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Pipe Creek Canyon
4 Photosets

mini location map2022-10-29
5 by photographer avatarshelby147
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Pipe Creek CanyonNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking16.50 Miles 5,600 AEG
Hiking16.50 Miles   9 Hrs      2.20 mph
5,600 ft AEG   1 Hour   30 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
My goal for this day was to hike down Bright Angel, walk up the bottom of Pipe creek and come up onto the tonto platform as described in the Tomasi book, and hike out South Kaibab via the Skeleton point route. It all went great until I reached the first cliff :lol:

I reached the chockstone at the bottom of Pipe creek and climbed the slope on the east side. I wasn't sure where to go around and back into the creekbed - there were at least three possible levels with faint sheep tracks. First I went to the very top. The slope was loose and I didn't love it. I looked around the corner and said "hell nah" - I assumed there'd be another slope but upon checking the book I was supposed to follow a "decomposing ledge". No ledges looked appealing anyway. I checked around the corner at two lower levels and also felt sufficiently cliffed out. Things definitely looked climable, but I'm not a climber. There was webbing above the chockstone and it looked so close. I followed a track back down to the creekbed and had an easier time descending than expected.

I was a bit bummed my plan didn't work out because now I had to either hike up crowded Bright Angel or all the way over to South Kaibab on Tonto. But I consoled myself by finding the base of the old devil's corkscrew and then following the old trail all the way up to Tonto. I only lost it at the very top where it crossed the wash. I thought this trail was still in great shape and much faster than the new one. I saw an interesting hollow at the base of the tapeats.

I took my time looking down on pipe creek from above. It's pretty cliffy at the head. I found a broken china plate. It's a good thing that pipe creek had good flow because otherwise I'd have had to return to Indian Garden anyway. It took an hour to ascend the slope and redwall break to Skeleton point. I came up just as some hikers were looking over the break and they just said "that was unexpected".

All in all, an enjoyable hike with some new ground. I'll have to go back to tag pipe creek another day.

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