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

Grand Canyon River Hikes, AZ

226 8 1
Guide 8 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Northwest > Jacob Lake N
5 of 5 by 3
Canyons are inherently risky. Flash floods occur without notice on sunny days. Technical skills & surrounding topography knowledge required yet does not eliminate risk.
HAZ reminds you to respect the ruins. Please read the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 & Ruins Etiquette
clicktap icons for details
Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Shuttle 11 miles
Trailhead Elevation 3,099 feet
Elevation Gain 2,800 feet
Avg Time Hiking 5 Days
Kokopelli Seeds 20.33
Interest Off Trail Hiking, Ruins, Historic, Seasonal Waterfall, Perennial Waterfall, Seasonal Creek & Perennial Creek
Dogs not allowed
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
9  2011-07-30
Hermit Creek (fm CO River to Tonto Tr)
24  2009-10-01 hulagu79
33  2009-06-25 margotr
9  2009-06-05 t282828
13  2009-05-26 Al_HikesAZ
10  2009-05-24 Al_HikesAZ
19  2009-05-23 Al_HikesAZ
12  2009-05-22 Al_HikesAZ
Page 1,  2
Author JimmyLyding
author avatar Guides 109
Routes 335
Photos 4,221
Trips 568 map ( 3,575 miles )
Age 45 Male Gender
Location Walnut Creek, CA
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Expand Map
Preferred   Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep → Early
Seasons   Spring to Autumn
Sun  6:14am - 6:24pm
0 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Geology Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Rafting Arizona
by JimmyLyding

Likely In-Season!
This is a compilation of hikes completed during a rafting trip down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. We did the trip with Colorado River And Trails Expeditions (CRATE). We started at Lee's Ferry on Friday July 13, 2007. Our first night's camp was just downriver from Nautiloid Canyon (just before Mile 35). Our first hike was on the second day, and was a short hike from the campsite to Nautiloid Canyon. The total mileage for this hike was less than a mile. We had to do some mild bouldering to get into the canyon. The highlight was probably seeing nautiloid fossils.

Later on the second day we got to Nankoweap Canyon (just past Mile 52) where we hiked to the granaries which were used by ancient Native Americans to store grain. The hike left the river through a thick bosque of mesquite trees and reeds. Shortly after leaving the river the trail begins a steep ascent. The 1 mile or so hike from the river up to the granaries is about as steep as they come. However, the payoff is incredible. Not only are there ancient granaries, but the view downriver is superb.

Later on the second day we hiked less than a mile up the Little Colorado River to enjoy floating in that tributary. Unfortunately I didn't get any pictures, but a stop at the Little Colorado River is highly recommended for anyone rafting down the river.

We camped the second night at the mouth of Lava Canyon (just past Mile 65). We shuttled back upriver on the third morning to Carbon Creek Canyon. We hiked up Carbon Creek Canyon where we got to experience some mild bouldering on the way up to a great view of the North Rim. The views of the Grand Canyon's amazing geology was on full display. This hike is commonly called the Lava-Chuar loop as it makes a circumference of Chuar Lava Hill. Hike totalled about 4 miles. It was slightly strenuous on the way up Carbon Creek Canyon, and an easy downhill hike down Lava Canyon back to our campsite.

On the third day we also hiked up to Phantom Ranch in Bright Angel Canyon. While not much of a hike, it allowed us to see one of the more historic areas of the Grand Canyon. Saw a lot of tenderfeet hanging in the Bright Angel Lodge drinking ice-cold drinks as-opposed-to lukewarm Old Styles.

On the fourth day we did a hike commonly called the Monument-Hermit loop. We hiked from the river up Monument Creek Canyon up to a high point separating that drainage from Hermit Creek Canyon. We then hiked down Hermit Creek Canyon to a small waterfall where we got to cool off. We then finished the hike by continuing down Hermit Creek Canyon to the river to enjoy going through Hermit Rapid, the first big rapid of the trip.

On the fifth day we hiked up Elves' Chasm. While not much of a hike in terms of how strenuous it is, it did involve some mild bouldering. Leaping into Elves' Chasm was one of the highlights of the trip.

The sixth day was the vaunted "Death March." We started out very early up Tapeats Creek from the river. We hiked up Tapeats Creek to its junction w/ Thunder River. We then hiked up to Thunder River on a fairly steep trail. Thunder River starts @ a monumental surge of water right out of the canyon wall. It's an absolutely beautiful spot. From there we hiked up a fairly steep trail into Surprise Valley. Surprise Valley has exactly one spot of shade from that point to all of the way into Deer Creek Canyon. Soon after hiking into Deer Creek Canyon we got to Dutton Spring, which also gushes straight out of the canyon wall on its way to join Deer Creek. At Deer Creek there is an area affectionally called the "Patio." It's a nice place to cool off after the Death March, and an even nicer spot to enjoy lunch. From the Patio it's a steep descent down to the river and Deer Creek Falls. All told, the Death March was about 11 miles in lots of heat and sun.

The seventh day marked our visit to Havasu Creek. Again, while not much of a hike we got to experience a lot of fun in the water. Lots of people from other tours were there. After that we did Lava Falls, and partied on the last night. The eighth, and last, day involved travelling via boat, helicopter, plane, and automobile. There aren't too many days when one can say they've done that.

Check out the Triplogs.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your canyon trip to support this local community.

2007-07-29 JimmyLyding
    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
    Grand Canyon River Hikes
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    The entire party, 21 of us plus the river guides, headed up the short but steep trail to the granaries. This is one of the iconic side trips on any Colorado raft trip. It was slow going for most of the group, but everyone made it with no falls. The view up and down the river is impressive. The granaries have been rebuilt some over time, but are a great glimpse into Anasazi history.
    Grand Canyon River Hikes
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Hermit Creek (fm CO River to Tonto Tr)
    Back in July I did this hike from the river, up to the swimming hole at the backpacker campground called Hermit Creek, then up to the historical site above the campground, and looped on the cutoff trail back down to the river. I was on a 17-day, 280-mile private river rafting trip. We had a layover day at Hermit, camping there two nights. This also allowed for passenger exchange via the Hermit Trail. 5 of our group hiked out, and 6 new ones hiked in.

    No one from my river running group opted to go on the hike with me, so they missed out on the swim. It's hard to find that swimming hole, since it is not on the trail. If you are coming up from the river you have to leave the trail and bushwhack up the creek once the trail starts up the left-hand cliff. Or, follow the trail, and then loop back down to the campground. The waterfall and swimming hole are just below the campground, right below one of the campsites, in fact. I had been there a few times before, but only as a backpacker, from the rim.

    It was a hot day in July, so I wore shorts, Tevas, a big hat, and a long-sleeved cotton dress shirt, which I kept completely wet by dipping myself in the creek during the hike. So, I never overheated at all. It was a beautiful day, but there were no backpackers in the campground at all. A few showed up at the river later on that evening, however.
    Grand Canyon River Hikes
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    I did a 9 day lower Grand Canyon raft trip with Arizona Raft Adventures AZRA. Put in at Pipe Creek Beach and take out at Diamond Creek. ... 146620156/

    05-20-09 -
    Lower Shinumo Creek to Waterfall (.25 mi RT)(Neal stopped Matt & me from going farther)
    Elves Chasm (.5 mi RT)(Neal stopped Matt & me from going farther)

    05-21-09 -
    Blacktail Canyon (the Great Unconformity) (.5 mi RT)(Neal stopped Matt & me from going farther)
    Stone Creek to waterfall (.5 mi RT)(Neal stopped Matt & me from going farther)
    Deer Creek through narrows past Patio into camping area. (4 mi RT) (Neal stopped Matt & me from going farther) Brad pointed out some backpackers. I talked with them. Met the legendary Rich Rudow. His group of 6 including Steve(?) Ramras (RAM) had dropped in the East side of Fishtail Canyon this time. 5 raps longest about 95'. They were going up above Deer Creek to a dry lake to camp then going out Cranberry.

    05-22-09 -
    Kanab Creek (143.5)to uninspiring side canyon to Whispering Falls (6 mi RT)

    05-23-09 -
    Agave Pit with Dirk (.5 RT) Matt bushwhacked somewhere.

    Havasu Creek (156.75) to view of Upper Beaver Falls (did not cross on to Rez) back to Beaver Falls to frolic. (6 mi RT)

    National Canyon (166.5) (1.5 RT) Shimmied up slot but route not clear. Neal told us to come back and pointed out where the route was and stopped Matt & me from going any farther) (hmmm . . . detecting a pattern here :sl: )
    Lava Scout (.5 RT) Neal did not have to pull Matt & me back, we were looking forward to Lava.

    Manhole, Sculpture Garden and Pumpkin Spring (212) (.5 shuttle)

    Put in at Pipe Creek, take out at Diamond Creek. Hybrid (paddle & Oar) with AZRA & the legendary Author/Historian Brad Dimock. Glad I had my NRS Work Boots. Did not need splash gear.

    I think I've figured out how to do a Bass Trail Rim-to-Rim which will be my fourth different Rim-to-Rim. I'll call the other three the Corridor, the Upper, the Lower and this will be the Bass. Still trying to figure out the Horsethief Trail Rim-to-Rim - need to figure out how to put the pieces together and get it permitted.

    Mileage is from Tom Martin's Book Day Hikes from the Colorado River (Third Edition) and memory.

    Permit $$

    Glen Canyon Recreation Area National Park
    Glen Canyon Entrance Fee - 1-7 Day Vehicle Pass - $25

    Boat fees additional, follow provided NPS link above.

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To canyon trip
    We took 89 from Flagstaff to the turnoff to Marble Canyon a few dozen miles before Page, AZ. The concessionaire for our trip was Colorado River And Trails Expedition (CRATE). The night before our trip began we stayed at Marble Canyon Lodge, and ate at Cliffdwellers' Restaurant. We got on the river on Friday July 13, 2007. We were helicoptered out from the heliport near Mile 187 to the Bar Ten Ranch on the North Rim. From there we took a plane back to Marble Canyon. An amazing adventure!
    help comment issue

    end of page marker