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Tanner - Escalante - New Hance, AZ
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46 by photographer avatarDallinW
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Tanner - Escalante - New Hance, AZ 
Tanner - Escalante - New Hance, AZ
Backpack25.91 Miles 8,150 AEG
Backpack25.91 Miles3 Days         
8,150 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners partners
Russell invited me to come along on a 3-day backpacking trip in the Grand Canyon on the Tanner - Escalante - New Hance "loop". He had one extra spot available so I invited my friend Alex to come along too. This was all new territory for me in the canyon so it was impossible to say no.

Day 1
Alex and I met up with Russell and Craig on Saturday morning around 8 A.M. just off the highway on the road you use as parking for New Hance. After some breakfast, we all piled into Craig's truck and headed for Lipan Point.

We started down Tanner Trail making good time despite how steep it was. This is the first "primitive" trail I've been on at the Grand Canyon and I like the feel. Just enough cairns and use to be navigable without much thinking, but you're still on you're toes because it's steep and you might need to use your hands for stabilization.

About 2.5 miles in, Alex, Craig, and I diverged from the Tanner Trail and headed for Escalante Butte via the north ridge. There are a lot of really fun scrambles, and some small climbs before the summit. The views into the canyon from the ridgeline are awesome!

Once at the split summit boulder, we all looked at the spot where you have to make the leap and didn't like how exposed it was. Alex and Craig spent some time trying to find a way to climb the eastern face of the gap. They would always get one or two steps away from being able to pull it off but there wasn't anything secure to grab on top to pull yourself up. I'm not a climber, so for me it was the jump or an assist.

Alex assisted Craig to the top of the summit by letting Craig use his shoulder. I did the same for Alex. While they sat on the summit and signed the register, I re-climbed the western face, positioned myself on the ledge of the gap and re-evaluated the jump. I decided I was going to go for it. I assisted Craig back down from the summit before making the jump so we all wouldn't get stuck up there.

I focused only on where I was going to land, and where my other foot was going to go to pull me up off the ledge which is tilted back towards the gap. Then I shot the gap. Easy peasy!

On the summit, I quickly signed the register and snapped a couple of photos. Russell had probably been waiting an hour by this point. I decided to take the assisted down climb from the summit rather than jump back to the western ledge. That jump looks even scarier. :scared:

We met back up with Russell, had some lunch, then continued down Tanner to the Colorado. Once there we spent some time loitering on the beach before setting up camp. Later in the day @sirena rolled through our camp on one of her Canyon adventures. Nice to meet you!

Day 2
We woke up and started walking a little before 8 A.M. I started a little chilled but quickly warmed up as we hit pockets of sun that had made their way into the canyon already. Once we worked our way across the flat sandy banks of the Colorado to where we would climb up and away from the river, I was over the sun and seeking shade.

Great views along the Escalante route from where you climb away from the river to Papago Creek. Route finding is pretty straightforward all along the route with well placed cairns and in some places a pretty well worn tread. The highlights for me were Seventyfive Mile Creek and the Papago Wall.

Once we reached New Hance Rapids we all got in the river for a little bit while it was hot. The water is really cold at first but it feels refreshing after you get out and let the sun warm you back up. Beach life along the Colorado seems pretty nice.

Day 3
After a not so satisfying night of sleep it was time to exit the big ditch via New Hance. This trail starts out at a really nice grade as you follow the bottom of Red Canyon, but you pay for it later once you leave the bottom of the creek and start a relentless climb up the side to the Rim. There is some overgrowth along this section of the trail and you may need to pay a little more attention for route finding, but it is still pretty straightforward.

I brought a liter and a half of water with me which I had almost completely burned a little over half way up. I started feeling pretty woozy on the last 2 miles, probably because I was starting to get dehydrated. I entered snail mode to crawl up the final 2000ft. From New Hance Rapids to Rim I believe it took us a little over 4 hours. Whew, that climb is a doozy!

Thanks again Russell for the invite!
 Named place
 Named place [ checklist ]
[ checklist ]  Escalante Butte  Escalante Creek
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Autumn Foliage Observation Light
Some yellow here and there in the drainages.
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