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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.

Grandview to Hance Creek, AZ

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41 24 1
Guide 24 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Northwest > South Rim
Rated
4.2
4.2 of 5 by 12
 
4
Statistics
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Difficulty 4.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 13 miles
Trailhead Elevation 7,390 feet
Elevation Gain -3,702 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 6-9 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 31.51
Backpack Yes
Dogs not allowed
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
20  2016-04-09
Tonto-New Hance-Grandview
The_Eagle
20  2016-04-09
Tonto Trail: New Hance Trail to Grandview Tr
Tortoise_Hiker
45  2015-11-01
Tanner to Grandview
sirena
14  2014-06-06
Grandview to New Hance
Hippy
43  2013-11-15
New Hance to Grandview
John9L
30  2013-11-15
New Hance to Grandview
Hippy
12  2013-04-07
Old Hance to Grand View with Rapids
JuanJaimeiii
26  2013-04-07
Old Hance Trail
John9L
Page 1,  2
Author pberry
author avatar Guides 1
Routes 0
Photos 15
Trips 1 map ( 8 miles )
Age ?
Location Philadelphia, PA
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Preferred   Sep, Jun, Aug, May → Early
Seasons   Autumn to Spring
Sun  6:16am - 6:25pm
Official Route
 
3 Alternative
 
Water
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Geology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Grand Jewel
by pberry

Likely In-Season!
Oct 2018
Miner's Spring is now hidden.

History
Impressions of the dazzling topography of Grand Canyon have changed and shifted since that day in the summer of 1540 when Garcia Lopez de Cardenas gazed out from the South Rim. The conquistador saw a worthless desert wasteland, nothing more than a barrier to political expansion. At the opposite extreme, the modern view tends toward the romantic, reveling in what we today perceive as the remarkable spirituality of the gorge. Products of the age in which they lived, American pioneers arriving in the 1890s were more practical and utilitarian: they assumed with so much exposed bedrock inevitably there had to be mineral riches waiting to be claimed by those willing to go below and look. Would-be miners fanned out across the inner canyon, probing everywhere, and at a place called Horseshoe Mesa found what they sought. Rich copper deposits initially averaging 30% pure promised wealth, but only if transported from the depths. Optimism reigned supreme, a route was scratched out, and in February 1893 an endless succession of mule trains began moving raw ore to the rim along a rough canyon track originally known as the Berry Trail, more recently as the Grandview Trail. More than any other canyon trail, the Grandview is steeped in the legacy of the mining days at Grand Canyon. Numerous small artifacts associated with these halcyon days are scattered across the top of Horseshoe Mesa, providing a link across the years. Hikers can inspect the physical remains of this bygone era while enjoying canyon scenery at its finest.

My brother George was attending a company conference in Las Vegas at the end of March, 2003. I planned on meeting him there a few days early. Having done a Grandview/Horseshoe mesa day hike a year before (our first GC experience) we were determined to return. This trip had been months in the planning.

We met at the Las Vegas airport around noon on March 27, 2003. We grabbed our luggage and the rental car and were off down route 93 S to I40 E then 64 N up to the Canyon. The trip would take about 5.5 hours. Our route took us over the Hoover Dam. Neat but not as impressive as I was led to believe.

We arrived at the South Rim around dinnertime. Being rookies, we spent some fruitless time looking for the BCO to pick up our permit. By the time we found it, it was closed. That would mean we would have to wait until it opened in the morning. Bummer... we were hoping to get on the trail early.

Our plan was to hike down the Grandview to Hance Creek and spend the night. On the second day, we would hike back up to Horseshoe Mesa for another night before hiking out the Grandview on the third day.

We checked into Yavapai Lodge and grabbed some dinner. After dinner we headed over to the store to buy last minute supplies... water, power bars, etc. We also need fuel for George's ancient camp stove. This thing hadn't been used in like 10 years. And, not unexpectedly, our tests of it in the hotel bathroom revealed that it had seen better days. Back to the store to buy a camp stove. We ended up with a pretty good small and lightweight one for not too much money.

Back in the room, we went through our packs and did a last minute jettison to get rid of excess weight... we were brutal and I am glad we were. It turns out, like many folks, we had over packed. Fortunately, we took care of that before hitting the trail.

Before bed, we headed over to the bar for a beer... this is becoming a tradition. We hit the hay around 11:00pm.

DAY 1:

I was up at 5:00am and George was up at 5:30am. We got up to the rim in time for the sunrise. Amazing. We wondered over to the BA for breakfast taking our time since we had to wait for the BCO to open at 8:00am to get our permit.

Down the Grandview Trail:

We picked up our permit and headed down Desert View Drive to the Grandview trailhead. After a little stretching and a bathroom break in the porto-potty, we started down at around 9:30am. It was cold at the top but halfway down the steep switchbacks, we started shedding clothes. We took one break before the Coconino Saddle for water and trail mix, enjoying the view.

The first drop down to the Saddle is the steepest and most precarious part of this non-maintained trail. There is one point where the trail narrows to eighteen inches or so and requires a sideways shimmy around a bolder. We remembered this from last year. At least this time there was no snow on the trail. That made things easier.

We reached the Coconino Saddle around 10:45am and dropped our packs for a break. We met a couple on their way out. They had spent the night on Horseshoe Mesa in the rain. We told them our planned route and they mentioned that they had heard that the Miner's spring could be drunk without treatment. They had done it and suffered no ill effects. We had a water filter with us but kept what they said in mind.

Before heading out, they pulled some stashed water from under a rock overhang on the right side of the trail (going down). We took our cue and stashed some water for our trip out.

Soon after continuing on from Coconino Saddle, we passed a guy who was running (running!) up the Grandview. We thought, "Man that is serious hiking." A few minutes later we found out why. We came across a group of five people, one of whom was sitting off to the side of the trail. She had broken her ankle. Later that afternoon, we would hear the helicopter. That's a $2000 break. Grim.

The rest of the trail down to the Horseshoe Mesa is fairly easy and we reached it and the path down to the Mine around 12:30pm. Here we stashed more water, as we would be back up this way tomorrow. We had snacked on the trail so we weren't ready for lunch yet and decided to keep going.

Horseshoe Mesa to Miner's spring:

Now, I will tell you flat out. The trail from Horseshoe Mesa down to the Miner's spring, while only about 1/2 mile, is one hairy 1/2 mile. After a few hundred yards across the face, the trail turns steeply down. "Trail" might not be the right word for this part. It was more a collection of rocks falling off down the side of the face. We took it slow. It was now early afternoon and we were starting to feel all the downhill hiking in our knees.

We reached the mine (about halfway down to the Spring) and had lunch. We spent some time resting and decided we would explore the mine. The main shaft goes back a ways before two passages head off to the right and left. We explored both directions but the left passage is the more interesting one. After a while it comes to a small room with a pit in the center. If you decide to go in the mine, make sure you are paying attention. If you fall into that pit, that is all she wrote. Skirting the pit to the right, we came to a place where the passage had been blocked up. There was narrow opening between the rubble and the top of the shaft maybe a foot to 18 inches high. We stood there debating whether we should crawl through and continue our exploration. Well, I don't know what it was but we decided that the whole thing looked like it was ready to come down and thought it best to head back out and continue on our way.

Back out of the mine, we donned our packs and continued down the trail to Miner's Spring and the Hance Trail. George, who was hiking without poles, was really starting to feel it in his knees. We met some guys coming up and stopped and talked for a while. Finally, in the late afternoon, we reached the spring.

I had hiking poles but by this time I had done some serious damage to my left knee. It was killing me. That slowed me down and George reached the spring first. To find the spring, you descend from Horseshoe Mesa to the Hance Trail. Right at the bottom of the descent, the Hance Trail continues to the left and there is a marked trail to the right that takes you to the Miner's spring. We had not been here before and didn't know what it looked like so we had a few false starts. Once we actually saw it, there was no mistaking it.

The Miner's spring is a great place. Set maybe 10 feet above the trail, the spring is tucked in under an overhang and the water comes from above dripping into a small pool maybe 8 feet by 4 feet. On the left, someone had placed a flat rock under a strong drip where we could set our water bottles to fill them. We were pretty tired and what we had heard about drinking the spring water untreated sounded pretty good right about then.

We drank our fill and refreshed our water supply. We would be hiking to Hance Creek, where the water needs to be treated, so we decided to try and take enough spring water with us to minimize how much we would have to treat.

We headed back out to Hance and started down towards the Hance Creek campground. We didn't know what to expect so we didn't know what to look for. In retrospect, it seems stupid but I followed the wash down looking for the creek while George took the high path. I learned my lesson. Know where you are going and how to get there.

Down in the wash, I heard George calling from above saying that he had found a good place to camp. By this time, my left knee was making it hard to walk. George was suffering in both knees but not as badly as me. I climbed up the steep side of the wash crossing the Tonto Trail and emerged on top of a broad round plain. On top was a campsite that had obviously seen a lot of use. Given our condition, we decided not try to make it to Hance Creek but stay put for the night. We would discover that off to our right about 3/4 of a mile (looking toward the river) was Hance Creek. In fact, after setting up camp, George hiked over and was able to look down into the Hance Creek campsite from above. He was gone a long time and so, even with my bad knee, I decided to hobble over and see what had become of him. I met him on the trail coming back.

Back at camp, I made some coffee and settled down to enjoy the view. What a view it was. The campsite at the top of the plain provided a 360 view. One thing that amazes me about the Canyon is the silence. For a place that is so absolutely huge, there is little sound. Sitting in the setting sun, drinking my coffee, the only sound was the wind and the eerie echo of a bullfrog croaking somewhere in a nearby canyon.

By now it was getting dark so we cooked our dinner. We had brought the freeze-dried stuff. Tonight was Lasagna. We had brought a lot of food and after we polished off the Lasagna we both still felt like we could eat some more so we had the stew as well. One thing I noticed about my appetite while hiking the GC, I never really feel hungry but when it comes time to eat, I scrape the bowl clean.

We washed our dinner dishes, stowed our packs and settled in to watch the night come. What a scene! The stars came out and way off to the East we could see a light shining on the South rim. About that time, almost simultaneously, we both commented how great it would be to have a couple of really cold beers right about now. We conclude that it would be worth the weight... although they probably wouldn't have been cold.

We watch the stars for a while and then rolled into our tent for some much needed sleep.

DAY 2:

In the morning I knew I was in trouble. My left knee was blown and I could hardly walk. I wrapped it in an ace bandage and that helped some. George had brought a bottle of Advil but when we opened it, we saw that there were only 8 pills left. Given his sore knees, we were going to have to do some serious rationing. I took two and in a while, with the help of the ace bandage, I was able to get along pretty well.

It was early and after coffee we decided to break camp and eat at the Miner's spring. Actually, we didn't have much of choice given that we had used a lot of water and wanted to make sure we didn't run out before getting to the spring. If we had made breakfast at the campsite, we would have to hike to the Miner's spring without water. No way. It wasn't that far but I remembered the old adage... "Always hike from water, not to water."

We made good time to the spring... the pain in my knee was helped by the bandage and dulled by the Advil. We filled our bottles and sat down to mix up some freeze-dried blueberries and cream granola. One of my fondest memories of this trip is sitting near the Miner's spring under a warm sun and blue sky eating blueberries and cream granola.

The hike back up to Horseshoe Mesa took the lion's share of the morning. We topped out, grabbed our stashed water and went to find our campsite. We scored. The campsites are on the East side of the Mesa. We found that the one right on the rim was empty. The view from our tent was incredible. We set up camp, ate an early lunch and talked about what we should do next. We had planned to continue our exploration of the Cave of the Domes, which we had started during our hike the year before. We decided that we could do that later that afternoon and that the short hike out to the end of the Eastern arm seemed like a good plan.

Here is a tip: Always wear sunscreen in the Canyon. I don't know what I was thinking. Maybe it was the pain in my knee that dulled my senses but I made the hike out the Eastern arm without sunscreen. By the time I got back I had a nasty burn on my arms and neck. Stupid!

The view from the end of the Eastern Arm is dramatic. You can see the river clearly and the view up and down the Canyon is fantastic. The hike out the arm is longer than you would expect but easy as it is flat.

We got back to the campsite around 1:30pm and proceeded to conk out for an hour or so for a much needed nap. When we woke up, we felt better. It was time to head to the cave.

First, though, we had to deal with something. How should I say this? You may have noticed that, so far, I have not mentioned... um... nature's call. Well, by this time both of us were in a position where it could no longer be ignored.

Horseshoe Mesa has two toilets. One is near the campground and the other is out on the Eastern arm. A wooden wall mostly surrounds the one in the campground. The one on the Eastern arm is right out in the open with nothing between you and the beauty of the Canyon. Unfortunately, the one in the campsite was in pretty bad shape (if you know what I mean.). It was a choice between cleanliness and discretion. I chose discretion and George chose cleanliness. He took a detour on the way to the Cave of the Domes to the Eastern arm.

Before we headed out, we stopped to look at a cave we could see from our campsite. It was right above the Eastern face of the Mesa right where the Eastern arm connects to the main part. We scrambled down to it and peered in. It was a cave all right. Unfortunately, there was a 20-foot drop straight down before it flattened out. Someone had placed some sort of old beam in there to fashion sort of a ladder but that was beyond what we were willing to do.

I followed the trail West passed the old Miner's cabin and waited for George under the giant rock to the right of the trial. I say "the" giant rock because you can't miss it. It is huge. It felt good to get some shade, as it was quite hot in the afternoon sun.

George met up with me there and we followed the path West around the Butte. We kept our eyes open for the faint unmarked trail off the left side of the main trail that would take us over the rim and along the face to the cave. Just like last year, we missed it the first time and had to back track. We found it.

We entered the cave and signed the book in the metal box on the big rock in the middle in the first chamber. We looked back and found where we had signed it the year before. A lot of people had come through since then.

We spent some time exploring some passages we had missed the year before but they really didn't go anywhere interesting. Finally, we arrived at a 15-foot wall that had stopped us the year before. After a few false starts with the rope, George was thinking that maybe it wasn't meant to be. Well, I had come all this way and had carried the rope so I wasn't ready to give up. Eventually, we got George up the face and he made his way along to see what was next. Unfortunately, what he found was that the cave continued for maybe a dozen feet before a 30-foot drop blocked it. That was too much. However, George claimed that he could see the end of the cave not much further on anyway. He came back and after a few tense moments we managed to get him back down the face without injury.

Back out we went and headed back to our campsite, the last part of the trail in the dark. We made dinner and took it easy for the rest of the evening... tomorrow we would be hiking out and my knee needed a rest.

After dark the wind started to whip up. By the time we were ready for bed, it was howling. I had heard stories of people being blown right off the edge inside their tents. We were about 15 to 20 feet from the rim and I had visions of waking up in free fall. In the dark, we grabbed the biggest rocks we could find and put them on the corners of our tent. I felt a little better after that but the sound of the wind and the lingering fear of being blown off the Mesa made for a restless night.

DAY 3:

Out the Grandview:

Up early and right to coffee and breakfast. It was going to be a long day. Not only did we have to hike out the Grandview that day but we also had to drive back to Vegas in time for George's conference the next day. We packed up as quickly as we could and started up. I took the last of the Advil and wrapped my knee... the pain was bearable.

Right before we reached the Coconino Saddle some longhorn sheep prancing on the cliffs high above us pleasantly surprised us. Those things can really climb. It was early and we hadn't yet passed anyone coming down so we were the first ones that morning to pass that way.

It may just be me and I have only done it twice but the hike from Horseshoe Mesa to the Coconino Saddle always seems a lot longer than I remember. By the time I got there I was ready to drop my back and drink a good portion of the water we had stashed on the way down. We rested for a while munching on trail food and drinking water before tackling the steep, final ascent.

I will never hike without poles again and I was glad I had them on this trip. The year before, I had hiked out the Grandview from Horseshoe Mesa with only a day pack but without poles. It was brutal. I have heard that the Grandview is one of the harder trails to hike out. Whether that is true or not, I don't know. I do know that it is easier with hiking poles, even with a full pack.

George, although a year and half older, is in much better shape than me. Given that, he had gotten quite a bid ahead of me by the time we reached the top. I made my way up the final switchbacks, stopping for a few seconds every 25 feet or so to rest my knee. Three and 1/2 hours after leaving the Mesa, I limped over the top and into the Grandview Trailhead parking lot. I was dirty, smelly and limping with a bandaged knee as I made my way back to the car through the host of rim tourists. But I was happy. The hike out had not been as bad as I remembered and 3 1/2 hours is a good time, especially with a bum knee. Mostly though, I was happy and satisfied with the three days I had spent marveling and enjoying the Grand Canyon from below the rim.

Epilogue:

We wasted no time at the top. We dumped our trash, changed into clean clothes, threw our packs in the back of the rental and headed over to the store for hot coffee before starting back to Vegas. We made good time and I dropped George at his hotel in time for dinner. I headed back to my hotel, which was near the airport since I was flying back East the next morning. I must have been a site checking in given I had not yet had the opportunity to shower or shave.

Room service and a soft bed were greatly appreciated. It turns out that George, on the other hand, had ordered dinner up to his room as well, including oysters on the half shell. He ended up with food poisoning and lost 10 pounds in the next two days. While he has his doubts, I still say his trouble was the oysters and not the untreated water from Miner's spring.

He and I have now hiked the Grand Canyon in March of 2002 and March of 2003. In February 2004, George will be spending three weeks hiking through New Zealand and will not be able to get back to the Canyon in March. So, I decided that I would return and bring along my oldest daughter, who will be 10 in April. We plan on doing the South Kaibab/ Bright Angel loop with two days at the BA campground. I can't wait to get back below the rim.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Note
This is a more difficult hike. It would be unwise to attempt this without prior experience hiking.

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

2004-03-05 pberry
  • 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 of 11 deeper Triplog Reviews
Grandview to Hance Creek
rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
The Grandview Trail a well maintained trail and starts off steep, eases after an initial saddle (below the Coconino Sandstone) to Horseshoe Mesa and then gets steep again after splitting off to the east to join the Tonto Trail, down through the Redwall. The Redwall portion is very exposed, scenic, and exciting. Page Spring, at the base of the Redwall, was dripping into a small pool that provided plenty clear water to fill up. The Tonto portion was not steep, but had a fair amount of ups and downs, which were still painful considering the elevation change already achieved. Hance Creek was a pleasant sight and had a narrow flowing stream at the camping area.

When considering an overnight trip to the Grand Canyon, several things come to mind: it will be spectacular, it will be grueling, and it will be memorable no matter what trail is hiked. On this trip I traveled with my 16-year-old son, who had done one easy multi-day backpack trip to the Superstition Mtns. There was slight concern that the difficult hiking might be a bit too much for the young man. But, he plays soccer, is in great shape, and is stronger than I am, so the slight concern shifted toward my performance. This is always in the back of my mind anytime I plan to backpack the Grand Canyon. Every prior trip had included near immobility after days 1 and 2 entering the canyon. This trip was no different.

This portion of the trip was part of a loop hike starting at the Grandview trailhead, spending a night at Hance Creek, two nights at the river at Hance Rapids and the last day ascending the Red Canyon (New Hance) trail. One nice thing about this route was the degree of steepness was focused at the very beginning and end. Day 2 (a sort of recovery day) was longer than Day 1, but did not include the elevation change as painfully experienced by my aching thighs on Day 1. With two nights at the river, my pain had time to subside for the demanding last day of climbing. Looking back on our ascent of Red Canyon, my son and I were thankful not to have descended Red Canyon trail due to it’s steepness. When we topped out, the nearly flat portion of trail leading to the road made us giddy with happiness. Again, the Grand Canyon did not disappoint.
Grandview to Hance Creek
rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
Tonto-New Hance-Grandview
My hats off to Denny for putting this together. When you try to assemble a larger group, it's like herding turtles. (A job he's highly qualified to do)
He was busy arranging a shuttle up until 10 minutes before he went to bed.

Denny's on a mission to complete the entire Tonto Trail. With this section, I've completed the Tanner to Hermit portion with him.

We started on the New Hance Trail at 8am on a chilly morning. It didn't take long to warm up though. New Hance is one steep uneven mutha. My knees were barking up a storm. I would have lost the bet if someone would have told me that you actually gain 400' of AEG while going down this one. Staying upright and taking in the views while hiking, becomes tough on this one.
This section was slower going than we expected. It was 7 miles to the river.
:next: https://youtu.be/o8 ... 8bIU

We ate lunch at the New Hance Rapids in front of a clear flowing Colorado River.
:next: https://youtube.com ... 2eDI

Next we were on the Tonto Trail, We'd be on this for 10 miles. It got a little warm on a short portion by the river, but then the clouds and breeze came back and it was perfect. I really enjoyed this section of the Tonto.
We all topped off our water at New Hance Creek for the slog out.

Now on Grandview Trail, the fun begins. It was slow going for me. I was gassed. I had about an hour with the headlamp on to finish.

Denny, thanks for setting this up, driving and arranging for perfect weather.
Good hiking with Dave and Preston again.
Great meeting Hippy's Friend Frank.
We had some interesting conversations.
Grandview to Hance Creek
rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
New Hance Grandview Loop
Down New Hance, up Grandview in a dayhike following http://hikearizona.com/gps=7037 route. Spectacular if strenuous, daylight is the biggest issue -- try to get past Horseshoe Mesa and onto Grandview Trail by dusk, the rest of the climb is straightforward and can be done with a good light after dusk. Trailfinding is generally not a problem, cairns help a lot, but a couple of spots require close attention. Manage your water carefully -- there is none on the entire Grandview ascend.

Foliage
Mostly around creeks and bottoms of tributary canyons.

Wildflowers
Very few this time of year, making the ones spotted more precious still.
Grandview to Hance Creek
rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
Grandview to New Hance
Kidnapped my buddy Taylor to go on this trip with me, he'd never camped at the river before.

I prefer hiking down Grandview and I remember New Hance was SUPER easy hiking down, knew this trip would be cake!!

We left at 7am due to our ride to Grandview sleeping in, oops.got to the TH round 730,
The hike down GV was cake, made it to Horseshoe Mesa in just over an hour. Stopped to visit the cookhouse and explore the mines then we cruised...more like slid, down the Page Spring trail and took a short break at Hance Creek.

It was already hotter than hades down there by 10am when we cruised the Tonto. We had a mile left to the river when I realized it was Noon on the Tonto in June... "Who does that!?"we said in unison at one point.

It was deadly hot but we had hats, tons of water, at least 3L each plus an extra nalgene (topped off a half liter or so at Hance creek) and we both wore moisture wicking long sleeved shirts. We were both down to half a liter of water by the time we reached Hance Rapids, which is, I think, perfect!

Reached the river well before one in the afternoon, we crushed that trail pretty nicely considering the heat! Spent about 12 hours at the river, we'd picked out a great camp spot about 25ft from the river and a little shallow backeddy, about 2ft deep, just enough to wallow in!
We'd planned to actually camp overnight but the Canyon had other plans!!

We settled in, under the stars, on top of s tarp and super lightweight blanket...then the wind picked up (as usual) and the roar of the rapids all but ceased! I went to add a nalgene to our water container corral in the back eddy, the water had dropped a good 9 inches...ugh. No cold water for our hike out...

Wind got stronger. A tree actually snapped in half, huge clouds of sand and leaves flew from every direction. We wrapped bandanas around our faces and hastily turned my tarp into a tent with rocks, shoelaces, paracord and trekking poles. : rambo :

Then we squeezed in tight, back to back careful not to hit the rocks that held the trekking poles upright in the sand.
The wind lulled us to sleep alongside the muted groan that was Hance Rapids and 45 minutes later I awoke...

With a burning hot, icy cold, stinging, tingling, numb sensation on my left wrist...

You've gotta be kidding me was my first thought. I just got stung 3 times by a little bark scorpion. Really??!! Being awakened by a scorpion in your bed at 1am isn't the greatest wakeup call but whatevs .

We shook everything out, packed up, dunked my arm in the river then hiked out, leaving our riverside campsite around 2am.

New Hance is easy going up. The trail, for me, was pretty tame, obvious to follow in the dark. The longest most annoying part (or so it seemed, could've been lack of sleep) was above the Red wall, the Supai layer felt like it took hours!! (In reality we were moving up the trail for 3 1/2 hours) we stopped at the camp above the red wall and slept for a good 45min then continued on. We made it to the TH at sunrise. Perfect timing!

New Hance was an easy hike but I can imagine hiking out in the heat of the sun in June would not be pleasant!

We then thumbed a ride back to the village from the first car that we saw, score! The drive was a nurse and insisted I let her take us to the clinic for my scorpion stings haha

Despite all the random mishaps the trip was great, red canyon is stunning as always and I discovered I'd rather hike DOWN GV and UP NH from now on!
Haven't tried it? Do it! Its worth it.
Grandview to Hance Creek
rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
New Hance to Grandview
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Deliver to Captain John Hance, Grand Canyon, AZ
Captain Hance, today I embark on another journey. My first trek down your most recent trail aptly named New Hance. I must point out one thing. Peter Barry has an amazing parking area at the trailhead of his Grandview Trail, your trail deserves better than a "No Parking" sign and a ditch to prevent vehicles from parking in the dirt.
Thanks for your time,
Hippy
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To John Hance,
Mister Hance, your trail is spectacular, the views are stunning and the trail itself is in great condition, it is much easier than many have previously stated. I am very impressed. I cannot say the same for my hiking companions, they seem to be having a hard time staying on their feet as the trail is a bit steep in places. Have you seen the stromatolites along the creek in Red Canyon?! I haven't but I heard they're there, I'll have to take another trip out there and find out. Speaking of, the water in Red Canyon was a salty sweet, probably not best for drinking but my innards haven't thrown a fit yet.
One of my companions decided to abandon trail just before the red wall break, it was wonderful having him along I do hope to hike with him again sometime soon!
Yours truly,
H
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Dear John,
Hi again, I just wanted to tell you that your Rapid, Hance Rapids is THE most beautiful site, with the diabase dike in the hakatai shale at the head of the rapid, John I think I love you! You, your stories, your trail, your rapids. Yes, this might be my favorite adventure thus far!
I only hope you had next to nothing to do with the Tonto trail out to Hance Creek, the trail went wonky all over the place at some points and in others it was built up onto giant boulders causing little tiny me to do some climbing up on top of them. Although we both know I loved it!
We saw a beautiful double rainbow along the tonto heading for the creek in your name, we got rained on and hailed on and almost had to bivvy up under the tapeats overhang but the day was young and beautiful and we pressed on.
Camping at Hance Creek was superb, the wind was atrocious but extravagant at the same time! It made for quite a fun evening wrestling with tent ties and poles and wrapping our food up in my rain jacket and stuffing it in the ratsack, it worked quite nicely actually.
This will be my last letter to you...for now. Look into some trail head parking areas, ok?
Love always.
Hippy
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Dearest Peter Barry,
I know we haven't spoken in some time but I thought I'd drop a hello. I hiked up to Page Spring the other day with my dear friend John, don't be jealous, I will always love you and your trail. I do wonder though, who had the grand idea to make it such a steep ascent to Horseshoe Mesa? Did you put your mules through that hell? I might have to speak with you about animal cruelty laws nowadays because honestly I'd never allow my mules to go up that trail. I on the other hand thoroughly enjoyed it, steep as it was! Page Spring was dripping nicely and the pool was a beautiful Chrystal clear green. We explored two or three of your mine shafts on our way up, the trail is quite straightforward and I thank you for your foresight on such matters.
All my love
Hippy
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Dear Petey B,
Apparently your trail along Horseshoe Mesa is not as simple and straightforward as previously thought, a family lost their 17 year old son on the mesa, John and I thought nothing of it until I spotted the boy heading out on the east arm of the mesa, so of course I hefted off my pack and tracked him down and reunited him with his family. I must say he was rather baffled when I ran up to him, he pulled off his hat and brushed his hands through his hair and stuttered through his words and attempted to convince me that he was not lost. Boys...
John and I tailed him up the trail briefly when we discovered the reason for his becoming "lost", this explains the goofy grin on his face! The boy was 9Ling like a fool!!
I absolutely LOVE heading up Grandview Trail! Thank you Petey for this lovely historic jaunt through the grandest geology we have to play with!
Love always
Hippy
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Peter Barry,
Listen, I know we've have our ups and down, mostly downs but today I'm heading UP and I MUST protest, my love! Cobblestones?! Two foot tall stepping stairs?! Peter, darling, I might be stubborn but with my short legs and tiny feet I am no mule! Please my love, reconsider this madness! Cobblestones!! Good grief man!!
Hippy
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Dear Peter Barry,
I'll take crazy John Hance and his lack of trail head parking anytime, go :pk: yourself.
Love,
Hippy
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Grandview to Hance Creek
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New Hance to Grandview
I met up with Hippy for a fun backpack in our favorite Canyon. I departed Phoenix right after work on Thursday night and drove up to the Canyon. We left bright and early on Friday and met up with Niko. He offered to shuttle us from Grandview and would hike the first few miles with us. We started hiking a little before 9am.

Right from the start New Hance aggressively descends through the Kaibab, Toroweap and Coconino layers. The going is a little rough but fine. I did this backpack last year and remember it being very hard on the body especially my knees and ankle. This trip would prove to be much easier. We made quick work of the top three layers and then things level off a bit. We cruised on down and took our first break at the top of the Redwall. The views are just stunning into Red Canyon and the North Rim. From there we began the traverse along the Supai. I remember this section being a little rough last year but it was cake this go around. I don’t know if the trail is easier or if I’m just more experienced. Regardless we cruised to the Redwall break.

Once at the Redwall break Niko waved goodbye and started his return to the rim. Thanks again Niko! Hippy and I continued down the break and then proceeded to Red Canyon. We both felt great and started joking about hiking all the way to Hance Creek. We continued on and passed a couple of hikers on their way out. They said there were two groups below and one was camped out by the river. I said to Hippy we’re continuing on if a group is camped at the Mesquite Tree site. She was game! The rest of the hike to the rapid was uneventful. The only things worth mentioning is we blasted by a group of six guys taking a breather and there was some salty water in the bed of Red Canyon.

We arrived at Hance Rapid around 12:30pm and both of us felt great. We saw the group at the Mesquite Tree and decided to continue to Hance Creek after taking a long break and enjoying the rapid. We enjoyed lunch and relaxed at a fantastic spot nestled above the rapid. After getting some cartwheel pics we continued west on the Tonto. As we proceeded some storm clouds moved in and it started to drizzle. We continued hiking and passed through Mineral Canyon and made our way to an overhang along the Tonto. We took another break here and it was perfect timing. The skies opened and a moderate rain fell followed by hail and lightning. We were both fairly protected and hung out here for a good hour as the storm passed. After we felt it was safe we continued and then saw a fantastic double rainbow. I joked about the Double Rainbow Youtube video and we took some silly pics. From there we continued on and reached Hance Creek as dusk set in.

Once at camp we got the tent set up and started making dinner as darkness set in. It was beautiful out as we boiled water and began eating. While eating another storm rapidly moved in and it brought strong wind and rain. We moved everything into the tent but as we did the wind blew my tent down. I had it set up as a Fastpitch and the wind blew my tent poles down. Hippy said to secure the guy lines on my tent. I quickly secured them to some large rocks and that did the trick because the tent was stable after that. We enjoyed our dinner and then turned in for the night.

We woke on our second day and took our time having breakfast and tearing down camp. From there we made the long and slow hike out the Grandview trail. Our bodies were very sore and achy after the big first day. Along the hike out we spoke glowingly of John Hance and Peter Berry for their wonderful trail construction. Hippy especially loves the cobblestone work along the Grandview Trail.

This was a really great trip and New Hance is one of my favorite trails in the Canyon. It was much easier compared to last year. Definitely add this loop to your list when you’re ready to get off the corridor and want a fun challenge. Route finding is very straightforward along this loop.
Grandview to Hance Creek
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Met up with Dave, Johnlp & JJ3 for an adventurous hike down the Old Hance Trail. And thanks Haley for shuttling us over from Grandview!

Haley dropped us off at the fire road a little after 7am and we were off. We started by dropping off the rim and were able to follow the original trail for about a minute and then it was gone. From there it was a bushwhack down the ravine. We basically looked for the best route with the least amount of undergrowth blocking our way. It was a mixture of following a rock laden draw, scrambling and down climbing and then fighting cacti, trees and everything else added for good measure. We made slow progress as we slipped and slided on down. We were constantly reassessing our route. You can see the break in the Redwall at the bottom and that was our goal. We continued down and tried to make our way towards the break which is easier said than done. There were a few times where we cliffed out and had to work our way over to find a better way down. The good thing is there are lots of game trails and also signs of human traffic. As we neared the bottom we located a good use trail and followed that down to the Redwall break. With that we found ourselves in the bed of Hance Creek.

Once in Hance Creek we started making our way down and Dave said there is a pour off that we needed to bypass. We easily found the bypass and it’s well worn with foot traffic. After that we were back in the creek bed and the going was much easier. After a few minutes I noticed some people up ahead. There was a group of a half dozen and they were heading for the cave Tse An Bida which lies in the Redwall. Dave, LP & JJ3 ended up following them while I hung out in the creek bottom. While they were up there I made my way down the creek where I was able to see their route to the cave. It looks tricky. After an hour or so the three of them returned to the creek and we continued down canyon.

Next up we ran into the spring and the remains of Hance’s tourist camp. There are the remains of a few structures and a corral. After a look around we continued down Hance Creek and set a brisk pace. We then arrived at the junction of Hance Creek and the Tonto Trail. While there we pumped some water and talked about our options. It was late morning and we wanted to head for Sockdolager which is a six mile round trip. We started off and cruised down the first two miles of the creek. At that point we reached a pour off and had to locate the bypass. While looking we decided to have lunch. By this time it was getting close to 1pm and I was thinking about the long hike out. JJ3 was able to locate the bypass and with great motivation convinced us to follow. The first bypass is a little sketchy as you climb up a good two hundred feet and then drop down a drainage filled with rocks. We continued and found the second bypass. At this point the time was flying by and I felt my energy draining. I decided to turn tail and start hiking out. I came up with a plan to let the other’s know my progress on my way out. I would build a few cairns along my return and would ask the backpackers at the Tonto junction to let the others know I passed.

I had very low energy returning up Hance Creek. I arrived at the Tonto junction and sat and chatted with the Backpackers there. From there I connected on the Tonto and cruised up to Miner’s Spring (Page Spring) where I took a break and pumped some additional water. Our plan was for me to wait there for the others but I grew restless. I then built a few cairns and spelled “9L” with an arrow pointing towards Horseshoe Mesa for the others to see. While hiking up to Horseshoe Mesa I was able to spot the rest of the crew making their way up. I continued on and built another cairn with “9L” on Horseshoe Mesa. I could see the others down below heading for Miner’s Spring.

Once on Horseshoe Mesa I started the final hike to the rim. It started as an enjoyable hike as you traverse the Supai. Things started getting tough as I hit the cobblestone switchbacks through the Hermit Shale. My pace greatly slowed as I proceeded through the Coconino. I kept looking back towards Horseshoe Mesa and was able to spot everyone else making progress up the trail. As I neared the top I saw a familiar face hiking down. It was Haley with a coworker friend. We stopped and chatted. They were on their way to the Cave of Domes. I asked her to let the others know she passed me. From there it was a very slow grind to the rim. I was glad I turned around early in Hance Creek because I had little to no energy. Once on the rim, I was very happy to see the tourist because I knew my hike was done!

This was one of the toughest 15 mile hikes of my life! Old Hance really sucks energy and is very difficult going. I doubt I ever hike it again. Hance Creek is magnificent! I have an overnight permit for mid May and I plan on going all the way to Sockdolager Rapid. Grandview is a grind after all this but is beautiful as always! The Canyon only gets better!

My GPS Route has been posted to Route Manager. I plan on doing some edits on it and will post here when complete.
Grandview to Hance Creek
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Ok, before I even start, let me apologize for not being able to pare down to less than 90 photos. I took 420, so I actually did eliminate over 300! But they are amazing. Some are just stunning to look at, while others tell more of a story of the hike. And also for the lengthy triplog! Thanks for your patience! ;)

Day 1: Getting There
I was out too late Thursday night and didn't feel good Friday morning. Got a late start out of the house and then stuck in traffic. John and Kyle waited patiently as I showed up over half an hour late. I apologized profusely for my uncharacteristic idiocy and we hopped in my truck and drove to Flagstaff. After picking up Larry at work we grabbed a delicious lunch at Crystal Creek and drove to the canyon. After setting up at Mather for the night, we went for a short hike to Shoshone Point (triplog/photos) and Moran Point where we could look down into Red Canyon and the route we would hike in the morning.

We drove back to Mather, and had a solid meal at the Maswik Cafeteria before heading back to camp. A few beers and some snacks around the fire on a perfect night that dropped only into the mid-40s.

Day 2: New Hance Trail
We broke camp around 8am, and by the time we had stopped at the store, dropped off people and gear, and shuttled my truck to Grandview, we hit the trail around 9:15. Somehow, this was my first ever trip below the rim (Havasu trips excluded). When Larry first heard me say that he clearly wondered if I was up for the difficulty this trail would provide, but didn't actually say anything. I had been told of the extreme nature of this trail, so when I actually got to hiking it, I was pleasantly surprised. Don't misunderstand. It's a steep, rocky, unmaintained mess of a trail with difficult sections, short downclimbs, rockslide traverses, exposure, etc. I just had mentally prepared for worse, so I was sort of happy.

Not to mention, the expansive views of the Grand Canyon have a way of easing some of the pain in my knee caused by carrying a pack down such a steep and crazy trail. Once the trail drops into Red Canyon, the last couple of miles are fairly easy going. There are a couple of short downclimbs and the rocky creek bottom requires attention to footing, but after the steep descent it is a welcome break. Eventually the roar of Hance Rapids can be heard, followed a short while later by the first sighting of the Colorado River.

Day 2: River Rafters
We left the trailhead at the same time as another group of 4 hikers, but they were from out of state and didn't arrive until 90 minutes after us. (We took 4 hours to get the 6.9 miles to the river). So we set up camp in a nice spot under some Mesquite trees and relaxed for a while. A group of rafters floated up to the beach and got out to hike downstream and scout the rapids before proceeding. We visited with them for a while. They were a private group from Salt Lake City, and had been on the river for a week, with two more weeks to go. We asked them for some water since the Colorado was a very silted chocolate and filtering would be difficult. Unfortunately, they were low on water themselves. Luckily, they weren't short on beer and offered us a couple. I had a Tecate and a Rolling Rock, and have never been happier! We then photographed and filmed their passage through the rapids and got their emails to send them when they finish. (http://youtu.be/OlLVZq4PiT4)

Day 2: Escalante Route
John, Larry and I decided to hike upstream a mile or so to the Neville Rapids, leaving Kyle back at camp to ward off the ravens. The route is overgrown and rocky, with crazy Tamarisk trying to take over the entire shoreline. At .75 miles, we reached a large rockfall and the shoreline ended at a cliff. The Escalante Route headed up the rockfall and we decided it wasn't worth the effort. Another group was visible upstream camped on the north bank, presumably a rafting group. So we headed back to camp.

Day 2: Camping with Mice
Back at camp we cooked up some well-earned dinner before darkness set in and then just relaxed under the mesquite trees which were nicely lit up by John's camping party lights. Kyle and Larry hit their tents pretty early, around 8, while John and I stayed up for a little while. At one point, Larry came out of his tent to report hearing a rattle near my tent. (The rapids are so loud that we couldn't hear something like that unless quite close to it). I didn't think it was a snake but couldn't figure out what else it could be, and we looked around carefully just to make sure. Sitting back down, under the tree, I was startled by something that clearly moved just a few inches from me. I jumped up to realize that it was a mouse. We later learned that Kyle had spilled a lot of gatorade powder in the sand! Anyway, for the next half hour or so, John and I were entertained by this fearless mouse, and a much more skittish, but larger, relative, as they darted in between us and around the rocks we were sitting on.

Mice are amazingly adept at climbing trees! It was fun to watch as one got up into a tree and down onto one of our rat sacks. It explored every inch of the rat sack, trying to get in, but eventually figured out that it wasn't going to happen. It descended the tree again and resumed eating the sugary gatorade in the sand at our feet.

We went to bed, and woke up in the morning happy to see that the mice had not been able to penetrate our defenses. Everything was untouched!

Day 3: Tonto Trail
We were up early Sunday morning and on the trail by 8. The eastern terminus of the Tonto Trail is at Hance Rapids, and we began a slow and scenic ascent up from the banks of the river. The first mile and a half parallels the river offering great views both up and down canyon. Eventually, however, the trail turns south heading up Mineral Canyon. From this turn onwards, the Tonto has very little elevation gain/loss, making for a fairly quick and easy hike. After crossing Mineral, the Tonto swings back north and then ascends up some more and around Ayer Point to a nice view overlooking the steep and deep Hance Creek drainage. We continued on the Tonto parallel to Hance Creek until the Tonto crosses in a refreshingly green valley with a few shady Cottonwood trees along the trickle of Hance Creek. It's here where we set up camp after about 6.5 miles and 1200 feet above the river.

Day 3: Hance Creek
After viewing the creek from above along the Tonto, we decided that the 3+ miles of off-trail exploration down Hance to the Sockdolager Rapids would be too much to accomplish in the afternoon. With a reliable source of clear water for filtering, I started mixing drinks and we had a fantastic afternoon and evening. The weather was great, with a lot of cloudiness, mild temperatures, and even a brief rain shower that required us all to put the rainflys on our tents. There were no mice that we could tell, though I was puzzled by some strange looking droppings that may have been debris from the cottonwood tree above? We were all in bed pretty early again.

Day 4: Hance Creek to Horseshoe Mesa
We were up early again, anticipating the long, slow, steep climb out of the canyon. The first half-mile along the Tonto was flat and easy, before a cairned (but not signed) fork in the trail. Heading left, we left the Tonto trail and headed up the unnamed trail toward Miners Spring. Looking into this drainage, I actually stopped and verified my GPS position on the map since I couldn't imagine that there was a trail leading up this dead-end canyon with towering cliffs on all sides. Sure enough, however, the map said this was the way! The next mile of hiking became increasingly steep as it ascended the drainage. I was a little bit ahead of the others when I reached the turnoff for Miners Spring after only about 35min, and was surprised to find a solo hiker who had just descended from Horseshoe Mesa. We all topped off our water and took a brief break for some energy snacks before continuing uphill.

John led the way for this stretch, which is an incredibly steep and exposed section of trail. It rises about 700 feet in 3/4 mile, and I decided I would hate camping on the mesa, having to make this round-trip just for water! The views are incredible, and we stopped frequently to enjoy the ruggedness of this part of the canyon, taking nearly an hour to make the final climb. The trail goes right past an old mine, which is now gated closed so access isn't possible. After observing a large vulture endlessly gliding along the updrafts against the canyon walls, we finally reached the mesa. Apparently Kyle had a little mishap on the way to our predetermined meeting point at the old stone cabin where we took another break for food and hydration. We had gone 2.5 miles and gained about 1200 feet over 1:45min. Just 3 miles and 2500 feet to go!!

Day 4: Horseshoe Mesa to Grandview Point
I was planning on this being the most miserable part of the hike. I knew only that it was going to be steep. But I had 4 liters of water, some good snacks, and a mindset ready to do it. A bunch of clouds rolled in just as we started, cooling things off and even dropping a few sprinkles from the sky. The first 1.5 miles was awesome. The grade was much less than I had anticipated, and I was making great time and feeling great. I passed a group coming down for the day, and a NPS employee going to check on water in Cottonwood Creek. The views were getting better, and the late summer sun was low enough in the sky that there were ample shaded spots to catch my breath.

And then I hit the switchbacks. Wow. They are steep. And relentless. The last 1.5 miles is a non-stop grinder rising 1500 feet. When I got to the saddle, Larry asked if we were going to take a break, but despite the climb, I was feeling good and making great time. I was motivated by the ice-filled cooler in my truck at the top and decided to press on without a break. I did take numerous little breath-catcher/photo ops, but nothing more than 20-30 seconds each. Eventually, I heard German and Japanese being spoken and knew that I was almost there! Just around the next corner, I could see the rock wall at the viewpoint, and tourists with cameras all over the place.

I just hiked past them all and went right to my truck. Shoes, socks, shirt came off and I drank an ice cold vitamin water, followed by equally cold and more enjoyable Dales Pale Ale and a Mudshark IPA. We all took a group shot and headed for Flagstaff, spending most of the trip talking about exactly what kind of pizza (and how much) we would all eat when we got there!

It was a great trip with an awesome group of people. Thanks to John for doing most of the planning legwork and to Larry (and his wife) for helping with the shuttle. I can't wait for my next adventure in the Canyon!
Grandview to Hance Creek
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Todd and I woke up Sunday morning to it being 20*, which made breaking down camp and setting up the shuttle rather chilly. :o He dropped me off at the New Hance TH while he drove to the Grandview TH and rode his bike back. I paced the road and did jumping jacks to stay warm. :lol: He showed up at first light and we dropped into New Hance to tackle the upper loosed & steep section while enjoying the early morning views of Coronado Butte. Our legs were still rather cold at first, but we didn't find the trail too difficult. We traversed over to were it drops down the Red Wall section and didn't find that very challenging either. Then made short work of the Red Wash and enjoyed the Hance Rapids before heading west along the Tonto. It was rather different to be doing a section of the Tonto while climbing up from the river as the trail ascends above the beginning of the inner gorge; I'm so used to being along the Tonto Plateau every other section of the Tonto... We cruised along the Tonto into Mineral Canyon and the deep Hance Creek under perfectly clear skies and 65� weather. :D We eventually crossed Hance Creek before finding the junction for the steep climb up to Horseshoe Mesa. It was a little disheartening to realize we have another 2400ft of climbing to go in only 3 miles but at least the first section was rather gradual... :lol: My paced slowed down to about half for those final two miles, but the views are amazing and though steep that trail is still in great shape. :sweat:
Grandview to Hance Creek
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Day 0:
Arrived at the Rim and got some great photos before the weather set in. That night it snowed upwards, it was quite interesting to watch.

Day 1:
The first half mile of Tanner had a bit of snow and ice. A little slippery and I almost lost the trail in one section where it wasn't clear which way to go. Once past the beginning the rest of the trail was much easier than I had been led to believe. I passed a few people headed out of the canyon, the last souls I would speak to for days. I reached Tanner Beach in about 4.5 hours and checked it out in its entirety.

From there I found the start of the Beamer trail and added another ~4 miles until I reached a nice beach near Palisades Beach. All told, ~12-14 miles and I had camp set up by 1 PM. This was fortunate because a rainstorm came roaring from up canyon and rained for about 30 minutes as it passed over me like a locomotive. An hour later and skies were sunny again but it stayed windy all day.

Day 2:
I took the next 6-7 miles of the Beamer to the LCR. First a steep climb then a few 50 foot sections of trail 10 inches wide with a 400 foot drop-off to the left. Cool!

Checked out Beamer's cabin and set up camp the legal distance away from the LCR delta. I spent the next hour trying to find a safe place to cross the roaring LCR. After busting a strap on my hiking pole fighting the current, about 5 tries later I made it across. I filtered water from the Colorado on the good side of the LCR and drank until I was full. It was wonderful. Due to wasting so much time I was unable to explore much of the LCR gorge; it will have to wait for another time.

Day 3:
I took the Beamer and beach trails over to Cardenas. Temperatures nearly hit 90 on the furnace flats. Holy cow was it hot. I finished the 12-14 mile journey by 3:30 PM and met a group of rafters. They were nice and fed me dinner. After spotting a huge rat and trading stories over chocolate cake, we retreated to our numerous tents.

Day 4:
I said my goodbyes to the rafters and headed out on the trail I was most nervous about: doing the full Escalante Route. I began by climbing Cardenas Butte. I saw the ruins after I was past them and made my way up to the head of the unnamed drainage. It was no problem.

Next came the worst part of the trip: the long traverse. For over a mile you walk along a precipitous trail. It's more than a boot sole wide but it requires caution and takes a long time until you reach the front of the butte. Once at the edge you have great views.

The descent into Escalante Canyon is easy enough and you continue through the east arm to get to the west arm. Once there I found many trails but headed down the canyon. After a quarter mile or so you reach a 100 foot pour off but there is a convenient trail that will take you around the rest of the canyon to the bottom.

From the beach you begin an easy climb until you are staring down into 75 mile canyon. You traverse along the rim of the canyon until you reach a down climb about a mile away from the river. The walk down the slot canyon is gravel filled and easy going.

Once I neared 75 mile beach I saw a trail headed high up stairs to the east. Later I found out this was the high route and the easier low route goes along the beach itself. The high route to Papago is rocky and somewhat unpleasant to navigate, however I managed it without too much of a problem.

Finally at Papago beach I arrived hot and sweaty since the temps were again in the upper 80s. Luckily another group of backpackers offered snacks and sunscreen and I cooled down in the Colorado. Next I tackled the feared Papago Wall. I read you needed rope and it was a difficult climb. In reality it is about 25 feet tall and took all of 25 seconds to figure out the route and climb it. I didn't even take off my pack. 2 mantles could be described as semi technical but it is really easy unless you are very short.

On top of the wall it took me a little while to find where the route continues to climb up rocks and through a crack until you top out and follow the ridge to the Papago slide. From the top it looks intimidating but is about 250 feet of mixed large rocks and loose scree. I was careful and took my time going down. In reality it is a gut check staring down at it from the top but turned out to not be that difficult.

Camp was at Red Canyon where I met up with the backpackers who were so kind to me near Papago and we traded stories until bedtime.

Day 5:
Joined forces with my new friends and headed over to Hance Creek. After setting up camp we explored about 2 miles up the west arm of Hance Creek. Spotted a possible old mine site about 1.3 miles in and a spring up canyon but otherwise was fairly uneventful. We spent the day learning a bit about each other's experiences and past trips.

Day 6:
We took the Tonto over to Cottonwood Creek. Set up camp and then climbed up to explore Cave of the Domes. Spent maybe 45 minutes inside where it was more humid than expected and quite warm. We spotted the signatures of past explorers in the domes and found a great formation with a 12+ foot stalactite. We headed over to the west arm of Horseshoe Mesa for some photos and were awestruck by the grandeur of the canyon. Down the west arm we went and made it back to camp.

Day 7:
Headed back up to Horseshoe Mesa and climbed the Grandview out to the rim. Cloud cover kept the sun from baking us and it was a great end to the week. We played celebrity on top for awhile with all the tourists before getting a ride back to Lipan to retrieve my car.


Directions
Map Drive
or
Road
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
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