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Old Hance Trail
5 Photosets

2013-05-18  
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2013-04-07  
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2013-04-07  
mini location map2013-05-18
25 by photographer avatarchumley
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Old Hance TrailNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Backpack avatar May 18 2013
chumley
Backpack7.35 Miles 4,047 AEG
Backpack7.35 Miles2 Days         
4,047 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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John9L
9L and I decided to do this crazy thing. Apparently John Hance had once developed a route from this point on the rim all the way to the river. I'm not sure when that was, but it surely doesn't exist anymore.

While there were definite signs that other idiots like us have ventured this way before, there is certainly no route. I joked that if you have hiked 15 minutes and haven't seen a cairn you are probably on the correct path! To be honest, there are occasional sections where a faint path exists, but each time we found one, we were quickly puzzled by where it disappeared to. It became easier to find our own way than it was to attempt to figure out how anybody else had made the trip before us. There were no good or easy options.

The first mile or so drops about 2500 feet. It is steep. I learned that any rock I saw was 99% certain to not be attached to the mountain. I listened to several I had dislodged as they bounced and rolled for what seemed like minutes, echoing below us. So footing was an issue, and the travel was slow. It took just over 2 hours to get down that 2500 feet to the break in the redwall.

From there, Hance Creek is a relatively easy boulder-hopping excursion, and we bombed down to the Tonto in just about an hour.

We met up with Frank, Elliott, and Teresa who had hiked in on Grandview and set up camp. The five of us took a day trip to Sockdolager Rapid which I chronicled in a separate triplog.

Sunday morning we were in no real rush, but headed out at about 8am. I was thinking it would take less time to climb because the loose footing had slowed us so much coming down, but that wasn't the case. There are enough cairns just above the redwall to follow some use paths a bit, but we had trouble finding the way back to the main drainage, and once there we somehow ended up too far right and ended up climbing the entirely wrong drainage. Absolute misery! Somewhere along the line we met up with a nice canyon rattlesnake just to keep us on our toes. That was fun to think about since at least 50% of the time I was literally crawling up the slope on all fours.

Finally after over 4 hours we reached the rim. Phew! I posted a GPS track, but there's plenty of track that should never be followed again. Waypoints on the track will tell you where.

Having essentially hiked rim to river and back all off-trail is quite an accomplishment, but not one that I think I'd like to try again anytime soon!

Youtube video (2:30): http://youtu.be/CGV5xp8vKSA
Flora
Flora
Dune Primrose
Fauna
Fauna
Red Spotted Toad
Geology
Geology
Azurite Malachite
Culture
Culture
Old Rusty Stuff

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Hance Cabin Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
A couple of clear pools in the creek and light flow in the brief area where there is water above ground here.
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