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South Bass to Shinumo, AZ
mini location map2014-08-17
21 by photographer avatarjoebartels
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South Bass to Shinumo, AZ 
South Bass to Shinumo, AZ
Backpack avatar Aug 17 2014
Backpack25.30 Miles 8,000 AEG
Backpack25.30 Miles1 Day   4 Hrs   22 Mns   
8,000 ft AEG30 LBS Pack
1st trip
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Dave has researched this area pretty good and has a feel for it having hiked various areas. He posted up an event inviting forty thousand of his closest friends. Being the middle of August, screaming hot and a sketchy river crossing the turnout was low... me. Lucky me!

Unfamiliar with the area, crossing the river and not being much of backpacker I was a tad nervous. Luckily I've been so busy I didn't have time to contemplate. Ten hours before heading out I started packing. 45 minutes later, done with that crap! Fifteen minutes into the drive Dave mentioned "bivvy". Crap! I packed my 15° WM bag for an August Dave was kind enough to turn around and save me from internal combustion.

The NPS must notify the Havasupai Reservation as they were present to collect. I'm grateful they allow us to pass through for a nominal fee rather than eight to twenty miles of mundane flat hiking.

South Bass Trail
7:50am we started down at 83 degrees. Within ten minutes I worked up a sweat. My poor little sweat glands were in for a workout of a lifetime. The only hike I remember sweating more was transversing Mt Lemmon August 2012. JJ was scooting boot on that one. Dave strolled a more comfortable pace on this trip.

A rather bleak hike down to the river was expected. The trail drops just shy of a thousand feet in the first mile. There are a couple 900 ft drop miles too. They have less bite verse the top mile. The terrain is not bleak. I found it fascinating in many areas. Before long we passed what Dave calls We-the-Wally ( Huethawali ). I saw it four years ago on the Royal Arch trip with Denny, Bob & Berk. Which of course prompted a Jungle Book version of "We-the-Wally the fearless Wally, we've come to hike this land"
( sing along, it's cool )

Dave & I made it to our launch beach with a stop off to check out the Ross Wheeler in 3.5 hours. We aired up the packrafts, jumped in our wetsuits and pushed off. The river did not feel shocking cold. It was enjoyable in my opinion. I'd guess 55-60 degrees due to the mud brown runoff verse under the dam ice cubes. Even though the river looked to be moving fast the flat water was easy to navigate.

North Bass
We stashed our river gear and headed up North Bass. Dave was getting toasty in the midday sun so we found some shade for a break. Shinumo came quick. We made Bass camp minutes later. The remaining four pounds of ice in my pack was not quenching my thirst. It just wouldn't melt surrounded by all the gear. Six pounds of ice typically melts in four hours in my non-insulated daypack. Which sits right on my back cooling me down. Needless to say since I hadn't drank much in the past hour the filter ceremony commenced!

Shinumo looked like a twenty year flood passed through last Tuesday? Most of the tamarisk and low foliage was plowed over. Looked like it crested eight feet higher near Bass Camp. It must have been incredible further up as it narrows.

The water was 83 degrees, so warmer than expected. It's currently 64 degrees at Reavis for reference. Dave was beat from the heat so we took an hour and a half break. jj doesn't know what he's missing out on, this break and relax thing has potential!

Dave had a few options for the hike after Bass Camp ( Shinumo Camp on topo ). With the heat slowing us down we set the goal at reaching Flint Creek. I made it to White Creek without getting my feet wet. Continuing up Shinumo requires countless creek crossings and hiking in the creek for stretches. While non-technical canyoneering was a thrill for me in the past I've avoided it more in recent years as other interests have surfaced.

That said it's pretty easy going, just a constant hassle. It felt like we were going really really slow. The miles just wouldn't melt off. On the bright side it was fascinating scenery. The extra bonus was a water cascade massage pool! A five minute soak in the Shinumo jet jacuzzi revives you for a solid half hour in the August skillet & humidity.

Dave spoke several times of a waterfall just up from the Flint confluence. It never dawned on me to query the freefall of the beast until maybe a quarter mile upon it. So what are we in for, a thirty, fifty, eighty or maybe a two hundred foot waterfall. "Um I think it's 15 feet". Kerplunk. Okay, still enough to seek out considering we were so close. Rounding the corner I hear "okay, maybe it's ten feet"

What it lacked in height was clearly still a sight to behold. Shinumo narrowed and the backdrop with the massive mini falls was worth the look. Dave said a bunch of yahoos use the frame for their "Remember the 90's" hiking group.

Dave checked out some rock piles while I admired Dox Castle, then we headed back. We made it back to Bass Camp an hour quicker. Being after 6pm the weather was storybook. While heading back I realized how lucky I was to be hiking in such an incredible place. We camped and headed back up the next morning. A great trip! We saw Humphreys capped with snow driving home ( probably hail ).

I went into this thing with little anticipation. Dave wanted to check it out. I figured good company and a chance to see a new area. I must be getting sick as I kinna wanna know what Flint and Upper Shinumo are all about. ...
Hopi Rattlesnake
Boat / Ship
Named place
Named place
Dox Castle Shinumo Creek
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
Desert Senna is popping in the lower elevations. Which I found exciting as it is popping in the Sonoran Desert around the Valley. Dave pointed out some young broadleaf milkweed. Which we saw on occasion. Some paintbrush and few others. On the drive along I-40 west of Flag the sunflower fields are in full glory!

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max White Creek Light flow Light flow
Very light flow which Dave said he noted on a previous trip. Of course Shinumo runs nearby like a river by desert standards.
- joe
HAZ Member
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