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Spencer Trail - Marble Canyon, AZ

Guide 47 Triplogs  2 Topics
  4.4 of 5 
449 47 2
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Difficulty 4 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 4 miles
Trailhead Elevation 3,150 feet
Elevation Gain 1,511 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,641 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 4 - 5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 12.21
Backpack No
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20  2021-10-14
Spencer to Horseshoe Bend Peninsula
7  2021-10-14
Spencer - Horseshoe Bend
24  2021-05-18
Spencer to Dominguez Pass return via Paria
13  2019-11-24 JuanJaimeiii
3  2017-11-11 friendofThunderg
8  2017-09-02
Spencer Dominguez Pass Fail
6  2017-09-01 JuanJaimeiii
1  2017-05-18 Appalachia
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5
Author Ben
author avatar Guides 2
Routes 0
Photos 20
Trips 3 map ( 30 miles )
Age 79 Male Gender
Location Glendale, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb → 7 AM
Seasons   Early Autumn to Late Spring
Sun  6:43am - 5:37pm
Official Route
5 Alternative

Climb Echo Cliff
by Ben

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This hike involves following the signs as one walks upstream. The trail divides as one path leads along the north side of the Colorado River, while the left branch heads up the Spencer Trail. After a hundred yards of slight incline, the next mile is continual switchback climbing. During this climb, one can view the Echo Peaks to the south of the Colorado where John Dellenbaugh fired his pistol in 1872 in an attempt to use echo to determine distance from the peak to the river. The thousands of returning echoes lead him to just estimate elevation and name the 70 mile long cliff system the Echo Cliffs. Also, the Vermilion Cliffs with Powell's Monument on top are in full display. If an early morning hike is involved, the morning sun delivers the namesake colors. Also, the muddy waters of the Paria River can be seen entering the emerald green water of the Colorado. Below the painted desert colors of the Chinle Formation is also visible. After considerable climb, Lee's Backbone, the early ferry road up the southern bank of the river, can be seen.

Once the switchback end and the hiker reaches the top of the cliff, views of Page, Lake Powell, the Kaiparowits Plateau, The narrowing of Paria Canyon, and Navajo Mountain are available. After continuing another couple hundred yards, one can look 1,000 feet straight down into Glen Canyon. Walking along the Glen Canyon western rim is possible from downstream near Finger Arch and upstream to Death Pockets. If time permits, a hiker can continue north to Domingues Pass through the Echo Cliff. This is where the Spanish Fathers, Dominguez and Escalante crossed in their return to trip south to the Hopi Mesas and eventually New Mexico.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

This is a moderately difficult hike.

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

2005-01-15 Ben
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    100 Classic Hikes - 2007
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.

Permit $$

Glen Canyon NRA National Park
Glen Canyon Entrance Fee - 1-7 Day Vehicle Pass - $25

Boat fees additional, follow provided NPS link above.

Map Drive
Paved - Car Okay

To hike
Drive north on 89A across the Marble Canyon Bridge to the Lee's Ferry turn to the right. Drive to the end of the road and park near Lee's Historic Fort.

Directions to the Trail: Follow 89A north to Lee's Ferry Road just after crossing the Marble Canyon Bridge. Drive to the end of the road parking lot near Lee's historic fort and the Grand Canyon Float launching area. Follow signs to the trailhead at the base of Echo Cliffs.
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