Hippy told me about this route and I was very intrigued. I love these old routes and begged her to lead the way. Her friend Joe aka Fluffy joined us for this hike.
We started from the BA Trail and followed a good use trail for a mile or so. The trail deteriorates as you proceed. You can tell tourists follow it for a while but turn around when things start getting sketchy. Hippy led us with confidence and determination. We made good progress as we followed the use trail at the base of the Toroweap. After a while Hippy said the sketchy section was right around the next corner. I'll admit I had some anxiety leading up to it. We arrived at it and it's scary but not overwhelming. Hippy talked about carving out footholds the previous week and those made a big difference. We carefully crossed this section and continued wrapping around toward the Orphan Mine relics.
As the route turns to the west you can see an old wooden structure and some old scaffolding used by the tram. We followed a use trail and partially bushwhacked over to the area. Once there we had a look around and took a break. We were chatting and looked up at Maricopa Point to see tourists looking down on us. I waved and they waved back
From there we started making the way up and picked up the Upper Hummingbird trail. There are pink markers sticking up out of the ground and they lead all the way to the rim. Once on top we stopped at Powell Point and then Maricopa Point. From there we returned to the south rim via the Rim Trail.
I have to give props to Hippy for figuring out this route the week before. It's not easy to follow and it definitely has some exposure. Turning around on this route would be very difficult and dangerous. What's next?