if you're bored on the Tonto
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.
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.
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