Day 1: Tanner to Cardenas Creek
Ice down Tanner for the first mile. Good thing we all had microspikes. Super steep trail with beautiful views all the way down to the river. Pretty good campsites at Tanner beach and a vault toilet. We filled water and pushed on to the beach at Cardenas creek for the night. Could definitely see running into a large river trip here but there is a lot of room.
Day 2: Cardenas Creek
Chilled at the beach all day. I have to give a shout out to Water Wizard flocculant. Just a few drops from an eye dropper bottle flocculates all the silt in under 5 minutes. Much easier than alum. Saw two small rafting trips float by. Two guys hopped out and gave us beer which was awesome.
Day 3: Escalante Route, Cardenas to Hance Rapids
What an adventure this trail is. Every corner provides a different perspective of the Colorado. Highlight of the trip for sure. Seventy-five mile canyon was pretty special. The Papago Wall and Slide aren't that bad at all.
Day 4: Tonto Trail, Hance Rapids to Hance Creek
Pretty decent elevation gain but nothing too crazy. Good views from the Tonto plateau. Hance creek is a special place to camp with clear, running water. I could see it being popular when in season. Up to now, we only saw a solo hiker and a group of three.
Day 5: Hance Creek to Grandview
This is quite the climb but you are rewarded with excellent views of the canyon the whole way up. About a mile from the TH we started to run into a few people.
Overall, I was surprised by the solitude - is it always like this in the winter? Can't wait to explore more of the GC - anyone have some more routes they could recommend?