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282 triplogs

Oct 19 2019
ddgrunning
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 209
 Photos 3,582
 Triplogs 282

49 male
 Joined Apr 13 2011
 Gilbert, AZ
Santa Fe BaldyNorth Central, NM
North Central, NM
Hiking avatar Oct 19 2019
ddgrunning
Hiking14.82 Miles 3,800 AEG
Hiking14.82 Miles   6 Hrs   51 Mns   2.22 mph
3,800 ft AEG      10 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
This is the "Humphreys-from-Inner-Basin"hike of New Mexico, albeit with a little less AEG and a little less impressive aspen groves, but with the added bonuses of multiple streams and summit views down to a nice, alpine lake. Lucky for me, my travels to Santa Fe allowed me to catch the area in peak fall colors season.

The approach to Santa Fe Baldy begins at the Santa Fe ski resort parking area, which sits at 10,300 ft. There is ample parking (no fee) next to the TH, which is furnished with bathroom facilities, but no water.

Right out of the gate, the trail climbs approximately 600 feet in the first 3/4 mile, leaving the unacclimated lungs and calves a bit burning. Topping out at about 10,900, you reach the Pecos Wilderness Boundary, which is marked by a fence. For a shorter hike with views, you can turn right here and follow the fence line up to Deception Peak and on to Lake Peak, with views down to Nambe Lake below. But those bound for Santa Fe Baldy continue through the gate and begin a gentle, contouring descent around the north side of the mountain divide. Approximately, 2 1/4 mile, you arrive at a junction where taking a (signed) right will lead you up to Nambe Lake. Continuing across the stream that descends from Nambe Lake, the Winsor trail continues its contour and descends down to about 10,400 feet, where at about 3.6 miles, you cross another stream.

At that point, the trail heads in a more northerly direction and begins switchbacking--at first gently, and then more steeply, up to the Santa Fe Baldy saddle. What has been to this point a mostly forested hike, opens up to views of the surrounding peak, as you approach and then cross the tree line. As it was a cold but clear mid-October day on my hike, this was also the first time the sun shed some warming rays on me, unfiltered by the thick forest.

At the saddle, which lies at about 11,700 feet, the warmth of the sun was blunted by the countervailing wind, which picked up and prompted a short break to layer up a bit.

More interestingly, the saddle provides your first glimpse of the other side of the divide, which on this day, painted a picture of fall colors in the forested hills and valleys beyond. At this junction--nearly 6 miles in, the Winsor trail continues down the other side of the divide down towards Katherine Lake (not visible from the saddle). That's a trip for another day, though you can look forward to seeing Katherine Lake from just beyond the summit a little later on.

Leaving the trusty Winsor trail, at the saddle, the destination on this day is Santa Fe Baldy, the trail to which hangs a hard left at the saddle, and much like its Humphreys counterpart in AZ, leaves a steep mile and another 900+ feet of AEG to make the summit.

The trail up to this point is well groomed and easy to follow. Just past the saddle, the trail enters a rocky area, which makes the trail somewhat more difficult to discern in spots, but nothing that requires significant route finding skills.

Now fully above the treeline, the views get more and more expansive as you ascend. From the saddle on up, it's likely to be a little windy. On this day, it was (thankfully) not much more than a breeze--though still quite cold, with short stints of photo-opping followed quickly with shoving my hands back into my pockets to re-warm them.

The trail generally follows the divide up and around to the north until the summit cairn comes into view. The cairn provided welcome shelter from the easterly blowing winds. For some reason, my Garmin registered the summit at 12,660, rather than 12,622.

Venturing beyond (and yes, down) from the summit means some additional AEG to get back to the trail, but is well worth it for the "money shot" of the hike with beautiful views down to Katherine Lake, nearly 1000 feet below. Lots of good spots to sit down, enjoy the sun and the break from the wind, and soak in the beauties of nature surrounding you in this alpine environment.

On this day, I crossed paths with only one person on the entire trip up, and enjoyed complete solitude at the summit. After a good 20 minutes exploring the summit/Lake Katherine views, I returned the way I came. Those last couple of miles going back UP to the wilderness boundary--though gently rising, were more taxing on my "ascenders" than I wanted. The steep descent over the last 3/4 mile brought me back to the parking area, followed by a winding and beautiful canyon drive, during which the best fall colors were on proud display from about 8000-9500 ft.--with the roadsides swelling with carloads of visitors, getting their fall color fix in.
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Oct 12 2019
ddgrunning
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 209
 Photos 3,582
 Triplogs 282

49 male
 Joined Apr 13 2011
 Gilbert, AZ
Flatiron Hike - SuperstitionsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 12 2019
ddgrunning
Hiking5.71 Miles 2,623 AEG
Hiking5.71 Miles   3 Hrs   27 Mns   1.70 mph
2,623 ft AEG      5 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
Nice day to hit up Flatiron with a friend who had not been before. The trail was busy but not overly crowded. Had a 2 pm hard deadline to be back, so we just popped out of the drainage and enjoyed the views over the Flatiron for a minute and then hustled back down. Always a great hike and a solid workout.
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Oct 05 2019
ddgrunning
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 209
 Photos 3,582
 Triplogs 282

49 male
 Joined Apr 13 2011
 Gilbert, AZ
Mount Timpanogos via Timpooneke Trail, UT 
Mount Timpanogos via Timpooneke Trail, UT
 
Hiking avatar Oct 05 2019
ddgrunning
Hiking15.51 Miles 4,653 AEG
Hiking15.51 Miles   8 Hrs   5 Mns   2.19 mph
4,653 ft AEG   1 Hour    Break
 
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Two years ago, I first summitted Timp via the Aspen Grove trailhead. It was a fantastic hike under wintery conditions, but the summit victory was dulled a bit due to it being enshrouded by clouds. So, fast forward to last weekend, I was back for some summit redemption.

This time, even though I was staying at Aspen Grove--a mere 1/4 mile from the trailhead, I wanted to experience the other approach to to the summit, via the Timpooneke Trail. So, along with my son-in-law, we left the Aspen Grove lodge at 5:30 am and made the 20 minute drive on the Alpine Loop around to the Timpooneke TH. It is a popular trail, and even though we arrived before 6 a.m. there were already 20-30 cars in the parking area. It's a thing to hike Timp in the middle of the night, in order to be at the summit for sunrise, so likely, many of those cars had been there since the wee hours of the morning.

In any event, we were on the trail and hiking by headlamp around 5:50 am. The first three miles were in the dark. We passed Scout Falls (the trail actually criss-crosses over it a couple of times), but could only hear it.

As the eastern sky began to show the light of dawn, we had only encountered a couple of hikers and a few trail runners. As opposed to the steeper, Aspen Grove approach, the Timpooneke trail climbs relatively gradually--between 400 and 600 feet per mile. The more gentle grade makes the elevation gain feel a lot easier.

Above the falls, we came to one of a couple of alpine "basins," with more of a meadow-like feel. Around a corner and ascending from that basin, we traversed a long switchback that led to a north-facing drainage which had been choked with ice and snow that had melted from the inside out, leaving a large section of a "snow-tunnel" about 25-30 yards long with a 8-10 foot ceiling. Pretty cool spot that allowed for some wave-cave-like photo opportunities.

Beyond the ice cave, the trail ascends what I think they call the Grand Staircase up to the Timpanogos Basin, where Timp itself comes into impressive view on the southern end.

The trail skirts the basin to the west, though there is an alternate route through the basin that connects more directly to the Aspen Grove approach. We decided to take that alternate trail on our return from the summit.

Continuing up Timpooneke, the trail reaches the Mt. Timpanogos Saddle at around 11,000 ft. where it finally intersects with the Aspen Grove approach. Cresting the saddle is always impressive, as it opens the views to Utah Valley and Utah Lake below. It is also typically where the wind and real cold kicks in.

From the descending sunrise-summitters, we understood that the wind had been pretty strong before sunrise, but by the time we arrived at the saddle, it wasn't much more than an occasionally stiff breeze. Very pleasant by comparison with my experience two years ago.

There was a lot more traffic on the trail at the saddle, but no conga line.

The ascent to the summit was fun and filled with magnificent views on each side of the summit ridgeline. We saw a handful of mountain goats, grazing on the mountainside below, but the battery on my camera with the good zoom had died, so no good photos ...

At the summit itself, there are several perches on the north/east facing side that provided ideal resting spots in the sun and are protected from the breeze. We ate brunch, relaxed in the sun, and enjoyed the views.

We wandered past the summit towards the glacier and saw a solitary climber ascending the glacier. Looked cool.

After 30-40 min on the summit, we made our descent. At the saddle, we took the alternate route down towards the Aspen Grove trail, which required our only snow crossing of the day, as the field of snow on the north side of the mountain, directly below the summit had not melted. The snow was hard-packed and we managed fine without any traction devices.

While we were in the vicinity, we continued "around the corner" to take a peek at Emerald Lake and the glacier from below. (This corner was the sketchiest part of my hike two years ago, covered with snow and with a lot of exposure). While observing the view of Emerald Lake and the glacier, we watched a snowboarder descending the glacier, and clearly having a great time. I thought I caught it on video, only to realize at the end when I was pushing "stop" on the recorder that I was actually pushing "start"--so I missed capturing it. Oh well.

We then backtracked to a ramp down to, and across, the Timpanogos Basin. The trail was semi-soggy in a few spots, but no big deal.

Once reconnected to the Timpooneke trail proper, we cruised on the descent. The last few miles of a long hike can often drag on, but we were in for a surprising treat. All of the area we hiked through in the darkness on the way up was a cornucopia of eye-popping fall colors on the way down. And Scout Falls was an impressive sight to take in as well. Up to that point, I was inclined to give the Aspen Grove trail the nod as to which is better, but this section made it a closer call. Really, there is no bad choice--with a shuttle option being the best of both worlds.

There is a reason this is one of the most popular, hard hikes in the area. Definitely a crowd pleaser and worth putting on a regular rotation.
Meteorology
Meteorology
Autumn - Color Foliage Clear Ice
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1 archive
Oct 04 2019
ddgrunning
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 209
 Photos 3,582
 Triplogs 282

49 male
 Joined Apr 13 2011
 Gilbert, AZ
Stewart Falls TrailMountainlands, UT
Mountainlands, UT
Hiking avatar Oct 04 2019
ddgrunning
Hiking4.63 Miles 1,123 AEG
Hiking4.63 Miles   2 Hrs   44 Mns   2.09 mph
1,123 ft AEG      31 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Attending an annual fall conference at Aspen Grove almost guarantees the opportunity to see some fabulous fall colors. The conference includes a traditional morning hike out to Stewart Falls, with the goal of arriving at the falls overlook to watch the sunrise. Hasn't disappointed me yet, and this year was another quality addition to my collection of visits. Highly recommend if you are in the area and looking for a relatively short/moderate hike offering a lot of bang for your buck.
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Sep 28 2019
ddgrunning
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 Guides 2
 Routes 209
 Photos 3,582
 Triplogs 282

49 male
 Joined Apr 13 2011
 Gilbert, AZ
Rim to Rim via Old Bright Angel, AZ 
Rim to Rim via Old Bright Angel, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Sep 28 2019
ddgrunning
Hiking29.59 Miles 6,560 AEG
Hiking29.59 Miles   11 Hrs   16 Mns   2.75 mph
6,560 ft AEG      30 Mns Break
 
1st trip
5:45 a.m.--North Kaibab Trailhead parking area was as full as I've ever seen it. No parking spots and several cars parked along the side of the road. Luckily, we were just getting dropped off. Several groups starting in at the same time re-confirmed my decision to take an alternate route down the canyon, via the Old Bright Angel Trail. I tried to convince a few others in my group to join me, but either: (a) they didn't feel they were physically up to adding an additional 4-5 miles, plus dealing with the bushwhacking and route-finding on a primitive trail, or (b) those who were fit enough to add the additional mileage were a little obsessed with improving their R2R times. So, as the masses flooded down NK, I hung a left onto the Ken Patrick trail and locked into nearly 5 hours of complete solitude in the Canyon ....

It was still dark, and less than a half mile into my jaunt along the rim, I was greeted with some large animal crunching branches 30-40 yards in the distance. My headlamp illuminated a pair of eyes and my adrenaline began to kick in. I immediately began clapping my hands and whistling, after which the animal bolted off. I'm guessing it was an elk, but who knows .... For the next half mile or so, I took up whistling and clapping as a side hobby. :lol:

As the light of dawn arrived, the forested rim was covered in a cloudy fog. I scared off a couple of deer, but otherwise saw no other animals on the 4-mile traverse to the Old BA trailhead. The cloudy fog added a little spice to the otherwise somewhat blase rim hike through forest and recovering burn areas. Just before reaching OBA, it actually sprinkled a bit and I wondered whether the canyon was going to be socked in with clouds, obscuring any expansive views.

I arrived at the well-marked OBA traihead in good time, as I was hoping--despite my extra miles and primitive trail--to catch up to some in my group before they all reached the south rim. I had read all of the OBA triplogs and some other "beta" on the route, and had a gps route loaded in RS with various notes on what seemed to be the tricky spots.

My homework served me well in the top portion of the trail, and I managed to stay relatively well on track down to the crossing of the tributary creek that drains into Bright Angel Creek. The only real casualty up to that point were my legs, which took a "scrubbing" from all of the scrub oak that has overgrown the trail, as well as whatever that plant is that has leaves that look like holly but with sharp, poky, points! I knew I should have worn long pants, but ignored my own advice b/c I didn't want to have long pants for the other 20 miles when I wouldn't need them. Next time: zip-offs :D

Anyway, when I hit the tributary creek, I went in search of the waterfall mentioned in various triplogs. However, I somehow got the idea that the waterfall was UPstream from the crossing, so I immediately headed in that direction. After 15 minutes of hard bushwhacking and managing to get both my feet wet, and no waterfall to show for it, I threw in the towel headed back to the crossing point. It's not clear where to go from that point, but I climbed pretty straight up the other side of the ravine and eventually located what passed as the trail. Shortly thereafter, I looked back to see the referenced waterfall, which is actually DOWNstream from the crossing. Oh well ...

After rounding the next outcropping, I was very conscious of the warnings not to descend to Bright Angel Creek too early. That said, going down towards the creek seemed like the only viable option, as the side of the canyon was otherwise choked with manzanita and other, somewhat impassable barriers. That said, I dutifully resisted, going up, over, and sometimes through bushes, in search of anything remotely resembling a trail that stayed above the creek.

Eventually, I worked my way over to the crossover of a small, side drainage (for reference, on my gps track, this spot is right on top of the "e" in "Bright Angel Canyon" on the CalTopo layer). There was actually a cairn in the middle of the crossover, but no indication of where to go from there, and the opposite side of the drainage was pretty sheer, with no sign of any trail. Nevertheless, in the absence of any apparently better options, I climbed up. The next 0.3 mile was a total crapshoot of scrambling up and down, hand over fist, sliding down sketchy chutes, and doing everything possible in search of a route, while still trying to make forward progress. : rambo : It was a time-consuming workout, and I still don't have much better intel to pass on, as to where the trail is/was. I can say that I did't descend to the creek too early, but perhaps erred on the side of trying to stay too high. My general advice for this section is just to pack some extra time, and a lot of patience.

Eventually, I located some snippets of a trail that seemed to descend in relative proximity to where I had the correct creek crossing marked on my gps track. Approaching the creek, there was a fairly well worn, narrow path through the reeds that led to a crossing point. I could see where at least a few others had scrambled up the opposite side, but the crossing would be a wet one, and my marked crossing point was still slightly farther downstream. So, I backtracked a bit and then bushwhacked downstream to the crossing point on my track. I was able to make a leap across at this point without getting wet, but there was no sign of the trail on the opposite side. One of my beta sources referred to a steep climb, so I just climbed up the steep slope, and within about 20 yards up located the faint remains of the trail (which I now believe came up from the point where "reed" crossing was). In any event, I had no navigational issues on OBA from this point forward.

In a short while, I approached the junction with Roaring Spring Canyon, and enjoyed the fresh viewpoint of RS, the NK trail, and the Pumphouse/Manzanita rest area from the opposing side of the canyon. But the real gem was the views of Bright Angel Creek, including some very cool cascades draining into a "toilet bowl" swimming hole just past the junction of the two side canyons.

It wasn't long until I popped out onto the NK trail at the bridge just below the Pumphouse. By that point, I was a little shy of 5 hours into the hike. While I was glad to have battled the OBA, it was refreshing to finally be back on the smooth, maintained NK corridor trail. By that time, the crowds of hikers had passed through and/or broken up.

Anxious to make up time, I hot-footed it down to Phantom Ranch. Along the way, I passed by the Ribbon Falls bridge, which has been "closed" for a couple of years, but is now a twisted mess and completely unuseable. Only access to Ribbon Falls is through the creek from the south side of the "hill."

Unfortunately, my tromping in the side creek on OBA and resulting wet feet turned into a real problem. Along with my shoe choice, which was mostly leather and didn't breathe well, my feet could stay neither dry nor cool. And despite changing socks, and making a couple of attempts to duct tape/moleskin/bandage things up, I ultimately just accepted that it was going to be a bit of a blister-fest and just determined to plow forward.

From the River to the top on Bright Angel Trail, my time was just over 3 hours, averaging around 20 min/mile. I felt pretty good from a cardio/muscle/energy standpoint--just tried to ignore my feet. Worked pretty well, as I passed everyone I saw coming up, and caught up with several in my group just before or at Indian Gardens.

After a refreshing shower at Mather Campground (PSA: they increased the price from $2 to $2.50), I assessed the damage--a couple of prize-winning blisters, but actually not as bad as it could have been. I was grateful to slip on a pair of soft clean socks, along with my highly-prized Ofoos sliders ("victory shoes"), and enjoyed sharing tales of the Canyon with my friends as we made our late night trip back to the Valley.

Another memorable R2R in the books. :y:
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1 archive
Sep 23 2019
ddgrunning
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 209
 Photos 3,582
 Triplogs 282

49 male
 Joined Apr 13 2011
 Gilbert, AZ
Mount Si TrailVolcano, WA
Volcano, WA
Hiking avatar Sep 23 2019
ddgrunning
Hiking8.00 Miles 3,150 AEG
Hiking8.00 Miles
3,150 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I was up in Seattle for a conference and in advance reached out to @seattlehiker for some hike recommendations. Among several others, he suggested Mt. Si as something of a quintessential Seattle hike--maybe not quite the Camelback Mtn. of Seattle but a popular spot on Saturdays.

Luckily, my free day was Monday, so I didn't have to fight the crowds. My only hang up was that, through a series of travel snafus, I didn't end up getting a rental car. So, I was left with the Uber/Lyft option. Getting a Lyft from Renton, where my hotel was out TO the trailhead wasn't a problem, but finding a ride back into town FROM the trailhead proved adventurous. Luckily, my Lyft driver (who grew up in Sedona) foresaw my issue and left me with his cell number when he dropped me off as an emergency back up. Good thing ….

In the meantime, I hit the trail at about 10 a.m. and while I didn't have the trail entirely to myself, traffic was very minimal. The trail on this one is excellent, and the 3,500 ft of elevation gain goes by with relative ease.

The vast majority of the hike involves climbing up the side of the mountain under the forest canopy. No views are to be had until you pop out on to a scree field about 3.8 miles up. Many make this their destination, while the true summit remains a several hundred foot scramble up and over the scree field; past an actual designated lookout that is much better that the scree field and then up and around the back side of the summit--which forms a prominent outcropping on top of the mountain. indeed, from the uphill trail side, the summit appears unreachable without technical climbing gear--as it has a sheer hundred foot plus face. However, if you hike up and around the backside, a break in the granite exists that allows access with the class 3-4 scrambling. It reminded me a lot of the chute on Brown's Peak, though perhaps a little more heart-pounding in a few spots--especially since a light drizzle settled in and make the granite extra slippery.

Eventually, I made it to the actual summit and was rewarded with expansive views of the valley below and surrounding mountains--albeit interspersed with the typical cloud cover. That said, the clouds stayed relatively high so as to allow pretty unobstructed views.

The return trip down the mountain was uneventful, but beautiful. All the moss on the trees is unreal.

At the TH, I had no luck getting an Uber/Lyft. I tried bumming a ride off a few folks completing their hikes--including a trail runner from--yep, Flagstaff--who came hauling down the stretch like a bat out of heck and claimed he just completed the FKT for an up and down of Mt. Si in 1 hr. 14 min. I congratulated him, but he wasn't headed my direction.

So, I eventually called my life line on the Lyft driver. I told him I only had a credit card and no cash as it would be pretty cost prohibitive to have him drive out from an hour away to pick me up using the app. He said no big deal and offered just to give me a "lift"--rather than a Lyft. I told him he restored some of my faith in humanity. Bless his heart, he drove out almost an hour to get me, and then took me on a more scenic route back--even offering to we stop by Jimmy Hendrix's grave on the way. As he dropped me off at the hotel, I again thanked him and told him he earned a few points on his ticket to heaven that day.
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Aug 31 2019
ddgrunning
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 Guides 2
 Routes 209
 Photos 3,582
 Triplogs 282

49 male
 Joined Apr 13 2011
 Gilbert, AZ
Humphreys Peak B24 Bomber, AZ 
Humphreys Peak B24 Bomber, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Aug 31 2019
ddgrunning
Hiking10.87 Miles 3,804 AEG
Hiking10.87 Miles   6 Hrs   1 Min   2.23 mph
3,804 ft AEG   1 Hour   9 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Hit up the summit trail today. Perfect weather. Got an early start from Phoenix in an effort to beat some of the expected crowds on a Labor Day weekend. The parking area was about 75% full when we arrived around 8 am. I expected there to be somewhat of a conga line on the trail, but was pleasantly surprised to the contrary. A number of folks out, to be sure, but not the masses I was expecting. FS rangers were parked at the TH, giving warnings and advice to the novice hikers who may not know what to expect on a hike like this.

What a spectacular day to be out! Nice temps throughout. Sunny skies and only a slight breeze on the summit--with only a manageable number of summit bugs.

On the way down, I finally decided to make the sidetrip to the B24 bomber site--in just a couple of weeks (Sept. 15), it will have been 75 years since the crash. The off-trail wasn't too bad, with some helpful cairns here and there, and some discernable use trails in spots. An amazing amount of wreckage, strewn over quite a debris field. As tragic as the crash was, I can only imagine it was a spectacular sight (which probably no one witnessed, as it occurred shortly after midnight). Some interesting info and more detailed photography of the incident at: https://www.lostflights.com/Other-1/915 ... ted-B-24J/

On the way down, I popped out of the woods at the junction between the 2nd and 3rd switchbacks and just cross-country-ed it down the ski slopes to the parking area. Best decision ever. At that point in the hike, I'm pretty sick and tired of the rocky and tree-root-strewn trail. Saves about .3 to .4 in distance.

Ate at Mama Burger on the way back. The burgers are overrated in my view, but the Oreo shake and tater tots hit the spot!
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Aug 24 2019
ddgrunning
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 Guides 2
 Routes 209
 Photos 3,582
 Triplogs 282

49 male
 Joined Apr 13 2011
 Gilbert, AZ
Pass Mountain Wind Cave, AZ 
Pass Mountain Wind Cave, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Aug 24 2019
ddgrunning
Hiking12.80 Miles 2,445 AEG
Hiking12.80 Miles   3 Hrs   10 Mns   4.39 mph
2,445 ft AEG      15 Mns Break
 
no photosets
Trail run; training for an upcoming R2R. A good distance, and decent AEG without having to drive too far. Took a few breaks along the way. Went through 3+ liters.
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Aug 17 2019
ddgrunning
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 Guides 2
 Routes 209
 Photos 3,582
 Triplogs 282

49 male
 Joined Apr 13 2011
 Gilbert, AZ
Scorpion-Wild Horse-Usery Spur, AZ 
Scorpion-Wild Horse-Usery Spur, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Aug 17 2019
ddgrunning
Hiking9.88 Miles 915 AEG
Hiking9.88 Miles   1 Hour   54 Mns   5.81 mph
915 ft AEG      12 Mns Break
 
no photosets
1st trip
Trail run from Bush Highway. Toasty out, but with my Camelback bladder wrapped in tinfoil, I was able to keep it ice cold for the whole run. A few mountain bikers on the trail, but otherwise a lot of solitude--i'm sure because of the heat. It was nice to figure out I could cross Usery road at the horse lot and continue on the trail on the east side, up to the Pass Mtn junction. I never knew there was a trail over there. Some good AEG.

The powers that be have literally littered Bush highway with NO Parking signs. In some places, I understand, but others ??? For example, now you have to park about a 1/2 mile away or more from the Hawes TH off Power Road, despite huge shoulders along the road at the top of the hill. First, they closed off the de facto parking area. Now this. Seems like an obvious area to actually develop a legit parking area, given the popularity of the area.
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Aug 10 2019
ddgrunning
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 Guides 2
 Routes 209
 Photos 3,582
 Triplogs 282

49 male
 Joined Apr 13 2011
 Gilbert, AZ
Pass Mountain Loop Trail #282Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 10 2019
ddgrunning
Hiking4.17 Miles 751 AEG
Hiking4.17 Miles   1 Hour   39 Mns   2.84 mph
751 ft AEG      11 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
Early morning jaunt up to the saddle and back from the Meridian TH--in part to beat the heat; in part b/c I needed to be back for a trip with a group of youth out to Canyon Lake. This is a nice leg stretcher close by when you don't have time for something more substantial. Hoping to see a little more wildlife, but no luck this morning. Still, a nice way to kick off a Saturday morning.
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Jul 13 2019
ddgrunning
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 Guides 2
 Routes 209
 Photos 3,582
 Triplogs 282

49 male
 Joined Apr 13 2011
 Gilbert, AZ
Illusions CanyonSedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Jul 13 2019
ddgrunning
Canyoneering5.20 Miles 1,384 AEG
Canyoneering5.20 Miles   7 Hrs   54 Mns   1.15 mph
1,384 ft AEG   3 Hrs   23 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
My sister and her husband invited my son and me to go with them on a canyoneering adventure. We were joined by a couple of my sister's friends who had done Illusions a few years back. This one was quite an adventure.

Thanks to recent triplogs, we understood the pots to be relatively full, so nothing in keeper mode. Since conditions can change rapidly, we still brought escape gear, but didn't end up needing it.

We dropped in from the eastern branch of the canyon. I note that the HAZ official route drops in from the western leg. Not sure what that looks like, but the eastern entry involves a steep and somewhat loose drop to the floor of the drainage and then a pretty hairy bushwhack until you reach the first long rappel, a tenth or two of a mile shy of the junction with Illusions Canyon proper and the sign in log.

Although the temps outside the canyon were hot, the pools remain very cold, and we were glad to have our wetsuits.

Lots of fun, short rappels; narrow, winding slides into pools, and several swimmers. In all, there are about three long rappels, (including the drop in from the eastern branch). The last two, long rappels are near the end, with the penultimate drop followed almost immediately with very impressive and sheer exit from the slot where the canyon opens up briefly. Looking back into the slot, you see a sheer and narrow crack, several hundred feet straight up.

The opening is short-lived and the canyon slots back up before the final, long rappel preceding the exit. The final long rappel is preceded by a shorter, corner-turning rappel into a small pool on the lip of the final drop. There was a dead squirrel and mouse in the final pool, but no bears or other large animals :-).

We debated about heading out through the West Fork Trail, but our shuttle car was small for 6 of us, and we didn't want to add all of the extra driving time, so opted for the "sneak route" back up top. It was a steep bushwhack!

The ice cold Vitamin Waters awaiting at the cars were welcome, as were the flip-flops, aka, "victory shoes."

On the drive out, we stopped and checked out the spectacular dispersed camping spots on the edge of the rim, and later, enjoyed a colorful sunset and views of the Peaks across a couple of broad meadows in the waning light of day.

A great trip! Next time, I'd like to do the shuttle, or schedule enough time to do the loop up A.B. Young, as others here have done.

***One technical note: The nut on one of the anchors on the final rappel was a little loose. We hand-tightened it, but didn't have a wrench. So, for anyone headed down Illusions in the near future, throw in a wrench and give that final anchor a turn.
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1 archive
Jul 06 2019
ddgrunning
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 209
 Photos 3,582
 Triplogs 282

49 male
 Joined Apr 13 2011
 Gilbert, AZ
Humphreys via Inner BasinFlagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 06 2019
ddgrunning
Hiking17.07 Miles 4,399 AEG
Hiking17.07 Miles   9 Hrs   45 Mns   2.12 mph
4,399 ft AEG   1 Hour   42 Mns Break
 
Partners none no partners
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
Part 1 of our long 4th of July weekend involved an overnight kayaking trip on the Colorado from Glen Canyon Dam to Lee's Ferry on July 4-5. I'll post a separate triplog for that. For Part 2, we drove down from Lee's Ferry and set up a dispersed camp off FR418, per the Coconino NF MVUM https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DO ... 575890.pdf; however, we saw several folks who had set up dispersed camps in other areas, not noted on the map. There were rangers at Lockett Meadow who, no doubt, drove by these sites, but I guess enforcement is lax--or maybe I'm missing something ....

In any event, we really liked our site, and it was only a short drive from there to the IB trailhead the next morning. With three kayaks strapped to the top of our car, we joked about telling folks at Lockett Meadow that we were misinformed about the size of the body of water near the campground. :lol:

We were on the trail by 8 a.m. on the nose, well in advance of the arrival of most of the Phoenix crowd coming up for the day.

A friend had attempted this hike a couple of weeks ago, but was turned back by deep snow that obscured the trail and resulted in a lot of post-holing at the point where the IB trail turns up sharply to meet up with Weatherford.

With that in mind, as well as the long switchback above Agassiz, I monitored recent photos and we took a hard look at Agassiz on our drive up to Lee's Ferry a couple of days earlier. I had packed hiking poles and Yaktrax, but decided that the snow had probably melted enough not to need them. I still packed the Yaktrax just in case, but left the poles in the car. Ended up regretting the latter decision ... ] :?

The hike through the aspens was amazing, as usual. A strong and vibrant carpet of green grass under the aspen canopies. I still think that, on the scale of amazing aspen groves, this one is unrivaled.

Upon reaching the IB and the "bus stop," we got a closer eye on snow levels. We could see that Weatherford was clear as it crossed the avalanche zones on Fremont, but couldn't make out conditions in the forested sections. As for Agassiz, there was definitely a stretch of snow that would need to be crossed on the long switchback, but we figured others had probably tromped out a pretty good path.

For a couple hundred yards past the bus stop, it looked like some efforts have been made to repair some of the erosion damage from the prior year, but beyond that, the trail remains deeply washed out, causing alternate trails to sprout up along the edges.

After re-entering the tree cover on the west end of the IB, we started what I consider the only portion of this hike that is just a bit of a slog--the 1-mile, mostly-forested ascent over pretty rocky trail to the turn-up to Weatherford. This section always seems to be a grind in both directions--and always feels a lot longer than it actually is.

On the way to the turn up, we started seeing patches of snow, but nothing really obscuring the trail. At the turn up, however, there were still solid sections with snow, though nothing that would discourage us from proceeding. Near the bottom, there were a couple of spots where we had to look carefully to make sure we were still on the trail, but otherwise, there were just large mounds of snow on the trail in spots where we needed to climb up/over/or around. No real postholing, as what was left was pretty solid, with a layer of slush forming on the top as it melted. No need for the Yaktrax (or poles) here.

Soon enough, we reached the Weatherford junction, and from there to Doyle saddle, again there were some sections where we would climb over or around some snow mounds, but no big deal. In some areas, the snow that paralleled the trail was still 3-4 feet deep.

On the backside of Agassiz, we finally approached the section we knew we would have to cross in snow. It turned out to be more sketchy that we had anticipated. Hiking poles would have added a lot of confidence. My daughter used the Yaktrax, and my son and I just carefully kicked out footholds across a 40-yard or so section of snow-cover that could not be bypassed. We managed fine, but I will say that photos don't do a very good job of capturing the exposure/slope. If you slip, there's no stopping until you hit the bottom of the snowfield, going at pretty solid clip .... I imagine the sketchy section on the backside of Agassiz will be clear in a week or so.

After this section, there were two more, smaller snow traverses at the end of the switchback, then a final snowcrossing just below the crossover before the descent to to the summit trail saddle. From that point on, the trail was clear. At the saddle, we joined in with the expected masses coming up the summit trail. And the summit itself was as busy as I've seen it. Weather was perfect for the hike.

We didn't spend a lot of time on the summit. Upon reaching the summit trail saddle on the return, I realized I had not managed my nutrition very well and was starting to pay the price. I tried to force some food and hydration, but it was a little late, and for the last several miles back to the TH, I was accompanied by some unsettling nausea--from which I didn't really recover until half way back on the drive to Phoenix. A good reminder to make sure to follow my own rules of fueling up early and consistently on longer hikes, because you can't make up for it later on ....

My teenagers were doing fine and managed to keep me mostly distracted by engaging in a Socratic-style Q and A about politics of all things--the differences in views between conservatives and liberals; republicans and democrats; as well as the checks and balances of the U.S. govt (house vs. senate seats; bicameralism; veto power of the president), etc. Not exactly communing with nature, but I guess since it was 4th of July weekend, it seemed appropriate. And I suppose it's always a success whenever you can get teenagers to engage with their parents in thoughtful conversation about any matter of substance. More important, the conversation had a check-and-balance effect on my competing urge to toss up my cookies ....

When we finally entered the aspen grove with 2 miles to go, I was in awe again of the aspens in the afternoon lighting, but only snapped a few photos. My son took the lead and set a 17-min/mi. pace that zipped us back to the TH.

Dinner in Flag for me consisted of Sprite and some Pringles, which did a good job of settling the stomach.

The drive back home was not as bad as I thought it would be. A lot of volume, but no accidents or stop and go. (I'm sure it was much worse on Sunday evening).

Stomach issues notwithstanding, this is always a favorite hike, and a great way to wrap up an excellent weekend of memories with my family.
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2 archives
Jul 04 2019
ddgrunning
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 209
 Photos 3,582
 Triplogs 282

49 male
 Joined Apr 13 2011
 Gilbert, AZ
Glen Canyon Dam to Lee's FerryNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Kayak avatar Jul 04 2019
ddgrunning
Kayak24.61 Miles 200 AEG
Kayak24.61 Miles1 Day   3 Hrs   17 Mns   
200 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Days 1 and 2 of our family 4th of July adventure (end of Day 2 and 3 were spent hiking the Inner Basin to Humphreys).

We left Phoenix at 5:30 am on the 4th in order to be at Lee's Ferry by 10 and prepared for our "backhaul" up the river at 10:30. Backhaul services are offered by Wilderness River Adventures, who is the concessionaire for Glen Canyon rafting trips: https://www.riveradventures.com/glen-ca ... -services/. They make extra money by hauling people and gear back up the river as they are getting their rafts back up to the dam where they pick up their tour groups (who, we learned, get on their rafts at the bottom of the dam, after coming down a two-mile tunnel/ramp drilled through the eastern canyon wall from somewhere near the Maverick in Page). Current charges are: $30 per person; $25 per boat; and $25 per 100 lbs. of gear. FYI you are not required to use their services--there are others who are offering such services, and you can even get hauled up by private boat, if that's an option for you.

Our driver/guide, Justin, was on time and very helpful. We peppered him with questions on the 1 hour run up the river, while making mental notes of various items to see on the way back down the river. Our biggest question was where to camp. There are several options (all laid out at the Glen Canyon NPS site: @azbackpackr also had good things to say about that site. We opted for Ferry Swale, and after staying there, and later exploring the Horseshoe Bend site, I am still very happy with our choice.

Having made that decision, Justin stopped at Ferry Swale on the way up canyon, so we could drop off most of our gear, claim a camping spot, and not have to carry all the gear with us in the kayaks for the first part of the trip.

Having stowed our gear at camp, we continued up river to the dam. The official drop-off site is around the corner from the dam, but Justin drove us up close to the dam and snapped some photos before dropping us off at "kayak beach." He then offered to fill our water bottles and dromedary with fresh water before heading out. We tipped him and then got on with the kayaking adventure.

First up: We got in the kayaks and headed up stream for a kayak-level view of the dam. The current gets a little strong close to the dam, so we didn't make it to the buoy barrier, but relatively close. I was surprised how close you can actually get to the dam.

After reaching a point of futility in continuing to paddle upstream, we eventually gave in to the current and started our down-river travel.

Shortly thereafter, we pulled off at the Ropes Trail campsite. I had hiked down that trail last year to explore the area, and I showed the family the petroglyphs and hiked over to the bottom of the "rope" (really a metal cable) for which the trail/camp is named. Climbing up to the bottom of the cable gives a nice, elevated view of the bend down river.

We admired the petroglyphs, but it looks like the panel has been the victim of some vandalism/extracurricular chiseling. :( We ate lunch in the shade at Ropes Trail Camp and then got back in the kayaks for a leisurely stroll down the river.

Since our campsite was only a few miles down, and we still had the bulk of the afternoon ahead of us, we were in no hurry. We paddled up Honey Draw, which involves a short side trip to where sheer canyon walls encircle a small cove. The reflection of the sunlight dancing off the water onto the walls was mesmerizing. Also, the water in this area had a Havasupai hue to it. There was also some shade, where we just kicked back and rested a bit from the heat.

After a while, we popped out of Honey Draw into the "rapid"--aka a mini-riffle with at least one hole deep enough to allow a gallon or two of water to slosh over the bow of my kayak when I hit it. We had fun paddling back upstream a couple of times to "run" this riffle.

After that, we floated down the river, admiring the clarity of the water. Even when the water was 20-30 feet deep, you could easily see straight through to the bottom. We saw many groups of large fish swim right under our kayaks. I'm no fisherman, but my fishing buddies have told me it's near blasphemy for me to have gone through this area without "drowning any worms."

As the late afternoon began to cast shadows in the canyon, we arrived at Ferry Swale camp and set up our camp on a sandy lip right above the river. There was only one other couple in the camping area, and plenty of real estate for both of our groups to enjoy de facto solitude. After setting up camp, I explored the cliffs on the east side of camp. You can climb surprisingly high with relative ease, for a commanding view of the area from here. There are also some cracks/fissures in the wall, creating cave-like formations that were fun to explore.

After dark, we sat around the party lights and enjoyed each other's company. About 9 pm, the fireworks display from Page kicked off. We couldn't see the fireworks, but their reflections lit up the western canyon wall in a cool/unique way. That lasted about 20 minutes, then it was dark. With no moon, the Milky Way was on display, providing its own version of fireworks, along with several shooting stars.

In the morning, the sunrise against the canyon walls, and reflected in the river, was an impressive sight. We packed up camp and headed down river towards the petroglyph panel on Horseshoe Bend. On the way, we came across about a dozen bighorn sheep grazing on a shelf above the western bank.

The petroglyph panel was neat. It is set up to accommodate the rafting tours, with steps up from the river, several bathrooms, and retaining wall and signage.

Back on the river, we rounded Horseshoe Bend and looked up at the masses clamoring to get their Instagram photos. We stopped and explored the camping area, and climbed around the rocks on the bend, followed by some rock-skipping at the river's edge.

Back on the river, we found a couple of spots to "cliff jump," though it's surprisingly hard on the river to find a place that has all of the required elements: a ledge that is accessible; over water that is deep enough; with a current that is light enough. Jumping in was cold but not unbearable, and getting immersed offset the ambient July heat.

Then it was on to Waterholes Canyon for our hike. I had received conflicting reports about how far it was possible to hike up Waterholes Canyon before getting cliffed out. We made it about a mile and a half up the canyon before hitting a sheer dryfall. We explored various ways to get up/around it, but all of them seemed to lack one or two last, solid handholds that would mitigate the exposure. So, we made that our turnaround point. Although we would have liked to explore further, we enjoyed the section we were able to see.

After Waterholes, the afternoon was well underway, and we still had plans to get to Flagstaff and set up camp for our hike up the Inner Basin before dark, so we forewent our planned visit to Hislops Cave and up the Box Canyons (#nexttime), and just finished the trip with a float over to the submerged Charles Spencer's steamship remains.

This was a great trip, with a surprisingly low level of logistics and red tape (no permits, no camping fees, etc.) Only external costs were backhaul and the NPS fee for parking (which you can purchase at the vending machine at the pull out, shortly after the turn off from 89A--or, your America the Beautiful Pass works, too.).
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Jun 29 2019
ddgrunning
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 Guides 2
 Routes 209
 Photos 3,582
 Triplogs 282

49 male
 Joined Apr 13 2011
 Gilbert, AZ
Canyon Lake Kayak, AZ 
Canyon Lake Kayak, AZ
 
Kayak avatar Jun 29 2019
ddgrunning
Kayak2.62 Miles 271 AEG
Kayak2.62 Miles   2 Hrs   29 Mns   1.71 mph
271 ft AEG      57 Mns Break
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Wanted to head up to the peaks today, but couldn’t bring myself to put up with the drive. So, as an alternative, took the family out to Canyon Lake for a kayak adventure. The water was very pleasant whenever we needed a break from the 110° ambient temperatures. Also, we took advantage of a little cliff jumping, and a rope swing. Nice day for a paddle.
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Jun 22 2019
ddgrunning
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 Guides 2
 Routes 209
 Photos 3,582
 Triplogs 282

49 male
 Joined Apr 13 2011
 Gilbert, AZ
Silly Mountain Trail SystemPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 22 2019
ddgrunning
Hiking7.27 Miles 1,483 AEG
Hiking7.27 Miles   1 Hour   58 Mns   4.08 mph
1,483 ft AEG      11 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Had planned on doing a trail run from the Broadway Cave TH, but found it closed b/c of the Woodbury Fire. So, headed to the nearby Silly Mountain trails instead. Hadn’t ever hiked there before. I think I pretty much covered it.
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Jun 15 2019
ddgrunning
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 Guides 2
 Routes 209
 Photos 3,582
 Triplogs 282

49 male
 Joined Apr 13 2011
 Gilbert, AZ
Widforss TrailNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 15 2019
ddgrunning
Hiking4.48 Miles 757 AEG
Hiking4.48 Miles   2 Hrs   31 Mns   1.99 mph
757 ft AEG      16 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Debated about what rim hike(s) to take while camping with the family near Jacob Lake, and finally settled on Widforss Trail. We did the portion of the trail that corresponds with the self-guided tour brochure https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/ ... dfross.pdf, which includes 14 markers along the trail--totaling about 4.5 miles. I was a bit disappointed to find that there weren't any actual copies of the brochure at the TH. Should have printed one out beforehand.

In any event, the hike was pleasant and perfect for the family crowd, which included my two grandsons (a 2-year-old and a 4-month-old). That said, there was a bit more up and down than I had led the family to believe, which earned me a mild rebuke from my wife, who made me promise to stick with easy, flat hikes. 8-[

We took it easy, and enjoyed the forest stroll. There were a lot more canyon overlook opportunities than I was expecting. And the "end" of the guided portion of the trail stops at a great little viewpoint of the Transept.

We took a break and some pictures from the outcropping overhangs at our turn-around point, and then made our way back.

About a 1/2 mile from the TH< we came across a nice-sized gopher snake. He was gracious enough to let us take photos and videos but also did his best rattlesnake impression by rapidly tapping the tip of his tail on a nearby log.

Ate lunch at the TH then wandered down to the nearby Harvey Meadow to take a quick look around the natural cave that USFS game warden, "Uncle Jim" Owens, converted into a shelter in the early 1900s, while pursuing the USFS's overzealous efforts to "manage" the mountain lion population.

Overall, a great rim hike with a moderate workout, decent views, and pleasant summer temperatures.
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Jun 15 2019
ddgrunning
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 Guides 2
 Routes 209
 Photos 3,582
 Triplogs 282

49 male
 Joined Apr 13 2011
 Gilbert, AZ
Cape Royal TrailNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 15 2019
ddgrunning
Hiking1.14 Miles 94 AEG
Hiking1.14 Miles      54 Mns   1.95 mph
94 ft AEG      19 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Nice jaunt out to Cape Royal with the family. Very cool viewpoint.
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Jun 14 2019
ddgrunning
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 Guides 2
 Routes 209
 Photos 3,582
 Triplogs 282

49 male
 Joined Apr 13 2011
 Gilbert, AZ
Cathedral WashNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 14 2019
ddgrunning
Hiking5.12 Miles 438 AEG
Hiking5.12 Miles   2 Hrs   35 Mns   2.16 mph
438 ft AEG      13 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The destination for the day was the Kaibab Camper Village, after setting up a "meet-you-halfway" camping trip with three the three of our children (and two grandkids! :y: ) who live in Provo, UT. No one else would be getting to the campground until late afternoon, so on the way, my son and I took a slight detour to check out Cathedral Wash on the road to Lee's Ferry.

I had seen this hike when we overnighted at Lee's Ferry in advance of our Wire Pass-Lee's Ferry backpack of the Paria River a couple years back. We didn't have time to do it then, but today provided the perfect opportunity to check this one out.

Arrived around noon. It was hot, but the hike is relatively short and a dunk in the freezing cold waters of the Colorado awaited us at the halfway point on this out and back.

The trail starts from a pullout just along the main road and immediately you cross under the road via a huge culvert the separates "upper" and "lower" Cathedral Wash. There is also the option of hiking the upper portion, but who wants to do that when the Colorado River awaits on the lower end? :D

There were a couple of other cars at the TH, and we passed their occupants on the trail, but in general, traffic was very light. Probably busier in the cooler seasons.

The trail starts in a relatively broad wash with the Vermillion Cliffs towering over your shoulder, but within the first 1/2 mile the walls narrow a bit and the wash deepens. Lots of very cool effects of erosion to be seen along the way. The wash doesn't ever slot up or become technical, but there are a variety of downclimbs and bypasses to take advantage of. The biggest is a 30-ft pouroff about 1 mile in (just as you cross under the powerlines). The bypass is to the right. Nothing tricky, but there are a few places where you have to use your hands. I suppose navigation may be a bit more interesting when there is water flowing. On this trip, there were several muddy pools, but that's about it.

Near the end, the wash opens up again just before the confluence with the Colorado, which is marked by some rapids (maybe more of a "riffle," but I'm not a river guru), which we heard before we saw.

The river was beautifully smooth above the rapids. Saw a crane hanging out at the edge of the rapids. Spent too much time taking pictures, then took an obligatory dip in the river. There is a good spot for that just below the rapids, where the river fills in a little cove along the western bank.

Didn't see anyone at the river until just as we were leaving on our return trip.

The hike out provided fun views from the opposite perspective and with slightly more forgiving lighting.

Definitely worth a side trip if you have a couple of hours in the area.

FYI: $30 Glen Canyon Rec area pass is required and can be purchased from a vending machine (credit card) off the right side of the road as you drive in from 89A. I was originally bummed that I had to do the hike before our planned trip into the GC the next day when I planned to purchase an annual America the Beautiful Pass. But, as I found out the next day, the GCNP gave me credit for the $30 pass towards my America the Beautiful pass. Yay! :y:
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May 30 2019
ddgrunning
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 Guides 2
 Routes 209
 Photos 3,582
 Triplogs 282

49 male
 Joined Apr 13 2011
 Gilbert, AZ
Torrey Pines State Beach N & Natural ReserveSan Diego, CA
San Diego, CA
Hiking avatar May 30 2019
ddgrunning
Hiking2.50 Miles 300 AEG
Hiking2.50 Miles
300 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Lots of folks out using this preserve for exercise, as it provides some elevation gain close to the ocean. There are some nice views down to the shore from above, and the erosion of the hillsides creates some nice natural artwork. The trails are pretty regimented (stay between these two cords, on penalty of a $400 fine).
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May 27 2019
ddgrunning
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 Guides 2
 Routes 209
 Photos 3,582
 Triplogs 282

49 male
 Joined Apr 13 2011
 Gilbert, AZ
Salt River Kayak, AZ 
Salt River Kayak, AZ
 
Hiking avatar May 27 2019
ddgrunning
Hiking11.82 Miles 166 AEG
Hiking11.82 Miles   3 Hrs   52 Mns   3.46 mph
166 ft AEG      27 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Had a lot going on around this time and just realized I never posted a triplog for this Salt River float on Memorial Day.

It turned out to be an uncharacteristically cool Memorial Day, so not many tubers on the river. But quite a few kayaks, at least on the upper half of the float.

First time I've floated the entire length from Saguaro to Granite Reef. Our two teenagers were in the individual kayaks, while my wife and I were in our newly acquired tandem kayak. The river flow was pretty solid. In fact, at the first sharp right "turn"/bend before the bridge, we got the tandem pulled into the current and whipped around the outside edge of the bend and straight "under" a bramble of tree branches. We flipped the kayak and got our first dose of reality in the "some-actual-navigation-is-required" department. Luckily, my strapdown job on the small cooler was strong enough to hold it in place, and most of the rest of our belongings were in tethered dry bags, but I did lose my sunglasses and a length of rope. Just glad our tree collision didn't result in injury. 8-[

After that, we were a lot more cautious when taking a bend or any faster moving water. We also realized that our tandem has a lot higher center of gravity, making it more prone to flipping (which we managed to do one more time on the trip down).

Despite these incidents, the float was generally a lot of fun. I had toyed with the idea of trying to paddle up the Verde a bit from the confluence. But, honestly, even though I know it's there, the Verde confluence is actually a little hard to "see" on the ground. It doesn't help that that is also one of the spots where there is a little turbulence in the water, which of course put us on a little high alert, so I wasn't focused on doing any fancy upstream maneuvers at that point. Oh well. Another day.

Saw a lot of horses, as well as my first coachwhip snake (I thought it was a patch-nosed snake, but @gummo tagged it in my photos and set me straight). Unfortunately, I didn't have my good camera, and the one I had found the rock behind the snake more interesting :doh: )

All in all, a great day on the river with the family.
Fauna
Fauna
Coachwhip
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average hiking speed 2.09 mph
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