|Bill Hall Trail - Thunder River, AZ|
|Bill Hall Trail - Thunder River, AZ|| |
Bill Hall Trail - Thunder River, AZ
|Hiking||17.52 Miles|| 14 Hrs 2 Mns ||1.77 mph|
|5,445 ft AEG|| 4 Hrs 9 Mns Break|
|Spent 4th of July weekend on the North Rim Grand Canyon car camping at elevation was very nice. Not having an overnight permit we opted for day hike down to Thunder River. Started somewhat early from Bill Hall Trailhead and empty parking lot. |
Down the initial descent and onto the Esplanade went relatively quickly. Easy hiking across the flats to the top of Surprise Valley. We took a break overlooking the valley about 930 and reminder that it’s hot in July. After the break dropped down the switchbacks to Surprise Valley and hiked across to the access for Thunder River. First look at Thunder River from above is impressive with the lush green patch of trees against the stark canyon backdrop. Next we descended the switchbacks down to Thunder River and the oasis in the canyon.
Reaching Thunder River we had the whole place to ourselves. Probably July had something to do with that but I thought maybe we would see some people. We spent about 3 hours enjoying the falls and the constant cool mist that must have cut the temps by 25 degrees. Very tough to leave this place but eventually we had to return and face the heat.
The initial switchbacks up were very hot but after that it was tolerable. By the time we reached the Esplanade it was much nicer so we took another good break under some rock overhangs. Finishing up the Esplanade we just had the final climb out to the rim. That’s always the toughest part and took it slow with a few short breaks. Arrived on the rim as it was getting dark to find a group preparing for hike in next morning. Fortunately our car camp spot was all setup and relatively close to the trailhead so easy night at camp after a great hike!