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Old Grandview Trail, AZ

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Guide 13 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Northwest > South Rim
4.2 of 5 by 6
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Difficulty 3 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance Round Trip 1.56 miles
Trailhead Elevation 3,769 feet
Elevation Gain -1,250 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,288 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2-3 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 8
Interest Historic
Backpack Yes
Dogs not allowed
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
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10  2019-04-25 rsamartino
29  2019-03-16
Vishnu Temple
34  2019-03-16
Vishnu Temple
33  2017-09-28
Tonto Trail: Grandview Trail to South Kaibab
14  2016-03-25
Grandview and Old Grandview
30  2015-11-27 John9L
14  2015-11-27 clairebear
27  2014-10-12
Vishnu Creek
Page 1,  2
Author toddak
author avatar Guides 7
Routes 5
Photos 1,053
Trips 391 map ( 6,151 miles )
Age 54 Male Gender
Location Puhoynix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Mar, Nov, Apr, Oct → Any
Seasons   Spring to Autumn
Sun  6:12am - 6:32pm
Official Route
1 Alternative
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
if you're bored on the Tonto
by toddak

A few months ago while backpacking along the Tonto between Grapevine and Cottonwood Creeks, HAZ member chumley noticed a large cairn and what looked like a route down to the river, but he didn't have the time to follow it. A little research indicated that it was probably a section of the Old Grandview trail. Intrigued I had to check it out, and what looks improbable from the Tonto is indeed a short, fun and surprisingly easy-to-follow route to the river. It's a bit rough, but most of it is obvious and well-cairned.

From the big cairn on the Tonto, the route switchbacks down through the Tapeats and then trends east towards a small ridge. Cross over and continue down, with good views looking upriver. Be looking up and left for a short climb up a steep slope to a small notch. Drop into the steep chute on the other side, again watching up and left for another short climb up to a ridge. Drop down the other side of the ridge and continue down a large gully with good views looking downriver and a more or less straight shot to the river.

Once at the river there's a small sandbar and some cool river-polished boulders, but nowhere to camp. You can't wander very far upstream or downstream due to rocky cliffs at the water's edge, but it's still a cool place to hang out and watch the river flow by. When ready, return the way you came.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2013-01-06 toddak
  • Grand Canyon Use Area Boundaries - Dynamic Map
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
Old Grandview Trail
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Grandview and Old Grandview
This was my first time on the Grandview trail. I did not have route scout going (this was my pre-route scout life), so I'm not quite sure of the total mileage for this trip.

Friday: Arrived at Grandview Point at last light on Friday evening. Hiked to Cottonwood Creek in the dark and noticed many places where my high beam shown off the side of the path in to total darkness. Don't fall! ;)
The hike down only took three hours.

Saturday: Day hike from Cottonwood Creek down to the Tonto trail. We headed West and hit the Old Grandview Trail. My buddy Ben packed his large-format film camera and gear down there... :wlift:
He's a professional so it must have been worth it ;) We at lunch on the banks of the Mighty Colorado.

Unfortunately for Ben, he started to feel super sick on the hike back up from the River, but somehow managed to get his heavy camera bag and himself off the Old Grandview without any of us sharing his gear.
When we arrived back at the junction of Cottonwood Creek and the Tonto Trail, the rest of our crew headed back to our campsite where we had left our gear that morning. I hit up the Cottonwood Creek narrows. It's nice down there.

Sunday: Got an early start and explored all the cool stuff on Horseshoe Mesa, then took our time back up the Grandview. Stopped for Diablo Burgers in Flag because that's a necessity.
Old Grandview Trail
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We decided to head back to the Grand Canyon for Thanksgiving weekend and got lucky with some Cottonwood Creek permits off the Grandview Trail. We spent three days below the rim and had a sweet hike down the Old Grandview Trail.

We left Phoenix on Friday morning and drove up to the Grand Canyon and started hiking around 11:30am. We made quick time down the Grandview Trail and descended the west side to Cottonwood Creek. We selected a campsite and then spent some time day hiking around the area. We knew it would get dark early so we returned to camp where we ate dinner and hydrated. It was dark by 6pm and got cold soon after. We spent the evening in the tent in our sleeping bags. I have a new zero degree bag and was very comfy throughout the cold night.

Day two started slow for us. We took our time and had breakfast and coffee. We left camp after 10am and headed west on the Tonto for the Old Grandview Trail. The hike was only a few miles and we easily found the large cairn signaling the start. From there we made the descent and were happy to see an established route. As we descended through the Tapeats Break we noticed three guys below us making their way down the route too. We continued on.

The Old Grandview Route has the feel of a roller coaster. It's steep and then levels off and then steep again through a chute followed by a long steep and loose descent through a rockfall ending at the river. The route was a joy and easy to follow. We both took extra special care not to knock any rocks loose because of the group below us. We took our time and eventually reached the beach. The three guys were from Flagstaff and we chatted for a bit. We mostly admired this special place along the river. The views were breathtaking even though you can't see far. We didn't mind.

After our break Claire and I made the climb out. Again we took our time and were very careful with our footing. The going was slow but steady. Both of us made it up no problem. This route was such a joy and I'm glad we spent the time to see it through. Afterward we headed about a mile west to a lookout where we took some pics above the river. From there we returned to camp and settled in for the night.

We woke on day three and broke down camp and filtered more water. From there we made the hike back to the rim. We took a break on Horseshoe Mesa and a few more short breaks along the hike up. The top of the trail was snowy with some ice but was not an issue. We topped out and then made the return to Phoenix with a stop at NiMarco's for some Golden BBQ Wings!

This was another memorable trip to the Grand Canyon. The Old Grandview Route is a lot of fun and is definitely worth checking out. It's quite the ride!
Old Grandview Trail
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Still a usable trickle at the Tonto crossing, probably won't last long. Not much water in the canyon below the Tonto, although earlier in the season and/or after a wetter winter it would likely be flowing more.

The second bypass in particular is long and gnarly, climbing way up above the canyon floor while crossing multiple ridges and loose slopes. The third bypass down to the river is also steep and loose. Fortunately I brought my packraft along and floated down about a half mile to exit on the Old Grandview trail instead of having to return up Cottonwood and reverse the bypasses.

Overall a similar canyon to nearby Hance and Grapevine, but a bit harder to negotiate and somewhat less scenic.
Old Grandview Trail
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Thanks to Chumley for the inspiration on this one! Old Grandview would make a nice side trip if hiking the Tonto, or maybe a day trip from Cottonwood campground.

Snow on the upper Grandview was still nicely compacted but not icy yet. Returned around the north side of Horseshoe and up between the arms of the mesa.

Map Drive
Paved - Car Okay

To Grandview Trailhead
From Flagstaff head west on I-40 for 30.4 mi to SR-64. Turn right/north and follow SR-64 55 miles to the park. You will receive a map & information at the GC park entrance. From Grand Canyon Village drive about 9.8 miles east on the rim road to Grandview Point. Please use the upper parking lot for overnight parking.

From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 242 mi - about 3 hours 50 mins
From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 347 mi - about 5 hours 20 mins
From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 95.0 mi - about 1 hour 41 mins
page created by toddak on Jan 06 2013 7:46 pm
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