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Grand Canyon Parashant NM 2017, AZ
mini location map2017-10-21
44 by photographer avatarRedRoxx44
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Grand Canyon Parashant NM 2017, AZ 
Grand Canyon Parashant NM 2017, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 21 2017
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This trip I would describe as liberating, enjoying some things I haven't in a long time, and downright confidence boosting.
As I made the long dusty drive in from St. George, I had a few things to do---
A very cold night in the Jeep and I was up to hike Mt. Dellenbaugh. Named for Fred Dellenbaugh, a member of JW Powell's 1871-72 Colorado River expedition, his book indicated an Indian ruin on the summit. Also I had information regarding an off the summit rock signature " Dunn, 1869" ; one of the three men that left Powell's first descent Colorado expedition at Separation canyon only to be killed on the way out. The hike up is nothing to talk about but I spent about an hour and a half at the summit area and found both. The ruin not much left but outlines. Summit marker and ammo can register that I signed. The Dunn signature is sort of protected as to the exact location and I will not reveal it either. It was not easy to find and I am pretty sure my pictures did not turn out. But standing there and looking at the huge vistas I was absolutely impressed as to anyone who would take on and navigate through this country successfully with no prior information, native or not.
I drove on to my next camp, the road very rough and slow. I hit bottom twice on the stock ride height Jeep, once my fault and the other I didn't see. No problem as I was just easing over things. A previously locked gate was open and I took the road. An old ranch in a lovely park like setting with towering pines was in bad shape but the area was beautiful. I walked around a little and took in the old corrals and workings. I drove out and camped at an area I had been at previously. I looked speculatively at the canyon head near my camp. Had a little fire, relaxed and decided to take that on the next day although it was not part of my plan.
Getting down in the canyon proved problematic for me. Finally located what seemed to be an old trail on top of some breakdown, took that, then butt slid the rest of the way, destroying my jeans. A bit of boulder hopping on a huge pile of volcanic boulders and I was at the bottom. Stagnant pools. It was very brushy and bouldery. I went up and downcanyon some, but it did not get any better and I decided I had satisfied my curiosity. I stupidly took another route out, and did a small climb I knew I could not get back down. I am now committed. I did have a handline. So up I went, grabbing onto branches, smearing on rock faces with my fortunately grippy boots. I lost my hat, ripped my pants up worse, but I got to the top. I wasn't even that far from the Jeep! I had to laugh, I looked like hell and didn't even cover that much territory! I sat and rested, then drove on.

I took an even rougher side road to a deep tank at the head of another side canyon. Water, a cabin and petroglyphs. I continued on, camped as the road was just terrible and all grown up. Wandered around in the twilight; hundreds of chert chippings held my attention. I slept outside in a cowboy camp, it was not as cold. Up early, backpack on and down the old road I went. I checked my bearings, then descended a scree slope into a dry wash. Easy walking here. Starting to get some rock walls. At a big boulder choke a rancher style blockade was still evident. I picked up a very well thought out stock trail and it took me to the promised spring, which was incredible. Views were opening up on the Esplanade below. I drank from the spring unfiltered and followed the old trail. The canyon fell away below me, and it was just great, the trail well engineered staying near level and following the terrain. Once onto the alluvial fans it all fell apart but there were cairns. I went looking for a reputed stone cabin but did not find it. Disgusted, I hiked into an evolving canyon, and went down it. It wasn't far and I was looking at a slit pour off of about 100-125 feet at least and a second pour off of about 30-40 feet from what I could see. Redwall at the bottom. On the bench was a perfectly level place with sand and boulders and a cedar tree. Perfect to camp. Should have left the shelter at home. Cowboy camped about 15 feet from the pour off; able to hike on either side on benches although the southerly one I did not go far as it rounded a small amphitheater and the footing looked not good to me.
The walls glowed red with the sunset and I could see far down the canyon, it went into another canyon I had been in, not as far south. The night was great again and I knew without reliable water I could not go as far as I wanted. Back up the trail, and out to the Jeep. I drove out now pondering my next move. I had several more things I wanted to do, but in opposite directions and not close. You spend a lot of time driving out here if you are not careful.

I drove to an area I know and camped. This was probably one of my most wonderful car camps ever. I set up my bedding away from the Jeep. I was in a wide open sage brush plain type spot, several canyons dropping off around me and big cliffs in the near distance. The lights of Vegas were not a problem. The star show was frigging incredible. I saw maybe ten meteors, 3 satellites and the same for planes. I wish I knew my constellations more. The wind was still and it was cool but not cold.
The next morning I went to a nearby mine area and explored it more. I left a bright orange shirt on a large machine left at the mine in case. The ladder was still good and I had no problems. How I love to be underground at my leisure. It is always fun to go in with the sun low in the sky and come out and what happened to the day!
The sun high I walked back to the Jeep. Suddenly I was seized by a place I wanted to camp. More driving, I had put in all the gas I had. I car camped at the overlook at the Whitmore trail to try and take some pics in the evening and morning of the Colorado River. Some people came down as I was setting up from the Bar 10 ranch in a bunch of Razers. I took a group pic of them. The first people I had seen in six days.

A slow drive out, I made to St. George with a little over a quarter of a tank of gas. A great wonderful trip, and I still have a few things up my sleeve for the Parashant. Such a great place that you can spend that kind of time and see no one.
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