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Hermit/Tonto/Monument/Tonto/BA, AZ
mini location map2013-04-17
47 by photographer avatartrekkin_gecko
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Hermit/Tonto/Monument/Tonto/BA, AZ 
Hermit/Tonto/Monument/Tonto/BA, AZ
Backpack avatar Apr 17 2013
Backpack31.80 Miles 7,000 AEG
Backpack31.80 Miles5 Days         
7,000 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
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where to start?
this trip has been in the works for months
kelly planned a great itinerary for us
since it was so far off my radar, i didn't realize until a couple weeks ago it was a four night trip instead of three :o
should i admit that?
finally focused and assembled gear, food and clothing
picked up jess and headed north
hiked shoshone point monday and battleship tuesday for a good taste of things to come
after some final shopping at the general store, shuttle plans and packing the backpacks, we were ready to get going
mileages are from kelly's map, and aeg is estimated from haz gps routes

day 1: hermit trail to hermit creek (7.0 on hermit + 1.2 on tonto = 8.2 miles)
i loved everything about hermit trail - views, potential options, the trail itself
it would be tough to go up this way, especially on the cathedral stairs
took our time and got used to the packs on the downhill
hiking poles were invaluable to stabilize and balance
still a little windy and cool
at one point it looked like we were going to get rained on, but only a dozen flurries hit us
rolled into hermit creek camp to find it almost full, but got a nice enough campsite
had our first issue, as my sawyer squeeze didn't want to squeeze (worked better by day 3)
thank goodness kelly had her steri-pen
lesson #1: test everything before hitting the trail
i'll be investing in a steri-pen soon
this was our coldest night

day 2: day trip to hermit rapids (2.6 mi), tonto to granite rapids (4.5)
after breakfast and coffee went down hermit creek to the rapids
the creek is very pretty and had flowing water
the rapids were intimidating and we were lucky enough to see one large raft and a group of smaller rafts and a kayaker go through
pretty cool, and of course now i want to do a river trip
wandered around the area awhile, then hiked back to camp to pack up
made our way back on the tonto in the warmest part of the day to monument, then down to granite rapids
while not as big as hermit, still would make for a nice ride
we had the entire large beach to ourselves!
the only others down there were the crew working on planting willows and cottonwoods to replace the torn out tamarisk
jess slept out on the beach and kelly in her hammock

day 3: monument creek (1.3 miles)
pretty cool to wake up at the colorado river
explored the other side of the creek along the river
didn't see any rafters
eventually packed up and went back to monument campground
only one other party there and we found a nice double campsite that could accommodate a hammock
several other parties arrived during the afternoon
i spent some time hiking up and down the creek/canyon
the park service requires a ratsack or something similar for food and trash but we didn't see any rodents the first two nights
kelly saw mice in her tree but bravely hung in the hammock
since the next day would be a long one, we decided to get an earlier start

day 4: monument to indian garden (10.7 miles)
got going at a decent time for us and faced the steep climb out of monument right off
the tonto was pleasant, and it was nice to see views of the river occasionally
the drainages were interesting, too
kelly spotted a grand canyon pink rattlesnake near horn creek where we took a good break
carried on to indian garden, which seemed quite luxurious compared to the three previous camps, with much better toilets, no worries about water and a comfy picnic table to sit on
saw two of our previous neighbors
i hiked out to plateau point
went to the condor talk
relaxed and read

day 5: bright angel to the rim (4.5 miles)
all of my food was gone, trash minimal, and i didn't carry much water so my pack was lighter
thought this would be a killer, but it really wasn't bad at all
kind of a shock to see so many people, but for a sunday, traffic was relatively light
judged my progress by where i was in relation to battleship, and of course at the rest houses
the girls were close behind in good shape and we were off to lunch

those are the high points, now for some musings:
i realize this wasn't the hardest or most remote trip, but it was my fifth backpack and the most nights i've spent on the trail
hermit was a good next step beyond the corridor trails along with backcountry campsites
i really enjoyed going down to the river at hermit and granite rapids
we all got along fine and backed each other up on the water filter situation, sharing food and gear and planning the day
kelly has a much nicer map than i do
i like my sleeping set up, brought the right clothing, and could have used a couple days worth of additional lunch type snacks
left behind a second pair of shoes and my gps
would have liked my coffee from a press, but it's hard to beat the weight of via coffee
not 100% happy with my pack pockets (rei flash 52) but it's very comfortable
it was good to have a trail overnight on weaver's needle a week ago
brought some flannel pajama pants which combined with fresh socks kept me warm and my sleeping bag clean
thought i was getting a cold right before the trip and i am now a big fan of airborne and emergen-C as i felt fine
i've done three backpacks without hiking poles, and now find them to be an essential piece of gear
still wake up a lot in the night
know i'm leaving lots of stuff out, but can always revise
many thanks to cactuscat for planning and getting the permits
jess, you're solid as a rock and i enjoyed your company on the drive
if you can't tell from the above, i loved this trip :)
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90+° 8am - 6pm kills
Avoid Heat Illness - stay cool
11.5 inch Teflon Coated Umbrella
Super Wide Brim Sun Hat for Men or Women
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