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Grandview Horseshoe Mesa Loop May22, AZ
mini location map2022-05-19
2 by photographer avatarAndrewrdc
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Grandview Horseshoe Mesa Loop May22, AZ 
Grandview Horseshoe Mesa Loop May22, AZ
Backpack14.59 Miles 5,082 AEG
Backpack14.59 Miles2 Days         
5,082 ft AEG43 LBS Pack
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Went out to Grandview last week for a multi-day on and around Horseshoe Mesa with my buddy Bryan. This was a very similar trip to one we took together exactly 8 years ago. We hiked down to Horseshoe Mesa and set up camp in the early afternoon… temps were getting above 90 but the wind gusts were approaching 40mph! Not so good for sleeping in a tent (as we would experience later that evening), but helped us get through the hot afternoon without feeling like we were baking while we rested. And rest we did after carrying 7-8 liters of water each down the short (3 miles) but steep Grandview trail. Water that would have to last us until the following afternoon. Plan was to camp overnight on the Mesa, then hike down to Tonto trail the next morning and day hike (clockwise) around Horseshoe Mesa and then back up to camp via Page spring trail.

We left early the next morning and enjoyed the beautiful day and cooler morning temps. Only took a few hours to hike the 6 miles or so around to the east side of Horseshoe Mesa and our most important stop… Hance Creek to fill up our bladders. Hance is perennial and, according to NPS, totally reliable… all I can say is that it was certainly flowing and a beautiful site this past Friday! We took our time enjoying the creek and shade before starting the grueling hike back up to camp on the Mesa with an additional 6 or so liters of water each. IMPORTANT NOTE: at the time of our trip, the NPS had just issued a HEALTH WARNING FOR ALL GC WATER SOURCES. Due to a number of hikers contracting a virus, it was advised that all water sources be filtered AND purified.

The hike back up to Mesa from Hance creek is only about 1.5 miles, but you have to gain about 1000’ in the last mile and the trail is filled with loose rock and includes a number of class 4 climbs. Unfortunately, we did not make the small side trip over to the beautiful Page (Miners) Spring… the other warning from NPS was that this source had been found to contain potentially unsafe levels of arsenic… no thanks. Back up at camp we relaxed the rest of the afternoon while the wind continued to blow… finally settling to an easy breeze at about 6pm… dinner time. Pad Thai noodles, chocolate chip cookie bites and some bourbon later, we hit the sack early and crashed hard…what a day!

Waking up early Sat morning, we enjoyed the sunrise, made some coffee and breakfast while breaking down camp and packing up. The hike out would be another grind… about 2,500’ of elevation over 3 miles. But, I would do it again tomorrow… what a hike and what a great trip!

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Hance Creek Light flow Light flow
Plenty of pools to filter from, especially just down creek from where Tonto trail crosses creek. Rangers say this source is 100% reliable and it certainly looked it!

dry Page Spring Dry Dry
IMPORTANT… according to NPS, this source has been tested to show higher levels of arsenic than may be safe! Also not a reliable source if you choose to ignore the arsenic warnings… please check with NPS before heading out.
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