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mini location map2017-03-22
38 by photographer avatarBiFrost
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Royal Arch RouteNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Backpack avatar Mar 22 2017
BiFrost
Backpack51.13 Miles 14,926 AEG
Backpack51.13 Miles5 Days         
14,926 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Partners partners
chumley
friendofThundergod
The invite for this trip came last minute with someone dropping out but managed to convince my boss I needed time off and made it happen. I've done this backpack before but I missed some cool side trips last time including Elves Chasm so a return trip was a must. Starting from South Bass TH we headed down to the Esplanade and then follow that route over to Royal Arch Canyon. Not a bad trek....longer but easier than the Point Huitzil way to the arch. Eventually we dropped into Royal Arch Canyon and found a spot for the night. No water at camp but was able to find some less than 1/2 mile from camp. Later that night after we had setup camp some good rain and strong winds hit for about 2 hours but it cleared by morning.

Day 2 we headed down Royal Arch Canyon and dropped packs at the canyon exit and day hiked down to the arch. Awesome area as last time so we spent probably 45 mins exploring and taking pics from every angle. Break over we headed back to our packs and started the exit over to the rappel. Rappel was relatively easy because of the solid anchor and rope already in place so we didn't need the rope we brought this time. Quickly down the rope and headed towards Toltec Beach as some rain started to move in. Setup camp on the beach between brief rain showers and tried to stay dry. Fortunately it cleared later in the evening and turned out to be decent night on the beach next to the Colorado.

Day 3 started with fun day hike over to Elves Chasm in the morning. Just like Royal Arch we spent decent amount of time exploring and taking lots of pics. Elves Chasm is very worthy destination and one of the side trips I missed last time. We got back to camp packed up and headed out around noon. First we hiked over to Garnet Canyon and then picked up Tonto Trail where it starts. Once on Tonto it's easy miles and we knocked out quick 6 miles before finding camp on some rock shelves in one of the Tonto Trail side canyons. Pleasant temps this night with no chance of rain and good spot all around.

Day 4 we headed over to South Bass on Tonto Trail finishing up before lunch with a few rain showers rolling through. After quick camp setup that gave us time to head down South Bass Trail to the Colorado and check out Bass Beach and Boat Beach. Cool to see the old boat relic, both beaches and Bass Rapids. Also saw huge boat party stopped just above the rapids. After that headed back to camp and fortunately no more rain but some cool clouds for sunset.

Day 5 only thing left was to hike out. However, @friendofThundergod and I decided to drop packs and day hike Mount Huethawali on the way out. Cool summit to finally get that we bypassed last time....great views from the top for such short day hike. Then it was back down to the packs and the final climb out to the rim. Great 5 days in the canyon and very cool loop! Thanks to @chumley for planning and the invite even if it was last minute :)

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Bass Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
pools in the bedrock

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Garnet Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
some good sized pools in the bedrock

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Royal Arch Creek Medium flow Medium flow
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