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Plateau Point, AZ

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Guide 94 Triplogs  2 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Northwest > South Rim
4.3 of 5 by 35
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Difficulty 1 of 5
Distance One Way 1.6 miles
Trailhead Elevation 6,820 feet
Elevation Gain 165 feet
Avg Time One Way 1 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 2.15
Dogs not allowed
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30  2017-10-07
Rim to Rim
29  2017-05-26
BA Tonto Monument Hermit
15  2017-04-08
South Kaibab Trail
15  2016-12-22
Ribbon Falls
59  2016-12-10
South Kaibab Trail
3  2016-04-08
South Kaibab Trail
19  2015-07-17
Indian Garden / Plateau Point Backpack
12  2015-06-01 roaminghiker
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5,  6
Author evenstarx3
author avatar Guides 1
Routes 0
Photos 50
Trips 39 map ( 239 miles )
Age 82 Male Gender
Location Sun City West, AZ from CA
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Apr, May, Oct, Nov → 7 AM
Seasons   Early Autumn to Late Spring
Sun  6:16am - 6:26pm
Official Route
10 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Geology Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Boring Walk to Great View
by evenstarx3

For the good news, Plateau Point Trail is only 1.6 miles and relatively flat; For the bad news, you gotta hike 4.6 miles, one way, EC of 3,060 feet to get to the trailhead; more good news...that 4.6 mile hike is the Bright Angel from where you can see Plateau Point trail as you descend.

From Indian Garden the Bright Angel continues to the right following Bright Angel Creek to the river while the Plateau Point trail goes to the left crossing Bright Angel Creek. After a few switchbacks you're on the plateau itself (Don't have any idea what the name of the Plateau is) with pretty much a straight shot to the Point. From here the trail is really more of a 12 to 15 inch deep rut worn into the plateau by the daily mules trips. You have the choice of walking the bottom of the rut in heavy dust or trying to walk the edges which slant in towards the rut and put you at risk of getting nailed by the numerous prickly pear. The payoff comes at Plateau Point itself with a spectacular view of the river about 1,600 feet below and nearly straight down. I was lucky enough to catch river rafters directly below the point. Numerous warnings say the hike to Plateau Point from the rim and back is not a day hike, but I did it in 7hrs, 20ms with time to take in the sights. I wouldn't wanna do it during the summer when inner canyon temps soar into the 100's, but this October hike found temps fairly mild. There's water available at Indian Garden and there's no shade at all on the trail so take plenty.

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2001-11-02 evenstarx3

One-Way Notice
This hike is listed as One-Way.

When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
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 of 45 deeper Triplog Reviews
Plateau Point
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BA Tonto Monument Hermit
Been sitting on these permits for 2 months now and finally it was time to go back to the Grand Canyon! I took my oldest daughter there last year for her birthday and she had a blast, so we did it again this year and also brought the boy and his friend. Stevie Wonder and my friends Corey and Alix rounded out our group of 7.
Camped in the forest near Tusayan on Thursday and got an early start on Friday morning down Bright Angel. This is my first official time down the BA. So many people it reminded me of the Squaw Peak superhighway but more international. Great views the whole way down to Indian Gardens. Everything was still nice and green. Took a short break here and filled up on water. Then on to the fun stuff. The Tonto has got to be one of the best trails of all time. It keeps a pretty steady elevation as it winds in and out of every side canyon. The views never stop on this trail. Neither does the sun. After stopping at Horn Creek for a short break we continued towards Salt Creek. This is when several in our group started to break down a bit due to the heat. Thankfully, Salt Creek had some nice shaded ledges to lay down on. We rested and fueled up and headed to Monument Creek. On the decent down to Monument Creek through the Tapeats, we saw 4 kingsnakes. Enjoyed the penthouse suite again at Monument.
Saturday we packed up and headed down to the river. This whole day was spent just relaxing on the beach. The Granite Rapids research project is looking good as several of the recently planted trees had grown quite a bit since last year. After some cliff jumping, the guys mostly just relaxed while Madi did gymnastics and the boys played baseball.. what a surprise.. Several groups of rafters passed through the rapids and a few stopped at the beach before hitting the whitewater. A group of 30 senior citizens on an 8 day rafting trip shared the beach with us for the night. The crew of Jay, Margeaux, and Leila were AWESOME!! After 4 days on the water with the seniors they were so happy to see the kids! They fed us real food and gave us beer.. THEY GAVE US BEER! :y: Probably the best part of the whole trip was when Margeaux and the crew threw Madi a birthday party at the river, complete with cake and singing! She loved the attention (and the cake)! What a special moment for her.
Next day we helped them pack up and wished them off down the river. Our group then made the 5 mile hike over to Hermit Creek. All of the camp sites were on the east side of the canyon and exposed to the sun so we spent a majority of the day hanging out at a nice waterfall. We did make it down to Hermit Rapids and the beach there. The rapids were intense but the beach there was not that impressive (compared to Granite). However, the hike through this canyon was really cool. I really liked how it went from narrows with some cool waterfalls to a very expansive but still closed in canyon. Back at camp with our larger group, we were very close to running out of fuel but another group was headed out that night and they were happy to get rid of the extra weight so it worked out perfect. They even gave us some of their extra food! We ate very well that night and got a good nights rest for the hike out the next day.
Beat the sun to Cope Butte and made it up the Cathedral Stairs no problem. Took a nice break at Santa Maria and then up up up.. That last stretch of coconino and kaibab are brutal, but victory was ours to be had. FYI the best ice cream cookie bars are at Hermits Rest, and its not even close..

Overall this was an awesome adventure and we had a really great team to share it with. A lot of times I take these trips to be alone with nature and to be secluded, but ironically what made this trip so great was everyone on our team and all of the awesome people we met on the journey.
Plateau Point
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Ribbon Falls
Alex and I scored some walk-in permits at the Canyon on our way to Utah to visit our families for Christmas. The forecast called for rain all day, and it had rained all night at our campsite just outside Tusayan.

There was no snow in the village, but about an inch of snow at the SK TH when we got started. No ice on the trail, just lots of mud. Most of the canyon was hidden from us on the way down.

I had a few options in mind, but kept the itinerary loose until we set up camp at Bright Angel Campground. Alex hadn't seen Ribbon Falls yet and since the weather wasn't conducive to anything "extreme" we decided to take that option. It was a dreary walk along North Kaibab because we still couldn't see much of anything due to the rain and low clouds.

We made great time reaching Ribbon Falls in about 2 hours from Bright Angel Campground. We explored around the falls a little bit, ate some snacks, snapped a few photos and headed back to BAC. The sky was growing considerably dark by this point, and I knew we were in for some serious downpour. So far it was mostly just drizzling to light rain. Alex had left his poncho at the campground and I was a little worried with the cold that he might get into a bad situation.

When we joined back up with North Kaibab and started heading back, we could see the wall of dark clouds making its way up the canyon. I wished Alex good luck, and pulled out my umbrella to prepare for the downpour. About 10 minutes later we were running down the trail getting soaked. I managed to keep my upper body pretty dry because of the umbrella but my legs were soaking and freezing cold.

The rain eventually let up, and the sun finally made its appearance. There were rainbows, and numerous waterfalls along The Box. The canyon was shining like a jewel! It was actually a rather magical moment for such a "casual" canyon trip. The sun not only warmed our bones, but also our souls. :lol:

The next morning we broke camp and headed out via Bright Angel. I hadn't been on the lower stretch from BAC to IGC. We tagged Plateau Point on the way out before the true slog up BA from IGC to the top. The clouds had finally cleared enough that we could see snow on the South Rim, Brahma, Isis, and the very tops of many of the other Grand Canyon summits. The North Rim was still hidden from view, though. We kept a pretty nice pace on the ascent after Plateau Point, and never had to stop. We made it out in around 4.5 hours, from camp to rim, including the PP detour.

Yet another enjoyable Grand Canyon trip.

Past peak at Phantom, and most trees are leaf less elsewhere.
Plateau Point
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4 Day trip- Down South Kaibab with 2 nights at Bright Angel Campground and then the hike out split into 2 days on Bright Angel with a night at Indian Garden. Brought 10 guys total and had an absolute blast. Weather was perfect, and only a little ice on the trail on the hike out. Beautiful (peak?) fall color along both Bright Angel and Garden Creeks. Moonrise on day 2 and day 3 were phenomenal. Took dayhikes to Phantom Canyon and Plateau Point. Two thumbs up.
Plateau Point
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Bright Angel to South Kaibab via Tonto
finally started checking out the tonto trail. on the way down bright angel i decided to go out and see plateau point again. i haven't been out there for 12 years :o

beautiful spot for lunch then headed back and took the tonto east. nice stretch of trail with some fantastic scenery and zillions of blooming cacti.

got my butt kicked up the south kaibab but enjoyed it just the same.

wonderful hike and great weather for a quick getaway to the grand canyon :y:
Plateau Point
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Received a mysterious text last night saying "see you at 7am in BA lobby."

I just assumed that meant s hike. I didn't expect 12 miles in the snow though :) good thing I'm always prepared nowadays!

Took our sweet time heading down.
Snow and microspikes on until crossing the wash between the end of Jacob's Ladder and IG. At least it wasn't actively snowing today!!

Raced through a snow covered IG this was our original turn around point but I said he needed to get photos from Plateau Point!! The temperature read 30° at IG.

After a request for a shot of a snow covered prickly pear cactus we speed hiked out to the point.

Three California Condors circled far above our tracks.

The snow thinned out here and the wind blew the roar of the river to meet us before we were even past the water fountain.

He was out to the railings at the point while I stared out at some strange markings in the snow...((see photoset!!))

Her had to get to work again so we raced off at 11am and parted ways somewhere in Jacob's Ladder. He was up at 1am and I an hour later.

Found a $10 bill outside mile n half house. Score!

Half a mile from the rim I was caught behind a man and his family. He was having a really rough hike. I helped best I could (energy gel, pretzels, hand warmers) then was on my way. Turns out his daughter was just a few switchbacks ahead carrying her father's 60lb overloaded backpack!!

Now I could help!! I offered, she accepted, we lugged the pack onto my back. It was a huge pack!! The hip belt sat well below my own hips, had I buckled it it would've been like some weird chastity belt :lol:

My own day pack was a mere 13lbs and easily carried on my chest. I hoisted the man's backpack high up on my back and held it in place with my fingers and the daughter and I were off.

I was hugged, given a $10 cash tip and offered a beer.

Great day in the place I call home!! :)

P.s. sorry the photos are blurry. Guess my phone is on its way out. I didn't have a chance to pull out the gopro today either!
Plateau Point
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Benchmark 3702 and Plateau Point
Clyde had teased me about some other place Wendy had probably not been to ;) , it was like Plateau Point but without the railing. So we added this for our afternoon activity that included dinner at Plateau Point. So after settling in to Indian Garden campground and eating some lunch we gathered everyone and headed out.

It was a lovely afternoon and the weather was near perfect. Just would have liked some puffy clouds for some drama but sometimes you just can't have everything. There seemed to be a lot of water running in Garden Creek alongside as we made our way out to the Plateau. We zig zagged a bit as we eventually came away from the creek area and were treated to the ever expansive views of the temples and other Grand Canyon landmarks.

At about the 1 mile mark, Clyde explained the option of continuing on to Plateau Point or coming with us to the Benchmark. All but two decided to go off trail and see what was at this benchmark 3702 area. Clyde led the way following the GPS track. For most of this part you have to find your way around all the flora obstacles, some with needles. It seemed we were doing a snake dance to get to our goal. Noreen and I wandered over to the edge as we got closer before heading over to the point. We could see Plateau Point and could look down into the Colorado from here.

Noreen and I finally got over to the point where the others were. It's just a bit tricky getting out on to the Point but once there, if you look to the west you get a great view of Horn Rapids, muddy as they were. Of course there are other landmarks all around you :DANCE: . To the right down in the river I spotted some rafters in bright blue boats and two kayaks. I zoomed in and got video and pictures so that was kind of fun.

After crossing back over to the plateau, I saw the four big cairns that are there. I was unable to find any info as to why they are there :-k . Unfortunately I wasn't able to investigate that particular area more closely as I arrived late and everyone was leaving toward Plateau Point. I did get pics of both benchmarks, one out on the point and one to the other side of these large cairns that said 3708. I guess it could be that it is 8 feet higher than the original one at 3702 that is not marked?

Now, Clyde decided to make a beeline for the Plateau Point trail rather than going back the route we came. Well put it this way, the thought was correct but the route sucked :lol: as we ended up tip toeing through a prickly pear cactus field that was now in the shade.. Oh my gosh! It felt like there was like no way out once we were in. It was actually rather comical watching everyone step wherever there was just dirt. I got it on video and pics. We eventually got out of the trouble we were in and joined up with the cleanliness of the Plateau Point Trail.

From there it was a piece of cake as we hiked our way closer to Plateau Point to join Kate and Marisol. The views are really great from here too; always worth the side trip. My camera doesn't do the best pano so I pulled out the phone for that and tried to send to FB but without success until we got on top of the Rim. We all had dinner and wine as the sun was setting. The sunset was not the best until it was actually down and then finally a few clouds appeared to give us some color to shoot :) .

Several of the others decided to stay and shoot stars. I, on the other hand, wanted to head back so I bid my adieus. It always seems a longer hike at dusk I think. I was able to keep my head lamp for about 1/2 of the trek back. I discovered my light still seemed dim which I found out at my last camping event. Nonetheless, it's what I had for the trail. I am minding my own business until I see a pair of eye. Oh, a deer. Well it was pretty dark at this time so the camera couldn't see. I put on my flash which didn't quite reach far enough. Nonetheless, when I got home to see the several photos I took, it wasn't a deer... it was a :o Big Horn. He stayed there for the longest time too.

I would have caught up with the others that had gone back before me but I was distracted by this animal and then I tried to get pics of the lights up on the rim to no avail as well. I was also having difficulty seeing the trail with my dim light but soon I was back at Indian Garden around 7 pm. I hung out with the few that were there as we waited for the others to return hoping that they wouldn't get lost. They did make a wrong turn somewhere along the line but corrected themselves fairly quickly.

All in all, a great day in the Grand Canyon. Here is some video:
Indian Garden to Benchmark 3702-
3702 to Plateau Point -
Plateau Point
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I hadn't done this hike in about 4 years. My feet held up okay. There were a lot of people on the trail, including about half of France. France empties out in August, you know, and half of them came to Grand Canyon today. They really are very lovely people, but almost none of them speaks English. I took two semesters of French about 42 years ago. I don't remember much. I like the language, though, because it has interesting sounds not found in English.

There were several condors flying around Plateau Point. Presumably they don't speak French, either.

I waited in vain at the Plateau Point view to see boats come down the river---I wanted to see them run Horn Creek, my least favorite rapid on the river. I was too early for the boats, I think. I left the Point by 9:30 a.m. I think they were all still up at Phantom, or hung-over up at Grapevine.

On the way back up the hill I talked to more French people, plus Dutch, Austrians and Texans. I also talked to the mule wranglers. I found out that, yes, sometimes you can get in on a mule ride at the last minute if you happen to have about $600 in your pocket. They said you have to wear long pants, shoes and a long-sleeved shirt. And bring your toothbrush. I really want to do the mule ride someday!

This was my first hike down into the inner Canyon in quite some time, with the exception of a short hike down Waldron a couple of months ago. The heat was not all that bad today. I have been doing a bit of peak bagging lately and I felt that I (and my feet, which have lives of their own) would do okay. It was the longest hike I've done in about a year, but I did okay.

No GPS route because the batteries died. I put in new batteries but the resulting track is very messed-up.
Plateau Point
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I hadn't seen any snow this season so when I heard it was snowing at the canyon I figured this would be my last chance. Camped at Mather CG and woke up to a thin layer of snow on our tent. My wife wanted a short hike. No such thing in the canyon but I talked her into a stroll to Plateau Point. Nice weather, a little warm in the middle of the day though. Water was on at PP, IG, 3mile, and 1.5mile. Lots of people on the trail. Started at noon, finished by 7pm.
Plateau Point
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Woke up bright and early in the employee bunkhouse loft down at Phantom Ranch, not a soul in sight, 9am! I had to rush fill up my 3 liter camelback with my favorite drink of choice Phantom Ranch's "world famous Lemmy lemonade!" I estimated it would cost $8 so I left that amount with them in the tip jar, they're cool cats down there!

I rolled out of Phantom this morning at 10am and made it to the Plateau Point ruins at 10:55, I waited to see if Quadman would show up for about 40 minutes, no sign of him so I darted up to IG then out along the Tonto to the start of the Old BA, I headed down to the last of the top switchbacks and saw no sign of him so I headed back to IG. I thought I'd give him some more time to catch up so I headed out to Plateau Point, had some lunch and my last beer :D

No sign of Quadman so I headed up BA in hopes of hitting the rim before 2pm, I ran into 2 tourists that I recognized from Bright Angel Campground so we hiked out the last 3 miles together made it out by 2:30 and hit up the bar for my traditional Post-hike Margarita! Yummm!
Plateau Point
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We started hiking before the sun rose. It was super windy. I expected the wind to die down when we got below the rim, but it didn't. It was windy all the way down to the artist’s house. The wind did help keep the temps down. The devil's corkscrew wasn't that bad this year. I did two extra trips. I went to the plateau point and to Dana's Butte on the Tonto. I got my boots wet in the Horn creek, so they could be glow in the dark :sl: ! The Horn Creek is not safe to drink because it flows through a uranium mine.

It was super windy and cold when I came out on the south rim. Another fin day of hiking in the canyon!

Map Drive
Paved - Car Okay

To Bright Angel 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.

The Bright Angel trailhead is located just west of Kolb Studio in Grand Canyon Village on the South Rim. It is within easy walking distance from Maswik Lodge, Bright Angel Lodge, rim lodge parking areas and from Parking Lots E and D. Out of consideration for daytime park visitors, it is recommended that overnight hikers park at Parking Lot E (the Backcountry Information Center parking lot). Though this is not the closest parking area, it is the most secure and is also where the largest number of parking spaces are located.

From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 234 mi - about 3 hours 43 mins
From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 339 mi - about 5 hours 13 mins
From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 87.2 mi - about 1 hour 34 mins
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