Kidnapped my buddy Taylor to go on this trip with me, he'd never camped at the river before.
I prefer hiking down Grandview and I remember New Hance was SUPER easy hiking down, knew this trip would be cake!!
We left at 7am due to our ride to Grandview sleeping in, oops.got to the TH round 730,
The hike down GV was cake, made it to Horseshoe Mesa in just over an hour. Stopped to visit the cookhouse and explore the mines then we cruised...more like slid, down the Page Spring trail and took a short break at Hance Creek.
It was already hotter than hades down there by 10am when we cruised the Tonto. We had a mile left to the river when I realized it was Noon on the Tonto in June... "Who does that!?"we said in unison at one point.
It was deadly hot but we had hats, tons of water, at least 3L each plus an extra nalgene (topped off a half liter or so at Hance creek) and we both wore moisture wicking long sleeved shirts. We were both down to half a liter of water by the time we reached Hance Rapids, which is, I think, perfect!
Reached the river well before one in the afternoon, we crushed that trail pretty nicely considering the heat! Spent about 12 hours at the river, we'd picked out a great camp spot about 25ft from the river and a little shallow backeddy, about 2ft deep, just enough to wallow in!
We'd planned to actually camp overnight but the Canyon had other plans!!
We settled in, under the stars, on top of s tarp and super lightweight blanket...then the wind picked up (as usual) and the roar of the rapids all but ceased! I went to add a nalgene to our water container corral in the back eddy, the water had dropped a good 9 inches...ugh. No cold water for our hike out...
Wind got stronger. A tree actually snapped in half, huge clouds of sand and leaves flew from every direction. We wrapped bandanas around our faces and hastily turned my tarp into a tent with rocks, shoelaces, paracord and trekking poles.
Then we squeezed in tight, back to back careful not to hit the rocks that held the trekking poles upright in the sand.
The wind lulled us to sleep alongside the muted groan that was Hance Rapids and 45 minutes later I awoke...
With a burning hot, icy cold, stinging, tingling, numb sensation on my left wrist...
You've gotta be kidding me was my first thought. I just got stung 3 times by a little bark scorpion. Really??!! Being awakened by a scorpion in your bed at 1am isn't the greatest wakeup call but whatevs .
We shook everything out, packed up, dunked my arm in the river then hiked out, leaving our riverside campsite around 2am.
New Hance is easy going up. The trail, for me, was pretty tame, obvious to follow in the dark. The longest most annoying part (or so it seemed, could've been lack of sleep) was above the Red wall, the Supai layer felt like it took hours!! (In reality we were moving up the trail for 3 1/2 hours) we stopped at the camp above the red wall and slept for a good 45min then continued on. We made it to the TH at sunrise. Perfect timing!
New Hance was an easy hike but I can imagine hiking out in the heat of the sun in June would not be pleasant!
We then thumbed a ride back to the village from the first car that we saw, score! The drive was a nurse and insisted I let her take us to the clinic for my scorpion stings haha
Despite all the random mishaps the trip was great, red canyon is stunning as always and I discovered I'd rather hike DOWN GV and UP NH from now on!
Haven't tried it? Do it! Its worth it.