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mini location map2021-04-25
14 by photographer avatarjacobemerick
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Nankoweap TrailNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 25 2021
jacobemerick
Hiking27.71 Miles 7,187 AEG
Hiking27.71 Miles   15 Hrs   1 Min   2.13 mph
7,187 ft AEG   2 Hrs   1 Min Break
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Drove up on Saturday and setup camp near the trailhead. Winds were v annoying, and even though I was able to keep my setup (bag & pad on cot) from blowing away with bungee cords, it was not a restful night of sleep. Got up and hit the trail at 4AM.

Hauling up the Saddle Mountain portion was nerve-wracking, with strong winds clattering the burned branches in the darkness. Forgot to pack some gear (like my trekking poles) and I already missed them on the steady uphill with my water-heavy pack. Trail is easy to follow, even through the wash, and the few deadfall are easy to navigate. Some snow on the upper cliffs tucked away in the shade, none near the path.

Supai Traverse was beautiful in the waking day and all-the-more treacherous with the winds. Seriously, I had to brace myself and hug rocks and even drop to a knee numerous times, those gusts with that exposure was terrifying. Trekking poles would have been v helpful. The drop past Tilted Mesa, with the loose gravel and slanted paths, was mentally exhausting, and I was very grateful when I finally reached the little flat before the creek. Chatted briefly with a group of 5-6 campers, sharing some weather intel (it was even windier down here last night), and then sped down the creek, anxious about my return trip.

Trail was difficult to follow along Nankoweap Creek, though it doesn't matter much. Just follow the water. Creek flowed all the way to the Colorado, and I went too, pulling a liter (very easy to filter, not as silty as I feared) before heading up to the graneries just as a boat group was hiking down. Lunch, rest, and time to head back.

Returning up the creek was easy enough, and I filtered to full capacity before starting the real climb. Felt nauseous (also forgot my usual nuun tablets and was using mio energy to supplement the water intake, which was too sweet for me and didn't settle well with my plethora of salty / sugary snacks). The hike up was slow, and I had to stop a bunch of times to keep from puking or brace against the wind, which did not let up all day. Finally reached the saddle and tumbled down the other side, finishing up with the sunset.

Saw two groups of backpackers (one at the creek, another one along the hike out) and boaters. Ignoring the winds and gear mistakes, this is an absolutely gorgeous and quiet trail, and I'm already scheming a return trip with a few side ventures.
Named place
Named place
Grand Canyon National Park

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Lower Nankoweap Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Didn't see the exact spring, but the creek is flowing all the way to the river.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Nankoweap Creek Light flow Light flow
Good flow all the way to river, plenty of options to filter from along the trail.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Nankoweap Creek Trail Junction Light flow Light flow
Creek is flowing at junction. Also, clean water dripping from the banks, and a group of backpackers was drinking directly from the seep w/o filtering.
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