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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.