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Salt Trail Canyon to LCR Gorge
46 Photosets

2013-10-25  
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mini location map2013-05-11
25 by photographer avatarchumley
photographer avatar
page 1   2
 
Salt Trail Canyon to LCR GorgeNortheast, AZ
Northeast, AZ
Backpack avatar May 11 2013
chumley
Backpack10.97 Miles 3,993 AEG
Backpack10.97 Miles2 Days         
3,993 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
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BobP
nonot
The LCR drains an area the size of Massachusetts. Subsequently, it is often a river of mud and silt from the desert above. Luckily, part of the desert it drains is the Painted Desert, and as the water flows through the various paints it picks up amazing pigments of color. Most popular is the turquoise blue from the natural cobalt deep in the rock above and that is what we were in search of.

After two consecutive days of airborne reconaissance photography, and a birds eye view of the river from above the night before, we were excited to get down and do some tubing!

The trail is a :pk: :pk: . Since you can't treat or drink any of the mineralized water in the canyon, you have to carry plenty with you. The weight on your pack makes this otherwise very difficult trail an extremely cumbersome and laborious journey. It might be the most difficult place I've ever carried a full pack.

So after 4-5 hours, we hit the river, set up camp, and began exploring. Nonot went downstream, and Bob and I went to explore Big Canyon. After a fun scramble, we got to Emerald Pool. It had flashed last winter and the canyon has changed from previous photos I had seen. I decided to cool off in the pool, and let me just say it was cold enough to make the Colorado seem like a warm bath. :o

We headed back down to the river and I decided to float back to camp. That went ok, so Bob and I both decided to float down to the Sipapu and find Nonot. The float was the highlight of the trip, and we amazingly survived numerous cascades over travertine dams, and my $4 wallyworld floaty performed astonishingly well. Bob had a couple of mishaps, but managed the whole thing ok.

The walk back upstream was a blast. It's basically a blind walk through 6-8 foot reeds and brush, straw, sand, and mud that smells like New Jersey, but there's enough of a path that you can move ok.

An unidentified snake came through camp at night and tried to climb my chair and slither into my boots. It didn't have a rattle so I didn't care too much. Passed out around 9 and was up early enough to get out of the canyon before the sun started warming it up. I was glad we got our permits since we were surprised to find the Ranger at the trailhead checking when we got back to the truck.

3 minute recap (PG-13 for language and adult content):
http://youtu.be/cAT55C-X30k

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Big Canyon Light flow Light flow
Trickle flow over the falls, but spring flow below is pretty good. Water smells like the ocean. Salty and not drinkable even if treated.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Salt Trail Canyon Light flow Light flow
Flow from the spring at the bottom of the canyon. Rest of canyon is dry except for the pot halfway up. Spring water is undrinkable even if treated due to mineral content
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