isis Temple
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Isis V - SE Corner - Grateful to be Alive
    The SE corner of Isis had us at hello. Not the summit, just another way to access the temple. We finally made it happen a year later. Once again daisy chaining the lead. This was the same tactic used to summit last year. There is no way I could do this solo.

    Perhaps there are multiple routes. It seems unlikely. The route we pieced together was intense. Three areas took time to review, debate and a bit of personal soul searching. It is considerably more complicated than the Phantom-redwall-Shiva ascent. Less secure rock. Less holds. Almost vertical. You will not see a ramp looking down, rather the floor below the bay wall.

    We debated the descent. A bit frazzled we took the long safe route out. Shiva to Phantom is still a blast and just plain fun with it's juggy frequent holds on a nice slant. Great hike. Phantom creek must have flooded a week ago Monday. Flowing strong. A few large downed trees. The gap between running water is easier to travel now that vegetation has been wiped out.

    7 quarts consumed
    1 hour sleep prior
    1 elk nicked jeep on highway, jj andretti skills prevailed
    Isis Temple
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    We were really lucky to have a storm bring in such cool weather for this time of year. Apparently you should be extra careful with your camera on this trip because it seems to have claimed almost everyone's camera who has posted a triplog here. Check out Scott's triplog and/or the captions in my photos for more details.
    Isis Temple
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    To begin, this is, without rival, the most difficult summit I've done in the Lower 48. We started down the South Kaibab at 6:45 a.m., moving through intermittent rain, snow, and patches of sun. We stopped north of Haunted Canyon for lunch, then filtered water (4L each) just before heading up the Redwall. There are two pretty sketchy climbs here, the 2nd of which is among the sketchiest of the 8 we encountered on the whole route, in my personal opinion. Pack hauls helped here. The traverse after is airy, fun, and generally awesome. Then a long, obnoxious stretch of side-hilling brought us to the Sheva-Isis saddle. It was now 4 pm. We had a brief discussion about our next move and decided to press on, knowing that we'd have to bivy somewhere up there.

    A steep grunt and traverse across the first bay on the north side of Isis led to the crux pitch. Eric skillfully led this awkward climb, which had a little bit of everything (lie-back moves, face climbing, traversing - you name it!) We all followed, which is fun with a full pack and angled nature. This pitch, however, removed the need for the long traverse that JJ and Joe undertook. I cannot possibly express how impressed I am with those two after now having seen the terrain and knowing the amount of time they spent on it! We stashed the rope and harnesses here, but Richard kept some webbing for possible handlines up higher, which came in handy.

    Getting through the room-sized boulder/crack was "fun" with our full packs. By the top of this, snow flurries were upon us, and so was evening . We found an amazing sheltered site on a ledge below the 3rd Supai layer and called it a night. This campsite is one I'll always remember - "nice view" is an understatement. It did rain off and on throughout the night, which added to the adventure.

    Up at first light, we negotiated the fun fin/crawl pitch, then found a highly sketchy crack climb after that. Two more somewhat sketchy climbs found us atop the Supai. We drank from the full waterpockets here, then trudged up and across the traverse. Legs burning now, we crossed the "spooky gully," which was actually fine with the recent rains. The Coconino climb went ok (loose rock everywhere!) and after a little route-finding, we spied the summit, and topped out in windy, cold, cloudy conditions around 8 a.m. No pencil/pen in the register still, but we didn't care. A short summit photo shoot ensued, but we didn't linger long, knowing we had to get all the way back to Phoenix tonight. We began to retrace our steps, and I was admittedly nervous about the 5 hair-raising downclimbs before having the ability to rappel the last 3. They actually passed without much issue, and setting up and completing the rappels was a welcome change. There is now a new anchor at the top of Pitch 1 in the Redwall.

    Elated to be on safe ground, but dreading the 16.5 mile exit hike, we shifted to summer hiking mode and enjoyed the warm, breezy afternoon as we moved steadily back towards civilization. Upon finishing the heinous descent of the Utah Flats Route, we chatted with a ranger at Phantom Ranch who'd actually climbed Isis before (and was good friends with Richard's uncle!) He even offered us a free night of camping at Phantom! I cannot express how hard it was to pass that up, but life called us home. Up the deserted (yes, you read that correctly) Bright Angel Trail we went at 5:30, and were at the car by 9:30, ready to start the long drive home.
    Thanks for the Grand Canyon adventure of a lifetime, guys!
    Isis Temple
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Isis IV - Knockin' on the Backdoor
    Down to 20 degrees driving to the canyon, 90 degrees in the afternoon. Light from 5am to 7:30pm. Screaming cold to borderline hot, 14.5 hours of light... the perfect window of opportunity!

    We know the SE corner is doable without rope. The exact route and whether or not our huevos would cook or spoil was the question at hand. The base of the SE corner came easy. Skirting the sides looked ridiculous. We headed up. JJ started skirting on undesirable terrain. I wasn't sure if I was up for any of it. Once you dig in the scope of doable increases.

    West
    First we checked out the west. You can see a huge ravine on satellite. Last year we looked down it from the top and swore it off. We needed to check out the bottom angle. There is a shallow living room sized alcove in the lower end. I'm still not crossing it off. There may be a route to either side of the alcove. Hoping it's here too as the sphincter scale notches up on the east side...

    East
    Next we eased across the unthinkable without issue skirting over to the east side. On the due east tip we may have found cairns above. Tough to say. JJ cast a mini ballet, voted me to check it out and closed the polls before I knew what was going on. Up I went. Sketchy. Doable. Then to the left. Then a four foot gap to cross. I'm done. Apparently the polls opened back up. Noise from below, "step across so you can check out what's around the corner". Um, I'm not sure if I can get back. "All you have to do is step across". Okay I gave it a try. In the end I crossed that sucker a half dozen times. Around the corner it looked like a step up from the "jj shortcut". I'm 60% sure this may be the route. I'm 100% sure I was glad our turnaround time was screaming forget it.

    North
    jj wanted to check the north. While it didn't net a route up he did score a seldom visited cave.


    We returned at a moderate pace and made good time. It sure was nice to familiarize ourselves with the base of the SE corner. It's been sitting in the back of my mind for 11 months!

    Carried 4.8 quarts, consumed 4.5
    Isis Temple
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Isis III - Humble Pie
    trip 1 = explore
    trip 2 = conquer
    trip 3 = enjoy... :sweat:

    Prep
    Although we summited on our last trip, it was miserable running out of water. My pack was 24lbs and jj had 10lbs for a 3 day trip. For this trip I downsized to an 11oz REI FLASH 18, dirt cheap on sale for $24. With a piggyback 4qt, 2-qt bottles and my 3qt Camelbak bladder I was ready to fill up to 9qts. The next factor got 24lbs down to 13 with the same 3qts to start.

    Game Plan
    2 days instead of 3, up the "jj shortcut", summit, down the SE corner

    Hike
    We have a "last supper" ritual before these hikes as neither of us are backpackers. It works since the initial hike is walking down the SK ramp into the canyon. We stopped at BA creek and drank up a bit as the faucets were off. Up UFR and down into Upper Phantom. At the last good flow I pumped to capacity.

    Feeling great I made it halfway up pitch 1 on the redwall standard route. I imagine I choked at the same point Steve felt the pressure with his 40lb backpack. It still amazes me he did it solo with all that weight. So off came the pack and out came the rope.

    Humble Pie - Bite 1 - up the jj shortcut
    We made decent time to the "jj shortcut". For weeks I was excited about going up. Apparently the dehydration on trip 2 gave me super powers. A slanted 6mm rope without gloves ( had to get that pack size down ) seemed ridiculously unsafe. The only good thing was jj wasn't liking it either so we made a quick change of plans. The southern spider leg intrigued both of us and had been planned for Autumn. No biggie, bite the bullet here and move on out to the Autumn plan.

    Reality Check
    Apparently the jj shortcut baffle destroyed me physically and mentally. The southern leg would have to wait for morning. Instead we opted to camp on the WSW leg. Which had nice soft ground to sleep. After 3 sleepless nights on the prior trips I actually slept an hour or two!

    Day 2
    Nice start admiring and checking out the southern leg. For reference Isis is surrounded by 7 bays, between each is a wall jutting out like a spider leg. This one is special being nearly a half mile long.

    Humble Pie - Bite 2 - SE Corner Exit
    On May 14th I sent jj a PM titled "SE Longshot" based on some map work. Later we found others have completed it! Not sure I can translate what happened into words. Just know that had we summited the day before we would have been in possibly serious trouble.

    The standard route is a 5 hour drudge. It just seemed best to swallow bite 2 of our humble pie and get out alive.

    Super Reality Check
    Shouldn't it be enough that we didn't get to summit, didn't conquer the SE corner and drudge through multiple obstacle courses back to SK. After consuming FIVE gallons of water I was under the impression I'd feel better than dehydrated. Typically I fare better than most in heat but oh brother, this was just horrible.


    Hate it, hate it, hate it!
    Okay I'm better now, let's go back... :scared:
    ( slightly longer hiatus, like summer though... )
    Isis Temple
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Two weeks after Hello Isis. Study, study, study. Secure permits. Round II set. 4 days to go I tweaked my ankle at WCC swelling up pretty good. There was mention to jj he might get the solo...
    reply Screw that! You are going Damn it!

    Day 1 - 17mi to Boulders Camp
    - higher temps notched up the drag factor, most notably due to pack weight
    - pretend sleep in Escape Bivvy on fantasy Isisland

    Day 2 - Game Day
    - 200 oz of water from the creek was 70oz in the morning... dear god
    - "easier than Shiva Exit" pitches beta... ha ha it's a joke
    - 1st tier non-technical route drains simple resources
    - 2nd tier revealed more climbs than anticipated for the entire hike
    - 3rd tier, sour cherry lure into Hermit Shale scree awaits your fear

    Oops I got a little ahead. 40 minutes to noon turnaround... I was out of water and impossible was screaming my name. We daisy chained off each others strengths barely unlocking to tier 3. A true view of the peak had us hooting and hollering.

    What should only take 30 minutes took an hour extra to learn up. Walking across the mini ridgeline I should have been in seventh heaven. I lifted my head for a brief moment to indulge. My body was too numb to translate.

    1:18 pm - 3 entries in the register. 2008, 2010 and May 25th 2012 was a larger party. Both of our cameras broke earlier in the day and no pencil to jot down our names. It didn't matter, we made it. jj had a clever idea to get our names in the register.

    3:30 pm - We made it down to the bottom layer of the 2nd tier. 6 hours was the best case scenario to water. Class four delivered us to the temple but we needed to save skin. We short rappelled with jj's 6mm rope(luckily 40ft was enough) off my dyneema loop, cheated death and saved 3 hours.

    5:30 pm - shade
    7:00 pm - water
    9:12 pm - alcove camp

    Day 3 - Go home
    Still no sleep, perhaps an hour if you consider dazed. We walked back to the South Rim. A stop in Flag was in order to enjoy the best caesar salad on earth followed by some great pizza.

    This was magical for myself. Thanks to all that have helped and encouraged along the way. My ankle just told me 12k on that terrain was a no-no so "Roma" gets a few days...lol
    Isis Temple
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Hello Isis
    This temple taps into an energy field only associated with the most memorable moments in life.

    new territory... heading further on the UFR we dropped down into Phantom. Box Elders typically flourish in the most unique areas Arizona has to offer. Their presence here is fitting with Crimson Monkey Flower on occasion.

    Our first task, up to Shiva Saddle was possible due to Steve's generous description.

    Pitch 1 is fun. Don't read into that too much. It scared the crap out of me at first. Coming back down you will notice it has several (maybe 3) terraces. Which gives you a chance to collect your thoughts and rest your limbs. At the bottom stay on the light colored rock to the left. I was able to downclimb this on my own without issue.

    Pitch 2 is more fun. Albeit shorter in length the sheer verticalness at the top really messed with my mind. I had zero intentions of going back down on the return trip. jj took the time and helped me step by step spotting my blind footholds from a short distance away.... beyond appreciated!

    I have a new respect for Steve in doing this with a huge pack, alone and with less specific information. Looking up from Phantom Creek or down from above this route looks impossible. Forget that, it doesn't even look like it exists, even after you have done it. You conquer 900ft in a quarter mile.

    With an 11am start on the South Rim it took us 8 hours to reach Isis and night was falling. A simple lollygag pace to get us to camp. My pack was a ridiculous 6 pounds over my standard. Stuffed to 18.5 pounds, my camp set up (a sheet of tyvek) barely fit in.

    Research and planning is done on a need to know basis. I thought I was stepping it up Bruce style. I checked for temps and more importantly rain. All looked good and I assured jj we could camp light. An hour after bedding down I hollered over to camp jj that I made a mistake.

    Howling repetitive wind gusts at 40 degrees left us swearing we were gonna die. I slept(joke, that never happened) face down into the ground to keep my heater(heart) from blowing a valve. A lot goes through the mind in nine hours of torture. The most reassuring thing I could think of was the movie Titanic. Those that fell in the water died within an hour. Whereas the few that stayed afloat survived much longer. I figured we weren't soaking wet in an ocean and it wasn't freezing.

    When I stood up in the morning I couldn't feel anything below my knees. It was like walking on stilts. After a half hour I was good to go.

    We said hello to Isis. Then left with 1,200 feet of unfinished business.

    There are times in life when you see opportunity. It gets wicked cool when it starts chasing you faster. Walking out of the canyon we were literally invited back...

    Permit $$
    NPS


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