Back to the Grand Canyon to finish some more Tonto Trail and check out Old Grandview Trail. Took a taxi from GC Visitor Center to Grandview TH…$24 one way for anyone considering the option. First night the goal was camp at Cottonwood Creek from Grandview TH so we only had to hike about 6.8 miles. Starting about 130 we made it camp by 530. Being the drier part of the year there was no water at the crossing of Cottonwood so dropped the pack and ventured upstream and found some small pools about ¼ mile up as well as nice camp close by among some cottonwoods.
Day 2 we wanted to check out Old Grandview Trail down to the Colorado River which is about 2.5 miles from Cottonwood Creek. There is a large cairn marking the junction which drops abruptly from the rim towards the river. The first part is not too bad but the bottom half is very steep and loose scree and boulders abound. Once at the river we took a nice long break spending over an hour. Two boat crews passed by and one offered a beverage which is always welcome After the break we headed back up which was much easier going up the scree and took about 30 minutes less. Back at the junction it’s 3 miles over to Grapevine Canyon and camp for the second night. Again no water at the crossing but there were some clear pools downstream a few hundred yards.
Day 3 the camp was at Lonetree Canyon continuing west bound on Tonto Trail but our main concern was water. So we headed out early with the goal of spending the afternoon searching for water. Fortunately we found it about 3 or 4 tenths of mile downstream from the trail crossing. The source is a spring that’s probably reliable all year and is marked by a lone cottonwood tree. We rested in the shade and filtered water with the relief that the search was easier than expected. Then headed back to camp and relaxed rest of the afternoon.
Day 4 just needed to make it out of the canyon with little more 10 miles to South Kaibab TH. Of course there were very few people seeing only 3 in 23 miles from Horseshoe Mesa below Grandview to the Tip Off at South Kaibab. Once on the SK it was back to the crowds but nice to do this trip in 4 days with plenty of time to enjoy Old Grandview Trail and Tonto Trail.