Mount Huethawali, AZ | HikeArizona
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Mount Huethawali, AZ

Guide 8 Triplogs  0 Topics
  4.2 of 5 
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Salida Trail #93 - Prescott Arizona...
Salida Trail #93 - Prescott Arizona - Bradshaw Mountains
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Difficulty 4 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance Round Trip 4.9 miles
Trailhead Elevation 6,644 feet
Elevation Gain -1,358 feet
Accumulated Gain 2,385 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 4-5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 16.83
Interest Off-Trail Hiking & Peak
Backpack Possible & Connecting
Dogs not allowed
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31  2017-03-22
Royal Arch Route
38  2017-03-22
Royal Arch Route
25  2013-10-24 John9L
18  2013-10-24 Hippy
7  2013-04-27 squatpuke
10  2013-04-27 BobP
15  2013-04-27 chumley
2  2013-03-30 jdomaska
author avatar Guides 84
Routes 694
Photos 17,480
Trips 1,703 map ( 12,829 miles )
Age 49 Male Gender
Location Tempe, AZ
Associated Areas
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Northwest Region
Historical Weather
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Preferred Jun, Aug, Sep, Jul → Early
Seasons   Late Spring
Sun  6:22am - 6:18pm
Official Route
2 Alternative

By the book! (Buy the book?)
by chumley

  Likely In-Season!
Mt. Huethawali is a prominent peak that rises 1000-feet above the Darwin Plateau about two miles north of the South Bass trailhead. It is a dominant feature on the landscape for any hiker descending the South Bass Trail or traversing the eastern portion of the Esplanade Route. Most of the peak is surrounded by steep cliff faces that make ascending it impossible without technical climbing gear. However, an easier route exists and allows simple class-3 scrambling along the southwest slope.

Pronounced "wee-the-wally", some sources indicate that Huethawali is a Native American term which means "Observation Point", but Wayne Tomasi explains in his book that it is a Havasupai term that means "white tower, white rock mountain, or mountain of white stone." It is a descriptive term since the Coconino sandstone it is composed of is whiter than the terrain it protrudes from.

The easiest approach to Huethawali is from the southwest. First, you must get there, and the obvious route is to descend on the South Bass Trail past the Esplanade junction, a little more than a mile and about 1200 feet below the rim. Whenever it seems right, leave the Bass trail and head in a general northwesterly direction across the Darwin Plateau, aiming for the left corner of the mountain in front of you. This terrain is tiresome, with numerous small drainages to cross, strewn with large boulders and shin-eating desert scrub. Occasionally you may find a game trail, but they last only for a short stretch before you are once again searching for the best route.

Upon reaching Huethawali's southwest corner, begin climbing along the best-looking route. As you climb, occasional cairns will begin to funnel you to a fairly-well-established route. The climb here is on loose scree, with occasional large slabs of Coconino sandstone providing more sure footing. The climb is steep in places, but rarely are hands required. Before gaining the summit, you will have to ascend a couple of short climbs through the top layer of Coconino sandstone, though there are two or three possible routes to follow.

Once on top, the mountain stretches for several hundred yards in a mostly-flat ridge. Be sure to head all the way to the northeast portion for better easterly views and take the time to admire the view to the north that had been blocked from view during your entire trip thus far.

The return trip follows the same route back, though you will almost certainly not be able to follow your route across the Darwin Plateau. Here it is good to have an eye for the South Bass Trail and make your way toward it for the climb back to the trailhead.

This hike involves off-trail class-3 scrambling on loose scree-covered slopes. There is no trail! This is a very remote part of the canyon, and there is no water available. This hike should only be attempted by those who are experienced and comfortable hiking off-trail in the Grand Canyon and other desert locales.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

This is a moderately difficult hike.

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2013-06-03 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 $$

    High Clearance possible when dry

    To South Bass Trailhead
    The South Bass trailhead is located in a remote area about 30 miles northwest of Grand Canyon Village. Primary access via the Kaibab National Forest on Forest Road (FR) 328. This unpaved byway is not shown accurately on most topo maps, so a road map of the Tusayan Ranger District of the Kaibab National Forest will be useful. FR 328 is rough and rocky and sections can become impassable during wet weather. A high-clearance vehicle is recommended, and a 4WD might be required if the road is muddy. Driving to the South Bass trailhead can offer almost as much adventure as the hike.

    Normal access to FR 328 is via Rowe Well Road from Grand Canyon Village. The park kennel is the best landmark. Rowe Well Road goes from the west end of the Village to the kennel and continues south to the park boundary. This road can be difficult to locate, so inquiring locally might save time. FR 328 can also be accessed from Highway 64 south of the park. Turn west at the last intersection before entering the park or obtain directions at the Tusayan District Ranger Station.

    Drive Rowe Well Road about three miles south to the park boundary. A sign announces entry to Kaibab National Forest. Stay left (southeast) at the first fork, cross the railroad tracks and continue another mile to the intersection with FR 28. Turn right (west) on FR 328 toward Pasture Wash and the South Bass Trail. Drive about 16 miles to a gate that marks the entry to the Havasupai Indian Reservation and the end of FR 328. The Havasupai Tribe charges a fee (usually $25) to cross their land and occasionally post a tribal member at the gate to collect. This station is not staffed full-time, and if nobody seems to be in evidence simply pass through the gate and continue about 1.7 miles to a four-way intersection. The road degenerates markedly at this junction. Turn right (northeast) toward Pasture Wash, follow the road about 1.9 miles to the Forest Service boundary fence. Continue another half a mile to the park boundary fence and cattle guard. Please help keep cows out of the park by closing this gate after passing through. Keep driving north to the ruins of the old Pasture Wash Ranger Station. This outpost has not been staffed for many years and no assistance is available. Maintain the northerly heading for 3.6 rutted, rocky miles to rim. Be forewarned: The road north of the four-way intersection can be rendered impassible by deep mud during periods of heavy rain or snowmelt.

    Note: Havasupai Reservation is a sovereign nation, cross at your own risk.

    From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 253 mi - about 4 hours 34 mins
    From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 358 mi - about 6 hours 4 mins
    From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 106 mi - about 2 hours 24 mins

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