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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.

Nankoweap Saddle Overlook, AZ

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Guide 13 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Northwest > North Rim
Rated
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3.9 of 5 by 7
 
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Difficulty 3 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 7 miles
Trailhead Elevation 6,462 feet
Elevation Gain 1,200 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,850 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 4 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 16.25
Backpack Possible & Connecting
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
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37  2018-04-28
Nankoweap Trail
friendofThunderg
13  2018-04-15
Saddle Mountain 8424
friendofThunderg
65  2016-04-09
Grand Canyon River Running
AZBeaver
19  2015-07-27
Saddle Mtn Wilderness Hike
Oregon_Hiker
45  2013-09-21
Nankoweap Trail
chumley
25  2013-09-21
Nankoweap Trail
BobP
29  2013-09-21
Nankoweap Trail
John9L
32  2013-09-21
Nankoweap Trail
squatpuke
Page 1,  2
Author hippiepunkpirate
author avatar Guides 25
Routes 36
Photos 2,877
Trips 657 map ( 2,276 miles )
Age 33 Male Gender
Location Peoria, AZ
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Preferred   Jun, Aug, Sep, Jul
Seasons   Early Spring to Late Autumn
Sun  6:08am - 6:38pm
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Saddle below the Saddle
by hippiepunkpirate

Likely In-Season!
Overview: The Nankoweap #57 is most commonly used to access the Nankoweap Trail proper, which in turn descends harrowingly to the Colorado River. Principally used for backpacking, this description instead utilizes the #57 trail as a dayhike from the Saddle Mountain TH to the saddle overlook at the beginning of the Nankoweap Trail proper.


Hike: From the Saddle Mountain TH, head south up the wide trail past the sign that notifies your entry into the Saddle Mountain Wilderness. For the first three quarters of a mile, you will walk steadily uphill. Springtime may afford a nice display of wildflowers along this first section. At some point you will see a sign that says "Saddle Mountain Trail" (which is #31), and that is fine, you are going the right way. At the crest of the hill, the trail will drop abruptly into a 350 foot deep canyon. Views open up so you can Saddle Mountain itself looming above, and the saddle overlook just to its right (which is the destination of this hike).

At the time of this writing, the section of trail dropping into the canyon was not in great shape. A couple sections were washed out or had dead trees falling into the path. Your pace might be slowed a bit, but everything should be manageable and the trail still easy to follow. At the bottom of the canyon, the trail crosses a wash and riparian vegetation is encountered. About 25 paces after the wash, #31 and #57 split. At the time of this writing, a sign was hanging on a nearby tree, but was not very easy to see. Look for the split in the trail, which is obvious if you aren't spacing out, and turn right.

You are solely on #57 now. It crosses the wash numerous times at this point. I'm not certain how often the creek runs, but it should be dry most times of the year. My May 2010 hike featured small puddles here and there in the wash, so assume it was flowing sometime during the spring snow melt.

Eventually the trail begins climbing up hill. The effects of a wildfire are noticeable in this area. Through the trees you can see the tilted sedimentary strata on Saddle Mountain to your left. The hill you are climbing is tilted Esplanade Sandstone, turned up at an angle by the East Kaibab Monocline. The hill does not get incredibly steep, but is a steady and relentless climb to the saddle. Just before the saddle is the junction for the Nankoweap Trail. Continue straight.

A big view of the Grand Canyon opens up before you. At about 7,600 feet, you stand higher than the South Rim. Palisades of the Desert is visible far across the canyon. Much of the Grand Canyon Super Group strata are visible. Solitude is likely, and not having a crowd is a guarantee. The motivated hiker might try making it 3 miles further up #57 to the other trailhead on the North Rim, but the view from the saddle seems good enough reward for me.

Personally, I enjoyed this hike as a North Rim type experience before the North Rim opened for the summer on May 15th. If you are camping in the House Rock Valley area, this is a great option. If you are in the area when the North Rim is open, that is likely a more rewarding option than this particular hike, but this is likewise a good hike. The destination is better than the journey for this one.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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

2010-05-24 hippiepunkpirate
    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
    Nankoweap Saddle Overlook
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    @friendofThundergod wrote such a great trip log for this trek, so I don't have much to add. I had been to the Nankoweap area on a rafting trip four years ago (almost to the date) so I had seen the granaries and a little bit of the area - but nothing like what we saw this weekend. The view of the Colorado from the granaries really can't be matched and, not to sound like a brown-noser, but seeing the granaries was definitely a little more special after the past few months of learning more and more about ancient AZ civilizations from Mr. Wilderness.

    Sunday was a big off-trail day, which was at times challenging but overall really fun. I'm getting much better at off-trail travel, though I'm not quite at mountain goat status like @friendofThundergod. It was nice to bag Nankoweap Butte, my 4th canyon summit. To be honest, it wasn't the most stunning view from the top but the geology was interesting (basically looked like we had landed on Mars) and I enjoyed the calf burning climb at the very end.

    To sum up: another awesome trip in the big ditch. I love exploring new parts of the Grand Canyon, from its quaint creeks to epic peaks. I'm pretty bummed that we most likely won't be making any overnight trips in the canyon until the fall, but we were already brainstorming about some middle-of-the-night treks to beat the heat this summer. Just can't stay away from that place!
    Nankoweap Saddle Overlook
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    I have been wanting to do this one for a long time and it did not disappoint! Not only did it exceed my expectations, but it proved to be a perfect backpack to signal an end to the Grand Canyon backpacking season as well as a great way to honor my father’s birthday with something a little more special, which has been a tradition of mine for several years now.

    The rough itinerary for this one included two days at Nankoweap Creek, the Granaries, a semi ambitious off trail loop incorporating Kwagunt Creek and a summit of Nankoweap Butte. We arrived late to the trailhead on Friday night, so we were not able to drag ourselves away from the air mattresses as early as we wanted and started around 7 a.m.

    The hike down to Nankoweap Creek was the best of times and the worst of times. We both noted being a little fatigued and groggy for the 3 ish mile section to the saddle and point where you drop off the rim. From there, we both agreed the trail was not nearly as aggressive as we had thought it might be, but nevertheless we were both very happy the never ending traverse through the Supai was over. Then it was the steep hot descent to the creek. I am sure it could not have been more than 80 degrees, but that descent felt warm. In fact, it hit C.J. pretty hard at times and she experienced a little lightheadedness on the way down, which reaffirmed my decision that this was most likely our last major hike into the Canyon until fall. As one would expect, it was a great sense of relief for us when we finally hit Nankoweap Creek. However, instead of setting up camp, we took an extended break and decided to head for the much cooler water of the Colorado River, as neither one of us were much for the thought of sitting around at camp for six hours, while waiting for the sun to go down.

    The hike down Nankoweap Creek was excellent and although fatigued, we both appreciated the pleasant creek and canyon. There are definitely more scenic creeks in the Grand Canyon, but Nankoweap certainly holds it own in my opinion. Once at the Colorado, it was a quick trip up to the granaries and then a dash to the river for cold water to filter and a quick dip. We found a decent little campsite near the beaches, but away from the blowing sand, made camp, ate dinner and got to bed pretty early. Speaking of dinner, there is nothing you can do this time of year in the Canyon to prevent a Reese from melting.

    Day two was the big day for us. The plan was to hike along the Colorado River to Kwagunt Creek, where we would then hike up stream to the general area of the beginning of Butte Fault Route, which we would then take up to Nankoweap Butte and down the other side to Nankoweap Creek and back down stream to the Colorado and our campsite. The Colorado River portion of the hike was simply stunning, cool temperatures and some great morning light. Likewise, the route resembles a well defined trail more than an off trail canyon route, so the pace was relatively quick and the hiking pretty easy. This section of the Colorado may be one of my new favorite sections of river in the park. Kwagunt Creek was a gem in its own right, with tons of quaint cascades, fun geology and generally easy travel. But soon it was time for the climb to Nankoweap Butte and the toughest part of our day. I ended up opting for a route straight up the most predominant ridgeline in the area vs the drainage I had originally drawn a route to the summit from. I think the ridgeline we took may have been the actual geological feature described as the Fault Butte, but I am honestly not sure and need to do some additional research to find out. Either way, it was a very cool geological journey along that ridgeline to the saddle below Nankoweap Butte. Although, I am not sure if the ridgeline is the traditional Butte Fault Route. Despite seeming very close, the final climb tested us a little and gave our calves a wake up call. The summit was terrific and although probably not on par with some of the other ones I have done. However, I still found it rewarding and worth the effort. From the summit, it was the moon dust shuffle down to Nankoweap Creek, where we ran into some guys backpacking the Hayduke Tail, we chatted for a moment and then continued on our way back to camp. Once back at camp, we hopped in the Colorado to cool off and filter some water. Then it was breaking camp and heading back up Nankoweap Creek to the nice campsite we had taken a break at on the way in.

    It was extremely windy all night, which prompted a tent relocation due to an arguably irrational fear that a suspect cottonwood in the area might come down on us. The wind made it tough to sleep, which made our early morning start on Monday a little tougher, but alas this is the backpacking life.

    We left camp at six on the dot and although it was a slog at times and our muscles ached a little, we were back at the trailhead by noon.

    Final Notes

    This was a very satisfying little backpack. I remember reading triplogs about the granaries with a lot of envy years ago on HAZ, but at the time it was probably a little out of my league, but it remained in the back of my mind for a long time and I am glad I was able to finally knock it out, along with some additional off trail travel and a new summit, without using someone else's downloaded route. Speaking of route, one of the goals of this trip was to get a little taste of the Butte Fault Route for a perhaps a big trek towards Phantom Ranch from Nankoweap one day. I would by no means say I have it nailed down now, but I do believe I spotted the route to Melgosa Pass, which would be the next step in progressing along the rugged off trail route, so its a start. Also the route numbers are estimated, but I feel most likely pretty accurate. Its tough to get decent GPS routes in those canyons and there was too much spaghetti to clean up for my patience and I still kind of suck at route manager, so no posted route. However, I think I may be able to clean up the day two loop we did and will probably post that and attach it to this triplog one day. Finally, April 30 is always a special date and weekend for me and it’s been important for me to do something a little more special to honor my dad and this little trek certainly satisfied that. I really would give up every ounce of success and personal belonging I own for just five more minutes with the guy.


    Nankoweap Saddle Overlook
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    I don't have much to add to @friendofThundergod's trip log, except that I am getting better at off-trail bushwhacking and I wasn't miserable and barely complained on that section. :) I enjoyed the views on the way in, especially from the saddle where we left the Nankoweap Trail, and was happy to bag another canyon summit.
    Nankoweap Saddle Overlook
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    After South Canyon, it was a great night of car camping on the Kaibab Plateau and then Nankoweap Trail and a summit of Saddle Mountain on Sunday.

    We both enjoyed the short but sweet section of Nankoweap Trail. We found it to be scenic and a unique way to reach the Grand Canyon from our prior experiences and were pleased with a pretty modest glyph find along the way. Once at the saddle, we began the off trail portion to the summit of Saddle Mountain. We took what most off trail hikers with any route finding sense would consider a pretty obvious route to a pretty obvious little break on Saddle Mountain's western slope. There was a little bushwhacking along the way and it was pretty steep, however, overall we both agreed it was not that bad and it looked far worse from a distance. Once on top, we were greeted to some amazing views into the canyon and some dramatic drops. The snow capped peaks were visible in the distance and Tilted Mesa was easily identifiable, along with a few other landmarks that we will be getting a much closer look at when we backpack to the Colorado River from Nankoweap Trail in a couple of weeks. The route to the summit went smoothly and was pretty nice by most off trail standards. The summit had a very large cairn marking it and a pretty busy log in for a peak that did not have that well worn of a use trail going to it. We found a nice spot for lunch overlooking Marble Canyon and the Vermillion Cliffs in the distance and then headed back the way we came.

    Final Notes

    Route Scout was having a bad weekend and straight lined a portion of our trail, so I estimated the minor SNAFU, however, the route to and from the summit are the actual tracks and would be a good reference for anyone completing a summit from Nankoweap Saddle. This was my tenth Grand Canyon high point and although it did not have the same feel as some of the others, it feels nice to finally get in the double digits!
    Nankoweap Saddle Overlook
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    This was fun!!
    From the Saddle mtn wilderness Trailhead down to the Supai ledge Nankoweap Trailhead, a few hundred ft along Nanko trail the contour north then up up up this sweet locust and oak filled slope through the Coconino

    2 false summits with saddles in between, no wonder they call this saddle mountain!

    We had two friends in tow who opted out of the summit at Nanko th so Jamie and I charged up to the summit together.

    Brrrrr wiiiindy but oholy beans gorgeous views!

    House rock valley, mount Hayden, pt Imperial, Comanche, LCR, Desertview...yeah, this was worth it!

    Found the geo marker and one triangulation marker but it's very brushy up top so failed to find any others. Oh well.

    Hoping to head back to finish off Woolsey Butte next weekend!

    Also...fyi...4G on the summit, this is a real time posting. Damn technology ;)

    I like to see where I get signal, it's a fun game.haha
    Nankoweap Saddle Overlook
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    This is my third Colorado River rafting trip through the Grand Canyon. Wade and I did the same trip two years ago in 2014--a 12-day hiking-intensive rafting trip with Hatch River Expeditions. I love this trip! Wade gave this to me for my 62nd birthday. This time; however, I went alone. Wade did not want to go as he's "Been there, Done that!" I was quite worried about the weather as it was supposed to rain the majority of the time based on weather reports at Phantom Ranch. God was looking out for us as the weather was perfect! We traveled from Lee's Ferry all the way to Whitmore Wash, 188 miles down the Colorado River taking in both the Upper and Lower Canyon. These motor rigs are 35' in length and 16' wide powered by a 30-horsepower, four-stroke motor. They have two tubes on the sides with you can ride in rapids if you want a great thrill! There were only 9 passengers and three crew on the upper canyon trip. Four hiked out at the Bright Angel Trail near Phantom Ranch leaving only 5 of us to go the full 12 days. 24 people hiked down from the South Rim to meet the boats at Pipe Creek for the next 6 days. If you've never done this trip, I highly recommend saving your $$ for this trip of a life time. It's not cheap, but worth every penny if you are adventurous, love to hike fairly difficult hikes and don't mind camping on the beach every night. You'll get to HATE SAND! But, heck, it's only sand. I will write more about his trip when I edit this triplog later. Some of the hikes that I can't find links to on HAZ include Saddle Canyon, the confluence of the Little Colorado River, Miner's Camp (North Bass Trail.) I'm doing my best to keep my "being" below the rim. I'm just not ready for real life yet, but it is nice to have a hot shower!
    Nankoweap Saddle Overlook
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    The Nankoweap Trail has been a personal "nemesis" for several years. I think it's always been because of the hype surrounding the "scary part" and the overall level of difficulty that everyone seems to agree upon. Just about any material you read on this trail warns of imminent gloom and doom; even the name sounds a bit intimidating.

    My first experience with Nank happened many years ago when the Fam was car camping at Marble Viewpoint (highly recommend). I drove out to the top of the North area (FR610) of the Saddle Mountain Trail. My goal that day was to hike to the "scary part" of Nankoweap and check it out for myself. I was solo and low on water when I basically got lost at the freakin' saddle and disappointingly never even found the Nank trailhead.

    For the next several years, I continued to read more mystical stories (AZ Highways has a good one) and crazy triplogs about Nank and my anticipation for doing this hike increased each year.

    Then last year Paul(PLC92084) had planned a very adventurous 5+ day adventure basically covering the entire region. My backpacking and hiking skills had exponentially increased and I felt very ready. However, family matters forced me to turn around and run home. Before leaving, I did get the lower (west) portion of the Saddle Mountain trail under my belt and easily found the actually Nank trailhead with Paul.

    I now knew that a Nank-River journey would be my primary Canyon mission/focus and I was very determined to get this one under my belt. After coordinating times with John(9L) and Todd (Chums) I put in for a permit with the 3 month lottery (even coming to work to fax my app at 12:01am) and fortunately, won my first ever draw. Things were beginning to look good.


    We knew Kyle(Tough_Boots) was solid. I left the filling of the last two permit spots to Chumley, figuring any impending deaths would be on his hands. I had hiked previously with the legendary BobP and was very pleased when I knew he was on-board (mainly because he brings sugar cookies). I believe it was Bob who subsequently invited Karl(BiFrost). [Karl decided to make his Nank experience a tad more difficult with an extra 2 miles and 1000 feet of gain on day one...(sorry again about the window Karl, I hate that it was my side that was accidentally left open)]. In my defense, I did carry our gallon of water up to the saddle for us to cache at the overlook). :)

    Enough rambling, this trip was FREAKIN' awesome and a fantastic success. No injuries, and great weather and the Nankoweap Trail is just an awesome challenge!! There are a few sketchy parts where death is just an untied bootlace away, but nothing too serious. The steep down-climb on Tilted Mesa reminded me of the decent down South Canyon. I would argue this trail is tougher than Boucher (and New Hance) simply because of the persistent length of difficulty. The Nankoweap is just SO UNRELENTING and MENTALLY TAXING - I don't remember one section of the trail where you could really let go and relax your footing.

    The graineries were very special and I thoroughly enjoyed the views. Very majestic!! My only beef is that my disloyal companions (the other 5 squids) TOTALLY dogged me for raft brewskis (and crappy PBR's at that) leaving me at the graineries all by my lonesome. (While there, I thought I heard the spirit of Paul Newman speak, but could not verify).

    That evening, I did have a few issues...I had stupidly let a hot-spot on my 4th toe turn into a HUGE, painful blister. Secondly, the waist buckle on my pack broke. All of this (and the severity of the climb out) lead up to a rather anxious evening before we exited. Fortunately, the next AM, the hiking gods smiled upon me - - I effectively taped up the blister and the buckle actually held for most of the climb out. Like I suspected, climbing up Tilted Mesa sucked :pk: but once I reached that point, I knew I would see my kids again.

    As always, backpacking with with my fellow HAZer friends proves to be MOST enjoyable and entertaining.
    Nankoweap Saddle Overlook
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Our Nankoweap trip started on Saturday morning. The six of us drove up the day before and car camped at the trailhead. The road in is a little rough especially the last few miles. Anyways we all staggered off at separate times and made the hike up to the Saddle Mountain overlook. This part of the hike is 3 miles and you gain a solid 1,500 feet. Along the way we passed at least six backpackers on their way out. We didn’t see any other backpackers until our exit two days later.

    From the saddle you drop down through the Esplanade and start the long traverse through the Supai. The going is relatively easy with minimal gain and descent. We passed Marion Point and dropped some water. We continued and started the descent toward Tilted Mesa. The views are just spectacular! The descent from Tilted Mesa really gets the heart rate up. It’s steep and loose. I kept thinking no way there is a trail down this. There was and I was careful every step of the way. Eventually things level off and we made the final push to Nankoweap Creek.

    Once at the creek we selected a campsite that was nestled in some Cottonwood Trees. This will be our home for the next two days. After getting set up I was hit with exhaustion and took a very enjoyable nap. Evening set in and we had some fun conversation and then turned in for the night. It was a warm evening and I don’t think anyone slept inside their sleeping bag. I was comfy in my Bivy.

    On day two we all made the three mile hike to the river. The going is very easy and very scenic. Nankoweap Creek is beautiful! After an hour we reached the river delta and we all split up as we explored the general area which is huge! Eventually we saw the first set of rafters and made our way to their landing point. We successfully begged for beers and hung out with them for a few. Afterward a group of five of us, excluding Larry, made the hike up to the granaries. I was surprised at how high up they are. The granaries are spectacular! We took lots of pics and enjoyed a long break there. I could spend hours enjoying the views and the camaraderie. During our break another group of rafters landed and a third passed down the mighty Colorado. After successfully begging for more beers we returned to camp and settled in for the evening. The temps were cool and pleasant on day two.

    We woke very early on day three and wanted to get a jump on the sun. I was the last to leave camp and carried five liters of water with me. I wasn’t taking any chances on the dry hike out. I would only drink 3+ liters. The hike up Tilted Mesa had me a little on edge after our descent down two days earlier. I felt great and cruised up. It was much easier and I felt way more comfortable on the ascent. We regrouped on the saddle and then Chumley and I started the traverse out the Supai. The going was fairly easy but there are a few spots that are a little unnerving. There are no “OH MY GOSH” obstacles along this hike. However cumulative they all add up to make for an anxiety filled day. We debated on if Nankoweap is more difficult than Boucher. I personally think it is however the others had a different opinion. We’ll need to continue the debate another time.

    We reached the saddle and then Chumley and I made the final descent back to the vehicles at the trailhead. We had some celebratory beers as the others stumbled in. From there we returned to Flag for NiMarco’s and then back to Phoenix. This was such a memorable trip! I will definitely hike it again and could not recommend it enough!
    Nankoweap Saddle Overlook
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Wow. Sweet trip! I hurt a little bit! :)

    Hike Info: The first 3 miles up FS Nankoweap Trail 57 to the NPS boundary is a killer grind. With a full pack, carrying water, etc. it'll get to you!
    The rest of the hike is long but not terrible. The previously reported "scary spot" has been improved and is not particularly scary. Not to say that just anybody should be out here. Plenty of people would not be comfortable on any of this trail. It is exposed, angled, and there's lots of scree. It is definitely not for the inexperienced canyon hiker.

    I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of shade. Don't get me wrong. It is a south and west facing hike almost the entire way. But I was happy that there are some occasional junipers and little overhangs or drainages that provide a brief respite from the blazing sun. But there are not many.

    The traverse seems to go on forever, and when the trail finally drops off Tilted Mesa, the footing becomes spectacularly loose. I was happy to have trekking poles to help with stability (a heavy pack on your back certainly doesn't help), but still managed to fall twice.

    Once at the creek, we found a suitable camp site in some cottonwoods just across the creek and slightly downstream of where the trail enters. There is a good flat area for camping several hundred yards upstream as well, but there is very little shade there. A bit over a mile upstream there is another good camping area, this one shaded and flat, but unless your route is taking you upstream, I wouldn't consider going that far to camp.

    The hike downstream to the river was pleasant and relatively easy. Once near the river, stick to the use paths and head south to the beaches and the Granaries trail. Following the creek into the delta to the river will get you tangled in a mess of tamarisk and other scrub brush.

    On the hike out, we left at sunrise, and in the 2+ hours it took to reach Tilted Mesa we were pleasantly surprised that about half the hike was shaded. This will be less true later into the fall as the sun rises farther south than in late September. Once on the traverse, the only shade was found in the occasional drainage, overhang, or small treel.

    Don't underestimate the last 3-miles once you reach the saddle. It lasts forever, and the 400-foot climb about a mile from the car is the last thing you want to deal with after 5-6 hours of hiking already!

    Fun Stuff:
    Great group of people. Good to meet Karl for the first time. I think BobP was there, but he likes to hike when normal people are asleep, so I'm not really sure. I think he did about 40 miles the rest of us skipped. It was a very safe trip, with some taking safety more seriously than others, for which I was supremely thankful. Not sure why rafters carry PBR on the river, and I might have complained, but that's not like me, so I just shut up and enjoyed a Modela instead. Also had a pretty G'Knight. Or 4. Slept great! :)

    First night was warm for sleeping, but a cold front pushed through with crazy winds late Saturday night and Sunday. Got sand blasted on the beach by the river a little bit. Went for a swim in 47-degree cold Colorado river. Very refreshing. :o Sunday night was much cooler and very pleasant for sleeping. The Mountain House dinners were good I suppose. I was disappointed nobody brought bacon, but somehow survived anyway.

    Of course this all ended at NiMarcos where everybody (not just 9L) consumed more calories than we could have possibly burned hiking out earlier in the day. Pizza and wings make for a pretty good post-hike snack.

    Fun trip. Thanks for getting the permit Larry!
    Nankoweap Saddle Overlook
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    I drove 3 hours from Flagstaff and met San Diego Paul (PLC92084) at junction of 89a and 8910/445 with the intention of 5 nights in Nank/Kwagunt area...alas, I was the final member (of 6) to bail on Paul; I had a domestic problem back at home that same night.

    The next morning, Paul was bummed at my news and diligently tried to persuade me onward. After some thinking, it appeared he had the intention of attempting solo (or at least taggin' behind some young'ins we met that next morning.) I offered to day-hike up Saddle Mountain to the Nank trailhead/overlook and carry a gallon/cache for Paul. However, after we arrived at the saddle, he decided the hiking gods were simply NOT smiling on him this weekend; he sadly bailed as well.

    To add insult to injury, poor bro got a flat tire on the way out on 8910. At least I was there to provide some needed car support. I feel so bad for Paul - he did a Class ONE job of planning and coordinating this trip. I hope I'm not on his "naughty list". I was very happy when he started to inquiry of me, some future trip opportunities next year.

    This hike is pretty sweet, but a brutal start to the already TOUGH Nankoweap hike. The hard thing about this hike, in either direction, is that you drop down into Saddle Creek, then have to climb back UP to the Saddle or parking lot...

    The views from the saddle are awesome and very rewarding. They show the entire Nankoweap/Kwagunt regions...

    I had done the other leg (from FR610) a few years ago when the family and I camped at Marble Viewpoint (highly recommend this trial in either direction).

    Permit $$
    None


    Directions
    Map Drive
    or
    Road
    FR / Jeep Road - Car possible when dry

    To hike
    From Page drive south on Highway 89 to the junction with 89A, turn right toward Jacob Lake/North Rim GC. Between mile posts 559 & 560, turn left onto House Rock Buffalo Ranch Road (FR 8910). 8910 makes a loop at the south end of House Rock Valley, the Saddle Mountain trailhead is on the very southern end of the loop.
    page created by hippiepunkpirate on May 24 2010 1:10 pm
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