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Horseshoe Mesa 5,246 - 6 members in 18 triplogs have rated this an average 4 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Sep 28 2022
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 Guides 6
 Photos 341
 Triplogs 224

66 male
 Joined May 13 2002
 Tempe, AZ
Horseshoe Mesa 5,246Northwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Backpack avatar Sep 28 2022
hikeazTriplogs 224
Backpack
Backpack6 Days         
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Mosey-backpack down Grandview (many new rockfalls to navigate due to unrepaired 2021 slides) to Horseshoe Mesa - Cottonwood Creek (Flash last year has OBLITERATED most/all of the lower camps and parts of the trail below the spring) - (Grapevine and Miner's Route to the River from along the Tonto - dayhike) - Hance Creek - Horseshoe Mesa. Mostly a bit toastier than I had hoped but got my comeuppance as from the Mesa to the Rim I got rained on, then hailed on, then winds to beat the band.
An actual TORNADO on my way down to Williams in Junipine. Humphrey's got snow down about 1000-2000 feet.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated

dry Grapevine 3,673 Dry Dry
Slim-pickens. Dug hole in the sand, about 15 min. to fill. Spring on the Tonto, halfway back the east arm IS flowing though.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Hance Canyon Heavy flow Heavy flow
At/below Tonto crossing - great flow.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Page Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
Spring has physically changed as most know, but is still reliable, likely gallon-a-minute.
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"The censorship method ... is that of handing the job over to some frail and erring mortal man, and making him omnipotent on the assumption that his official status will make him infallible and omniscient."
GEORGE BERNARD SHAW
6 archives
May 19 2022
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 Routes 2
 Photos 34
 Triplogs 13

55 male
 Joined Mar 29 2015
 Chandler, AZ
Grandview Horseshoe Mesa Loop May22, AZ 
Grandview Horseshoe Mesa Loop May22, AZ
 
Backpack avatar May 19 2022
AndrewrdcTriplogs 13
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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Oct 02 2020
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 Photos 5
 Triplogs 666

33 female
 Joined Oct 04 2012
 Phoenix, AZ
Grandview TrailNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 02 2020
WaitingForRainTriplogs 666
Hiking7.50 Miles 3,500 AEG
Hiking7.50 Miles   4 Hrs   21 Mns   1.72 mph
3,500 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Linked linked
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Is it sad that this day hike was probably one of the most challenging that I have done this year? I felt better summiting Wheeler Pk than I did crawling back to my car after this. Hahaha.
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Mar 05 2020
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 Guides 70
 Routes 651
 Photos 11,063
 Triplogs 729

male
 Joined Jan 07 2017
 Fountain Hills,
Grandview TrailNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 05 2020
DixieFlyerTriplogs 729
Hiking9.00 Miles 2,838 AEG
Hiking9.00 Miles   5 Hrs   32 Mns   1.96 mph
2,838 ft AEG      57 Mns Break
 
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I have never done this trail before, but what a great hike this turned out to be!

I descended down the steep Grandview Trail to Horseshoe Mesa. The trail dropped about 2,000 feet in the first 2 miles from the trailhead, and there was ice on several sections of the trail down to about 5,700' -- I was glad that I had microspikes.

Once on the mesa, I followed a use trail off to a viewpoint on the NE side on the mesa, and I glad that I did. The views there are awesome, and are arguably some of the best in the GC.

I plan to hike the Grandview Trail again, and check out some of the other trails and loops that can be hiked in the area!
 Named place
 Named place [ checklist ]
[ checklist ]  Horseshoe Mesa
 Meteorology
 Meteorology [ checklist ]
[ checklist ]  Snow
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May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. -- Edward Abbey
Aug 03 2019
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 Guides 29
 Routes 329
 Photos 9,738
 Triplogs 924

40 male
 Joined Jan 21 2013
 AZ
Horseshoe Mesa 5,246Northwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 03 2019
FOTGTriplogs 924
Hiking
Hiking
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Partners none no partners
I can confirm that the Grand Canyon is still hot in August. Not much to say about these summits, just finally ticking off some of the easier Grand Canyon summits off the list.
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Apr 09 2016
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 Guides 9
 Routes 818
 Photos 11,137
 Triplogs 1,974

66 male
 Joined Jan 20 2009
 Far NE Phoenix,
Tonto-New Hance-Grandview, AZ 
Tonto-New Hance-Grandview, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 09 2016
The_EagleTriplogs 1,974
Hiking22.33 Miles 6,333 AEG
Hiking22.33 Miles   12 Hrs   45 Mns   2.05 mph
6,333 ft AEG   1 Hour   50 Mns Break
 
1st trip
My hats off to Denny for putting this together. When you try to assemble a larger group, it's like herding turtles. (A job he's highly qualified to do)
He was busy arranging a shuttle up until 10 minutes before he went to bed.

Denny's on a mission to complete the entire Tonto Trail. With this section, I've completed the Tanner to Hermit portion with him.

We started on the New Hance Trail at 8am on a chilly morning. It didn't take long to warm up though. New Hance is one steep uneven mutha. My knees were barking up a storm. I would have lost the bet if someone would have told me that you actually gain 400' of AEG while going down this one. Staying upright and taking in the views while hiking, becomes tough on this one.
This section was slower going than we expected. It was 7 miles to the river.
:next: https://youtu.be/o8 ... 8bIU

We ate lunch at the New Hance Rapids in front of a clear flowing Colorado River.
:next: https://youtube.com ... 2eDI

Next we were on the Tonto Trail, We'd be on this for 10 miles. It got a little warm on a short portion by the river, but then the clouds and breeze came back and it was perfect. I really enjoyed this section of the Tonto.
We all topped off our water at New Hance Creek for the slog out.

Now on Grandview Trail, the fun begins. It was slow going for me. I was gassed. I had about an hour with the headlamp on to finish.

Denny, thanks for setting this up, driving and arranging for perfect weather.
Good hiking with Dave and Preston again.
Great meeting Hippy's Friend Frank.
We had some interesting conversations.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Hance Creek Light flow Light flow
Plenty to filter from in this perennial source

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Hance Rapids Medium flow Medium flow
Cold, clear and great for filtering

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Red Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Isolated pools from previous days rain
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There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."
Dave Barry 🦅
Apr 25 2015
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 Guides 8
 Routes 4
 Photos 1,845
 Triplogs 649

36 female
 Joined Dec 02 2009
 Grand Canyon
Grandview Trail - Cave of the DomesNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 25 2015
HippyTriplogs 649
Hiking7.70 Miles 2,616 AEG
Hiking7.70 Miles   5 Hrs   45 Mns   1.34 mph
2,616 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked linked
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Its cold and windy and overcast and I think its time to buy new hiking shoes.

I'm pretty sure I woke up on the wrong side of the sleeping bag today! *grumble grumble*

Thought a little hike would help but Meh.
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Canyon Freak Adventures!
Jan 09 2015
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 Guides 8
 Routes 4
 Photos 1,845
 Triplogs 649

36 female
 Joined Dec 02 2009
 Grand Canyon
Grandview Trail - Cave of the DomesNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 09 2015
HippyTriplogs 649
Hiking7.70 Miles 2,616 AEG
Hiking7.70 Miles
2,616 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Snow packed down until lower Supai. Spikes on! 4-6 inches snow on trail sides. Niiiiice!!

Bighorn on trail, ol' grandaddy!!

Gorgeous day. Tank top and a light jacket.

Didn't go to second register this time but did get some neat gopro shots inside!
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Canyon Freak Adventures!
Oct 12 2014
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 Routes 29
 Photos 1,548
 Triplogs 1,802

46 male
 Joined Jan 25 2009
 Phoenix, AZ
Vishnu Creek, AZ 
Vishnu Creek, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Oct 12 2014
Dave1Triplogs 1,802
Backpack22.00 Miles 7,000 AEG
Backpack22.00 Miles2 Days         
7,000 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Starting from Grandview Point, I went down to Horseshoe Mesa and then picked up the trail that drops off the Mesa towards Cottonwood Creek. At Cottonwood, I picked up the Tonto Trail and headed west. Roughly halfway between Cottonwood and Grapevine Creeks is a mega-cairn marking the start of the lower Old Grandview Trail. Took the well-carined and easy to follow OGV Trail down to a small beach along the Colorado River. Aired-up my boat, changed into my wetsuit and headed down river about 1/3 mile to Vishnu Creek. The mouth of Vishnu is behind a large pink granite outcropping and requires a difficult maneuver through a strong eddy to reach. For that reason, I aimed for the beach just before the outcropping. Once on the beach, I was able to get into Vishnu Creek by hiking up and over the pink granite.

The River in this section is relatively smooth but there's a strong channel of current (I don't know what it's called, all my maritime knowledge comes from watching reruns of The Love Boat and Gilligan's Island) that runs near the middle. Along the edges, the water swirls around and actually seems to move backwards. I tried to stay out of the channel and worked the sides so I wouldn't get sucked down into Grapevine rapids. Fighting the reverse current was a bit of work but gave me hope for tomorrow's plan.

My walk up Vishnu Creek started off almost immediately by going through some neat narrow sections with plenty of twists and turns. There are several 4-8' pour-overs that have to be climbed or bypassed but all were fairly simple. The first one was the hardest. It's about 6' and there aren't many good hand holds. I threw my pack up and wedged it between the boulders and used the pack to pull myself up. There was no water flowing in the creek and just a few small pools so I didn't have to get wet. The last dry fall is about 25' tall but has a bypass route on creek-right. After the narrows the canyon opens up and you can see Woton's Throne and Vishnu Temple up ahead. It was about 3pm so I decided to turn around here. On the way back I ran into a group of 3 guys who were doing a similar route to mine. They started from Cottonwood Creek and packrafted from there.

Headed back to the river and found a nice campsite right on the end of the pink granite outcrop. Spent a long night (about 12 hours) waiting for morning. I thought some river runners would set up camp across the way at Grapevine Beach as I heard it's a popular spot but I saw no one on the river.

Part of my original plan was on day 2 I would cross back to Grapevine Beach (not actually at Grapevine Creek but up river) directly across from Vishnu and get back to the Tonto Trail via Grapevine Creek. According to Todd Martin's Canyoneering book, one cannot hike up Grapevine from its mouth due to a large pour-over. I would have to climb up the Vishnu Schist above GV Beach and then drop down into GV Creek. He makes this route sound difficult and dangerous so I decided I would try to paddle up river and exit out Old Grandview.

Woke up early and was back to the landing beach by 6am. I saw the other group's not-well-hidden packrafting gear and noticed they all had Sevylor Trailboats. I have this same boat but it is really tiny so I opted to take a larger but almost twice as heavy 2-person boat until I get comfortable enough to use the TB. I also noticed they didn't have any life jackets or wetsuits!

Paddling up river wasn't too bad as long as I stayed at the edge but there was a strong wind coming down canyon that I had to fight. After quite a bit of hard paddling, I made it up to where I was directly across from OGV Beach and tried to make a bee line across. As soon as I got to the current channel I got sucked in and shot back down canyon about 100 yards. So I fought my way to the edge and began working back up. This time I went well above OGV Beach so I could move diagonally to it. Success!

I had a pretty uneventful hike out to Grandview Point. Along the way I ran into Dennis Foster http://www.kaibabjournal.com/Grand_Cany ... n_home.htm. Most of the hikers I passed were interested in why I had paddles sticking out of my pack. Some knew right away what I was doing. If you're going to do any packrafting from a busy trail, plan to answer a lot of questions!

(my uploaded route needed quite a bit of redrawing since the original was a complete mess. It may not be accurate and doesn't include everything)

7 liters total.
 Named place
 Named place [ checklist ]
[ checklist ]  Grapevine Rapids  Vishnu Creek
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3 archives
Jun 29 2014
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 Guides 8
 Routes 4
 Photos 1,845
 Triplogs 649

36 female
 Joined Dec 02 2009
 Grand Canyon
Grandview Trail - Cave of the DomesNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 29 2014
HippyTriplogs 649
Hiking7.70 Miles 2,616 AEG
Hiking7.70 Miles   4 Hrs      1.93 mph
2,616 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Rode to th with friends did a quick up n down plus the butte
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Canyon Freak Adventures!
Apr 27 2013
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 Triplogs 348

29 male
 Joined Oct 13 2012
 Tucson, AZ
Horseshoe Mesa 5,246Northwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Backpack avatar Apr 27 2013
iborregoTriplogs 348
Backpack8.00 Miles 2,500 AEG
Backpack8.00 Miles2 Days         
2,500 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
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Apr 25 2013
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 Guides 8
 Routes 4
 Photos 1,845
 Triplogs 649

36 female
 Joined Dec 02 2009
 Grand Canyon
Horseshoe Mesa 5,246Northwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 25 2013
HippyTriplogs 649
Hiking0.25 Miles 330 AEG
Hiking0.25 Miles
330 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This was a fun pit stop on our way up Grandview after we spent a night exploring the Cave of the Domes

There is a spur trail leading from GV trail straight up the west side of the Butte, there are 3 or 4 shelves to tackle, first few are cake, just big steps, the third shelf we reached I had to abandon my pack at and full out climb, it was maybe 10 feet tall, one there you're on top of a large flat shelf that leads right to the base of...well, the butte itself! A very obvious trail leads to the North of the butte toward the East...don't follow that one, it's a false trail,that doesn't seem to lead anywhere in particular...if you have climbing gear MAYBE you can go that way, but I didn't so...head around the south side instead, there are 2 cairns that take you directly to a two part climb.

The first part was cake, maybe a 9 foot climb with great holds on your left side, you come out to another tiny shelf that gives you a break before the second part of the climb, the second part was a bit of a "meh" for me, I decided to wait for a spotter before I headed up, not hard at all, actually very fun! Coming down was a bit freaky just due to the bit of exposure there...
Once you pass that climb you're up! Head east to the highest point on the Butte and you'll see a large cairn.

Fun times, fun climbs, AMAZING views!!
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Canyon Freak Adventures!
Jan 05 2013
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 Guides 8
 Routes 13
 Photos 1,323
 Triplogs 492

57 male
 Joined Nov 15 2005
 Jackson, CA
Old Grandview TrailNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 05 2013
toddakTriplogs 492
Hiking16.00 Miles 5,000 AEG
Hiking16.00 Miles   10 Hrs   30 Mns   1.52 mph
5,000 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Thanks to Chumley for the inspiration on this one! Old Grandview would make a nice side trip if hiking the Tonto, or maybe a day trip from Cottonwood campground.

Snow on the upper Grandview was still nicely compacted but not icy yet. Returned around the north side of Horseshoe and up between the arms of the mesa.
 Named place
 Named place [ checklist ]
[ checklist ]  Cottonwood Creek
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Dec 03 2012
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 Routes 29
 Photos 1,548
 Triplogs 1,802

46 male
 Joined Jan 25 2009
 Phoenix, AZ
Old Hance TrailNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 03 2012
Dave1Triplogs 1,802
Hiking16.25 Miles 5,390 AEG
Hiking16.25 Miles
5,390 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
Partners none no partners
I've done most of this a hike before but there were some things I missed and wanted to get back. I originally tried to do this as an event a few weeks ago but had to back-out last minute for a family thing. So here I am again. Some goals for this trip: improve my route down the top part of Ol' Hance, climb up to the entrance of Tse'An Bida Tunnel, explore the lower portion of Hance Creek to Sockdolager Rapids, and hike the upper portion of the Old Grandview Trail. My initial plan was a bit more ambitious than what actually went down.

For this trip I got a ride from my wife to the Old Hance Trailhead, avoiding the long walk from Grandview TH. The trail drops down immediately (don't they all?)and my chosen route kept me pretty much in the middle of the wash this time. There's a spine running in the middle that begins roughly below the Coconino. You need to be on it when you get near the top of the Redwall so that you can move over to the east drainage. I picked up the spine early on and this turned out to be more difficult as its quite brushy. The trail really beat me up good today. At one point I stepped on a small rock sitting on a large flat rock. Of course the small one rolled, I fell backwards and landed with the back of my thigh crashing down on another rock. Charlie horse from hell!

About 2 hours of scrambling and I finally made it to the bed of Hance Creek (approximately 2 miles). Now its time to find the tunnel. On the first trip I spent a ton of time climbing up to several alcoves without any success. With few clues of its location, the only things I knew was that its on the east side and its in the Redwall. There are many alcoves and cave-like holes in the Redwall here and some look impossible to reach. I investigated another dead-end today and paid the price with some nasty brush and cactus encounters. Just past the first spring in Hance, I'm pretty sure I located the tunnel but access looks quite challenging. I still had more to accomplish today and had to be back at Grandview by 4pm to meet my wife, so the tunnel will have to wait until another time.

By the time I got to the Tonto crossing it was already 1pm. I knew I wouldn't have enough time to explore Hance to Sockdolager so this part will also have to wait.

Up to Horseshoe Mesa and up the Grandview to the Coconino Saddle, nothing new to report.

Using the description from Tomasi's book, I picked up the Old Grandview Trail at the bottom of the Toroweap layer. The "trail" is almost non existent so you really need a good imagination for this one. I found very few indications that this was a manufactured trail. It probably sees more hoof than foot traffic nowadays. There are a few sketchy spots where a misstep and a slip will send you plunging over the Coconino cliff, its no wonder they re-routed it. If you are looking to shave some time off of Grandview, this is not the way. It adds much more to the current trail, not to mention the bushwhacking that's necessary. Its still fun to try out the old trails though.

I topped out at OGV TH and followed a faint trail along the rim back to GV TH, arriving at 4:05. My ride was no where to be found. It's now 5pm and I'm starting to worry. Car accident? Flat tire? Did she finally smarten up and leave me? With no cell phone to call her, I decided I'd better start walking back to the village before it gets too cold. Once on 64 I figured I'd try my luck at hitchhiking. The very first car I flagged stopped and picked me up! A nice couple visiting from Chicago. About 2-3 miles into the ride and I spot my car heading towards Grandview! I'm glad she's ok but now I've got to chase her down! The couple was nice enough to drive me back to 64/Grandview Road. I finally get back to the TH and still can't find her. Turns out she went down Grandview to try and meet me coming up Grandview. So one more hike for me on Grandview and we were finally reunited just a short way down.
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Jun 25 2010
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 Guides 26
 Routes 19
 Photos 562
 Triplogs 1,391

female
 Joined Jan 04 2011
 Las Vegas, NV
Horseshoe Mesa 5,246Northwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Backpack avatar Jun 25 2010
autumnstarsTriplogs 1,391
Backpack6.40 Miles
Backpack6.40 Miles2 Days         
 no routes
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
This was my 11-year-old niece's first backpacking trip, so 3 miles out, camp, then 3 miles back seemed just about perfect.
Loaded up with a hot breakfast at Desert View campground, we set out down the trail after enjoying the views from Grandview Point. Shortly, we came to the first series of switchbacks, which are along sometimes narrow rock ledges - a bit of a squeeze at times with the pack on. The amazing views pretty much started here and continued throughout the hike. As with Hermit Trail, the switchbacks through the Coconino are mostly paved with hand-laid cobbles - wow!

When we reached the spot where the trail goes along the narrow divide separating Cottonwood and Hance Creeks, I realized how afraid of heights my niece is. It's pretty wide here, but she was frozen at the thought of walking between 2 drop-offs. We finally talked her over the scariest bit and began traversing the Supai. Now, we could see our goal and moved along more quickly by playing a word game. There were a few more tense moments at some of the minor rock slides along the trail, but all that was forgotten when we reached Horseshoe Mesa and slopes littered with azurite and malachite (I think). I'm not much on geology, but my niece loves rocks and had selected the hike from a list of choices for this very reason. We set up camp and hiked back over to poke around a bit more. But the views were the real attraction - Pete Berry was lucky to live here!

The moon was full and bright, which I love for desert camping. In the morning, we made the most of the trail's location by starting early. This meant we were in the shade almost the entire hike out. Shockingly, we hiked out in less than 1/2 the time it took to hike in - my niece wasn't afraid of falling on the way up and could concentrate on hiking.

A fun hike with amazing views away from the south rim crowds. We saw exactly 4 people on trail and all were day hiking - easily a worth-while day hike. In summer, it was fairly hot, but there was sporatic shade.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Page Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
There was a large pool of clear water under the rock overhang. It was hard to assess the flow rate, since water flows down the rock into this pool. If you plan on using this water source, bring something flavored to mix into it, because it tastes pretty bad (also, it's apparently high in radium, so I was the only one who drank it). The side trail to the spring from Horseshoe Mesa is very exposed and has almost dropped off completely in some places, requiring some scrambling.
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"Let it ride / Let it roll / Let it go"
Apr 04 2009
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 Guides 103
 Routes 249
 Photos 2,067
 Triplogs 511

male
 Joined Nov 18 2005
 Phoenix, AZ
Tanner TrailNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Backpack avatar Apr 04 2009
nonotTriplogs 511
Backpack9.00 Miles 4,660 AEG
Backpack9.00 Miles7 Days   4 Hrs   30 Mns   
4,660 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Day 0:
Arrived at the Rim and got some great photos before the weather set in. That night it snowed upwards, it was quite interesting to watch.

Day 1:
The first half mile of Tanner had a bit of snow and ice. A little slippery and I almost lost the trail in one section where it wasn't clear which way to go. Once past the beginning the rest of the trail was much easier than I had been led to believe. I passed a few people headed out of the canyon, the last souls I would speak to for days. I reached Tanner Beach in about 4.5 hours and checked it out in its entirety.

From there I found the start of the Beamer trail and added another ~4 miles until I reached a nice beach near Palisades Beach. All told, ~12-14 miles and I had camp set up by 1 PM. This was fortunate because a rainstorm came roaring from up canyon and rained for about 30 minutes as it passed over me like a locomotive. An hour later and skies were sunny again but it stayed windy all day.

Day 2:
I took the next 6-7 miles of the Beamer to the LCR. First a steep climb then a few 50 foot sections of trail 10 inches wide with a 400 foot drop-off to the left. Cool!

Checked out Beamer's cabin and set up camp the legal distance away from the LCR delta. I spent the next hour trying to find a safe place to cross the roaring LCR. After busting a strap on my hiking pole fighting the current, about 5 tries later I made it across. I filtered water from the Colorado on the good side of the LCR and drank until I was full. It was wonderful. Due to wasting so much time I was unable to explore much of the LCR gorge; it will have to wait for another time.

Day 3:
I took the Beamer and beach trails over to Cardenas. Temperatures nearly hit 90 on the furnace flats. Holy cow was it hot. I finished the 12-14 mile journey by 3:30 PM and met a group of rafters. They were nice and fed me dinner. After spotting a huge rat and trading stories over chocolate cake, we retreated to our numerous tents.

Day 4:
I said my goodbyes to the rafters and headed out on the trail I was most nervous about: doing the full Escalante Route. I began by climbing Cardenas Butte. I saw the ruins after I was past them and made my way up to the head of the unnamed drainage. It was no problem.

Next came the worst part of the trip: the long traverse. For over a mile you walk along a precipitous trail. It's more than a boot sole wide but it requires caution and takes a long time until you reach the front of the butte. Once at the edge you have great views.

The descent into Escalante Canyon is easy enough and you continue through the east arm to get to the west arm. Once there I found many trails but headed down the canyon. After a quarter mile or so you reach a 100 foot pour off but there is a convenient trail that will take you around the rest of the canyon to the bottom.

From the beach you begin an easy climb until you are staring down into 75 mile canyon. You traverse along the rim of the canyon until you reach a down climb about a mile away from the river. The walk down the slot canyon is gravel filled and easy going.

Once I neared 75 mile beach I saw a trail headed high up stairs to the east. Later I found out this was the high route and the easier low route goes along the beach itself. The high route to Papago is rocky and somewhat unpleasant to navigate, however I managed it without too much of a problem.

Finally at Papago beach I arrived hot and sweaty since the temps were again in the upper 80s. Luckily another group of backpackers offered snacks and sunscreen and I cooled down in the Colorado. Next I tackled the feared Papago Wall. I read you needed rope and it was a difficult climb. In reality it is about 25 feet tall and took all of 25 seconds to figure out the route and climb it. I didn't even take off my pack. 2 mantles could be described as semi technical but it is really easy unless you are very short.

On top of the wall it took me a little while to find where the route continues to climb up rocks and through a crack until you top out and follow the ridge to the Papago slide. From the top it looks intimidating but is about 250 feet of mixed large rocks and loose scree. I was careful and took my time going down. In reality it is a gut check staring down at it from the top but turned out to not be that difficult.

Camp was at Red Canyon where I met up with the backpackers who were so kind to me near Papago and we traded stories until bedtime.

Day 5:
Joined forces with my new friends and headed over to Hance Creek. After setting up camp we explored about 2 miles up the west arm of Hance Creek. Spotted a possible old mine site about 1.3 miles in and a spring up canyon but otherwise was fairly uneventful. We spent the day learning a bit about each other's experiences and past trips.

Day 6:
We took the Tonto over to Cottonwood Creek. Set up camp and then climbed up to explore Cave of the Domes. Spent maybe 45 minutes inside where it was more humid than expected and quite warm. We spotted the signatures of past explorers in the domes and found a great formation with a 12+ foot stalactite. We headed over to the west arm of Horseshoe Mesa for some photos and were awestruck by the grandeur of the canyon. Down the west arm we went and made it back to camp.

Day 7:
Headed back up to Horseshoe Mesa and climbed the Grandview out to the rim. Cloud cover kept the sun from baking us and it was a great end to the week. We played celebrity on top for awhile with all the tourists before getting a ride back to Lipan to retrieve my car.
 Culture
 Culture [ checklist ]
[ checklist ]  Stone Dwelling
 Named place
 Named place [ checklist ]
[ checklist ]  Chuar Butte  Colorado River
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
_____________________
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Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, ankle-twisting, HAZmaster crushing ROCKS!!
Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, shin-stabbing, skin-shredding plants!
Hike Arizona it is full of striking, biting, stabbing, venomous wildlife!
Apr 06 2006
avatar

 Photos 14
 Triplogs 2

68 male
 Joined Nov 22 2008
 Durham, NC
Tonto Trail: Grandview Trail to South KaibabNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Backpack avatar Apr 06 2006
mlandmanTriplogs 2
Backpack29.80 Miles 12,000 AEG
Backpack29.80 Miles   24 Hrs   54 Mns   1.20 mph
12,000 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Grand Canyon trip, April 6 - 11, 2006
This trip was the second solo of the year. The first, in February, was a shake down of light and ultra-light equipment. In that trip, I went on a multi-day loop of Horseshoe Mesa, never being more than a day hike from the rim. If some critical equipment failed or proved disastrously inappropriate, I could bail out and not be at significant risk. I have cut my pack weight from a dry weight of around 35 lbs to a much more age appropriate weight of around 14 ½ Lbs. Here are the gear details:

Category Item Weight (oz)
Back Pack
Osprey Atmos 50 (3000 cu. in.) 46
Pack Cover 2.4
Bathroom Towel 1.8
TP 2
Trowel 2
Clothes (packed)
Fleece beanie Hat 2.2
Sun Hat 2.4
Hurricane Pants 8.4
Hyperion down Vest 7.8
Marmot Precip Jacket 12.4
Ski Gloves 5.6
SmartWool socks & liners 9.34
TU - Zeo-Line MW shirt 6.2
Crampons Camp 6 point light 10.2
First Aid Emergency Kit (space blanket, mirror, etc.) 5
First Aid Kit (BactiBan, gauze, Band-Aids, duct tape, etc.) 6.4
Hydration Platy hose kit 2.4
2 L Platy Water Tank 2
4 L Platy Water Tank 2.5
Aquamira Water Treatment 3.4
Pur Explorer Water Filter (I was not convinced on the chemical treatment) 9
Kitchen Solo Kit (1 .8L Ti. Pot, 1 cup Alcohol stove, wind screen, Spoon and fork) 11.4
Misc. Hyperion Vest bag (Makes for a nice down pillow) 0.6
Light (LED head lamp) 3.2
Spares & repairs 4.2
Stuff Sacks 3 2
Shelter Luna Footprint 2
Lunar Solo 29
Bed room Montbel SS Hugger #3 (30^) 24.6
Pad - NiteLite insulated air mattress 7.5
Total Weight Items oz. (Lbs) 234 oz. (14.6 lbs)

I carried 20 oz. of food per full day and 15 for the walk out. It was Instant Oatmeal and coffee for breakfast, Probars, beef jerky and trail mix for snacks, Ultralight Joe's Moose Goo (good stuff, go look it up) and tortillas for lunch and a large serving, freeze-dried main course for dinner. I wore trail runners and convertible pants with mid length gators for the legs and synthetic long sleeve shirt and Graphite hiking poles (11 oz.)

4/6/06
Arrived at the South Rim around 4:30 pm, check the BCO for any updates and headed off to park my car. I am going from the SK to the Grandview. I wanted my car to be there when I got out. Parked at the hiker's section at the Grandview trailhead and asked for a ride back to Mather's campground. After terrorizing tourists from all parts of the world, a pair of old (my age, 52) hippies took me back to the village. Found my camp spot, setup camp and wandered off to eat before bed. I am packing light, but am confident in my gear. The only item I had second thoughts on are the crampons. I figure it is still early enough in the year to make them good insurance. They are tempered aluminum six point and only weigh 10 oz. My pack with food for 5 days and 6 L of water weighs in at 34.3 Lbs. on the BCO scale.
0 miles, 0' gain/loss

4/7/06
I awoke at 4 am very cold. It is 22 degrees and I need to put more clothes on, the upside is the tent is now freezing the condensation so it stopped dripping! Around 6:30 I am up and freezing my hands packing frost covered gear. I get a quick breakfast and catch a bus to the South Kaibab trailhead.

8:05 I have watered up and I am heading down. I am going to Lonetree for the night. I expect water there, but do not have a solid conformation. I pack a full 6L water load. The trail will be muddy later, but right now it is frozen solid. Big ice ponds where the mules gouged out the trails.

8:50 I am below Cedar Ridge. The trail is all chewed up and hard to maneuver. I hate to walk in mule piss mud and am relegated to the edges of the trail. I have shed some clothes and am down to a good fighting weight now that it has warmed up. Near Skeleton Point there is a well defined trail heading west-northwest down to the springs on the Tonto. It starts between the two large cliff sections where you get a view to the west after you start the drop off Skeleton Point. From up here, it looks quite passable to the top of the Redwall.

11:00 I have started east on the Tonto. I have a lunch of Moose Goo on Tortillas at the top of the drop-off down to the floor of the Tonto. There are two large cairns marking the trail down and a large camp area down near the bottom. These mark the use boundaries

By 1:47 I am through the three branches of Cremation and contouring around Pattie Butte. What a bear they are! You drop down 150 - 250 feet and scramble back up what is little more that dirt cliffs. All three branches were dry, but the western most on had damp earth and might yield water in a pinch. There is a good shelter cave near the trail crossing here too. Coming down the SK, there is a ridge going off the eastern most switchback, part way down the Redwall. You could head east and bypass all three of the Cremation branches. Even though you would be off trail, I think it would be easier than this was. I have 3 or 4 miles to go till camp.

3:45 I arrive at Lonetree and setup camp. There is a good flow of water, and it is sweet tasting. Much better that Hance or Cottonwood. By 6:00 I have had a freeze-dried dinner, pumped water for tomorrow, and wander to explore. This is a lovely spot surrounded by unbroken Redwall cliffs. The Redbud trees are blooming and there is a steady buzz of bees making the last round of the day. I had a high of around 83 and it is now around 70 degrees. Sunset is around 6:30 and it is very peaceful. I passed a single party of two Germans hikers around the middle Cremation crossing. It is nice to be away from the hubbub of the SK.
10.0 miles +1310'/-4800'

4/8/06 @ 5:45 am Nature called me awake. It was a nice cool night and I have the right amount of sleeping bag. It got to around 40 last night. I made an Oatmeal breakfast, and a cup of powdered gourmet coffee. No blisters and only a little sore of knee and calf. By 6:20 the sun starts to illuminate the highest peaks. I am on the trail at 7:05; it is 52 degrees and a clear sunny day. Grapevine is the next camp. At 8:00 I take a break at the drop-off to the river and watch the little ripples of Grapevine rapids. I can hear the roar of 85 Mile rapids.

9:25 I am in Boulder. I stop for a break and to put the poles away. The Tonto Trail is very flat and easy hiking. I passed a party of three men my age (early 50s) heading west to camp in Cremation. By 11:00, I break for lunch on top of the slow rise before the trail heads south into Grapevine. I set my pack down on my water bladder's bite valve and used most of my water to help the local flora! The caucuses are happy, I am less so! I have a little less that a liter, but water is just a few miles away. It is starting to get warm and I sit in the shade of a large boulder in one of the minor side drainages in Grapevine to cool off. I can see the Redbud trees a mile ahead at the creek. I explore the Hotel de Willow Creek in the west branch of Grapevine. There is a slow flow in the creel bed, and I pump a liter and drink a few cups of water. At 2:50 I am at the lovely oasis that is the main Grapevine. The water is deep enough to bath in so I -whoa- it is COLD!!! It is 82 at around 3:25. I fill up on some water for a dry camp. I am permitted for BH9, Grapevine, but I will camp out on the Tonto near the Use Area border. I prefer camping on the Tonto over camping in the washes because the views are better. 5:45 PM, I have made camp on a nice flat. It is rather breezy and I have found some rocks to anchor my tent. My legs are sore tonight, both on the front and backs. I will sleep well tonight!
8.7 miles +1200'/-1280'

4/9/06 Up at 5:45 and off to reconnoiter after Oatmeal. It looks like there is a route up the face of the ridge between Grapevine and Cottonwood. I go up and poke around some. If I were not solo, I think it would be passable. By 7:45 I have had breakfast and am on the trail again. This will be an easy hike to Cottonwood, and I plan to explore some. I have made the west branch of Cottonwood and am heading upstream. I plan to make the top of the Redwall between the two forks of Cottonwood, and possibly camp there. I start off in the stream bead but climb up the east bank for easier walking. Someone has come down recently. There are boot prints in the sand, I make my way up to 4100' and am heading up the top of the drainage that is the east fork of the dry stream bead. The surface is very loose and footing is poor. You need to stay away from the drop off into the stream because a fall would be easy to arrange. The better route would be to head uphill around the 4000' mark and head for the small cliff bands near where the canyon chokes off. I make the cliff bands and stop for a drink and a snack in the shade. There is a spring several hundred feet below. By noon, I am at 4550' and through the narrow point in the drainage. This is a traveled section and there is a clear trail. Most of the traffic is downhill and sections are torn up from folks "dirt skiing" down. Near the top, you can go due South or East, both are easy. I go east and top out of the Redwall, to the left of the large rock outcropping around 1:00. The view is from the point is stunning. You can see both branches of Cottonwood and the camping areas, the Tonto stretching out to the ease and west, Horseshoe Mesa to the east and people exploring the cave. The Redwall curves around to the west from here and climes a couple of hundred feet on the other side of the fault that makes the cut I ascended. There is also a route from the rim to here that makes for a good off trail descent.

I have decided to not camp up here. There aren't any good areas near the edge that have been used. I do not like to camp on places that are new. One does too much damage to the soil. It is also too late to contour around the top of the Redwall to the west to get to the old mine I have heard is up here. I have a bite to eat and start to head down the way I came up. It took only 35 minutes to go back down to the Cottonwood stream bead.

4:20 and I am back at the Tonto crossing. I am heading to the main cottonwood to camp. By 4:45 and I have made the main branch/Tonto crossing. I see a tent set up at one of the camp spots and go look for one for me to use. When I arrived I went down stream to see if it was OK with the couple camping there if I camped 500' feet upstream. They said it was fine with them. After dinner, they wandered up and offered me a glass of wine and a cigar. We sat and talked, finished off their bottle and smoked our cigars. They had flown in from Buffalo and had hiked down for the night, out in the morning. By 7:30, I have had dinner, hung my food and pack. Tomorrow I plan to do a day hike to explore a route down to Cottonwood near the drop off to the Colorado.
9.8 miles (including off trail) +3980'/-4050'

4/10/06 @ 8:00 After the requisite Oatmeal, I have put together my day pack and am dead north of the west arm of Horseshoe. From here you go strait to the edge of the drop off. There is an old trail, probably the old Tonto Trail that follows the edge of the Tonto around to the east. The trail can not be seen from the current Tonto Trail, but is very clear when you get there. It is also marked with cairns here and there. By 8:20 I have reached the last break before the edge of the Tonto curves to the south and is over the Colorado. This is where I will descend to the Cottonwood. The old trail continues around, following the edge. I start on the south side of the wash to the first choke point. The descent is easy as the ground us firm and offers good footing. I see not other foot prints here. I reach 3670'; there are a couple of minor dry falls that are easily bypassed on the left. You can see the stream below now.

8:45, 3550' the red granite starts with a 40' falls. I work my around to the right. The drop from here is around 45 degrees and I have put my poles away. I need my hands to scramble down. Bypass the last falls to the right to avoid thorny trees.

9:10 I am at the stream bead, so I know this descent goes through! It is just about 2 miles from the Tonto/Cottonwood crossing to the bottom of this cut. I am starting up Cottonwood. At 9:30 I have come to an impassable falls with a possible bypass on each side. I go back down stream to look at the two ways around. I set my pack down right next to a cairn on the east side. This must be the bypass. At 10:00 I am at the top of the bypass and can see the confluence of the main and west branch. It looks like the bypass comes back to the stream bed a little before that. From here, it is clear that I have taken the harder of the two bypasses; the one on the west looks like a harder ascent, but is shorter with an easier descent. The decent back down to the stream is hairy and I need to be careful. It is a little too close to real rock climbing. If I had a partner, I would be less concerned. If someone can remove the eastern cairn, and make a nice western one, it would be helpful. Coming up to the confluence, there is a thick stand of what I think is willows. There clearly has not been a big flash flood for several years. The confluence is like a green paradise in the desert. A dozen mature Cottonwood trees, cool shade, and a flowing stream. It is a truly a lovely spot. I stop for a snack and to enjoy the place.
About 1/4 mile upstream on the west side there is a developed cave with 4 rooms and some surviving walls. By 11:10 and I am into some dark sandstone. The stream bead gets very narrow through here. The stream continues up with no difficulty. I get back to the Tonto and gather up the rest of my gear. I am permitted for tonight in BE9, Hance use Area. I plan to camp on the Tonto again at the place I found in February, near the boarder. Tomorrow I am heading out. It is very windy and I put big rocks on top of rocks on top of my tent stakes. Hope it holds! Not much sunset due to the incoming high clouds. It looks like snow is on the way.
4.6 miles +1230'/-1010'

4/11/06 Up to watch a pretty sunrise. It's funny, at home I hate early mornings, but while camping I see every sunrise and love it. It is 42 degrees and partly cloudy. The tent held up find with a lot of wind. I recommend it as a very light weight shelter. It is not freestanding, but the weight saving is worth the hassle of pounding stakes. I am heading up the middle (northern) Horseshoe Mesa trail. By 6:30 I am at the big Iron bar that marks the start of the ascent. The trail is in good shape despite the lack us use. After 8 switchbacks you can see the old trail work. Stacked stone walls to keep the mule trails in place. After several more sets of switchbacks the trail heads for the break in the top of the Redwall. Near the top, the trail branches. The right seems to head to the northern part of Horseshoe, I take the left. 7:35 I am up and take a break. There is a nice view down into Cottonwood from here. I have a break and have oatmeal!

10:15 I have made the saddle between Cottonwood and Hance. I take a break and enjoy the blue birds that are hanging around. I really like this spot with the views into both Cottonwood and Hance drainages. By 12:15 I top out and go find the car, happy I hassled the parking and ride at the start of the trip. I find the keys, always a good thing, and the rental starts right up! After checking in at the BCO (yeah, I am old school and let them know I am out. I do not think they care, but I always do it.) I wonder off for fresh coffee and a brew and a burger. I drive off to Phoenix and get my room. I fly back out east around noon tomorrow.
4.5 miles +4460'/-500'

This was, yet another, good trip with a pair of nice off trail excursions. I can hardily recommend both the trips up and down from Cottonwood. Thanks for reading.
_____________________
If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.
James Madison
Oct 19 2001
avatar

 Routes 35
 Photos 2,520
 Triplogs 1,214

65 male
 Joined Jul 28 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Tonto Trail: New Hance Trail to Grandview TrNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Backpack avatar Oct 19 2001
mazatzalTriplogs 1,214
Backpack19.00 Miles 5,000 AEG
Backpack19.00 Miles3 Days         
5,000 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Day 1: Dropped my brother and our packs at New Hance and drove back to Grandview TH. Rode bike back to New Hance and hid it in the trees. Down New Hance and camped at Hance Rapids.

Day2: Hance Rapids to Hance Creek.

Day 3: Up onto Horseshoe Mesa and up Grandview.
_____________________
average hiking speed 1.67 mph

WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

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