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Saddle Mountain 8424 - 2 members in 3 triplogs have rated this an average 4.5 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Sep 01 2019
chumley
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 Guides 75
 Routes 667
 Photos 13,238
 Triplogs 1,423

46 male
 Joined Sep 18 2002
 Tempe, AZ
Saddle Mountain 8424Northwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 01 2019
chumley
Hiking7.00 Miles 2,851 AEG
Hiking7.00 Miles   4 Hrs   58 Mns   1.57 mph
2,851 ft AEG      30 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
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After camping just down the road from the trailhead, I was able to get on the trail at 7am. I've previously hiked to Nankoweap from the lower #57 trailhead, but never from the upper trailhead. I can say without question that the upper half is significantly more difficult than the lower half. I kept thinking to myself that I would hate to descend this trail with a full pack at the start of a multiday trip to the river. It would be no more fun on the way out!

So I was glad to be doing this one as a day hike, and made my way to the saddle relatively quickly. From there, I was a little bit surprised at the lack of any sign of a route up Saddle Mtn. Not even a single cairn! Maybe I should have read a triplog first? I fought through brush and tried to stay in the shade created by the towering cliffs above for as long as possible. It was steep, overgrown, scree, boulders, deadfall, and prickly. Despite the elevation, the sun was hot, and I'm out of hiking shape so it was an exhausting climb.

Eventually I prevailed, found the BobP-approved summit cairn, the benchmark, and the register. A remote off-trail peak like this doesn't usually have the names of four people I have actually met before, but this one did. Even so there was only one other group visit this year, and generally not more than 2-3 annually.

There were numerous signs of recent mountain lion activity, so I was a little surprised that I didn't spook it out of hiding at some point. I'm sure it kept an eye on me from somewhere!

Getting down to the saddle was slow going due to the steep grade, but was much less effort than the climb had been. Of course from the saddle, it's still a big climb back up to the trailhead, and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't pretty beat up by the time I finished. I was happy to hydrate with some cold gatorade and drive toward my lazy follow-up hike.
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Profound observer
1 archive
Apr 15 2018
friendofThunde
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 Guides 18
 Routes 280
 Photos 7,723
 Triplogs 716

37 male
 Joined Jan 21 2013
 AZ
Saddle Mountain 8424Northwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 15 2018
friendofThundergod
Hiking9.10 Miles 2,944 AEG
Hiking9.10 Miles   4 Hrs   57 Mns   1.96 mph
2,944 ft AEG      19 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
After South Canyon, it was a great night of car camping on the Kaibab Plateau and then Nankoweap Trail and a summit of Saddle Mountain on Sunday.

We both enjoyed the short but sweet section of Nankoweap Trail. We found it to be scenic and a unique way to reach the Grand Canyon from our prior experiences and were pleased with a pretty modest glyph find along the way. Once at the saddle, we began the off trail portion to the summit of Saddle Mountain. We took what most off trail hikers with any route finding sense would consider a pretty obvious route to a pretty obvious little break on Saddle Mountain's western slope. There was a little bushwhacking along the way and it was pretty steep, however, overall we both agreed it was not that bad and it looked far worse from a distance. Once on top, we were greeted to some amazing views into the canyon and some dramatic drops. The snow capped peaks were visible in the distance and Tilted Mesa was easily identifiable, along with a few other landmarks that we will be getting a much closer look at when we backpack to the Colorado River from Nankoweap Trail in a couple of weeks. The route to the summit went smoothly and was pretty nice by most off trail standards. The summit had a very large cairn marking it and a pretty busy log in for a peak that did not have that well worn of a use trail going to it. We found a nice spot for lunch overlooking Marble Canyon and the Vermillion Cliffs in the distance and then headed back the way we came.

Final Notes

Route Scout was having a bad weekend and straight lined a portion of our trail, so I estimated the minor SNAFU, however, the route to and from the summit are the actual tracks and would be a good reference for anyone completing a summit from Nankoweap Saddle. This was my tenth Grand Canyon high point and although it did not have the same feel as some of the others, it feels nice to finally get in the double digits!
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Named place
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Saddle Mountain
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4 archives
Jun 12 2016
Hippy
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 Guides 7
 Routes 3
 Photos 1,749
 Triplogs 609

33 female
 Joined Dec 02 2009
 Grand Canyon
Saddle Mountain 8424Northwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 12 2016
Hippy
Hiking9.00 Miles
Hiking9.00 Miles
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Partners none no partners
This was fun!!
From the Saddle mtn wilderness Trailhead down to the Supai ledge Nankoweap Trailhead, a few hundred ft along Nanko trail the contour north then up up up this sweet locust and oak filled slope through the Coconino

2 false summits with saddles in between, no wonder they call this saddle mountain!

We had two friends in tow who opted out of the summit at Nanko th so Jamie and I charged up to the summit together.

Brrrrr wiiiindy but oholy beans gorgeous views!

House rock valley, mount Hayden, pt Imperial, Comanche, LCR, Desertview...yeah, this was worth it!

Found the geo marker and one triangulation marker but it's very brushy up top so failed to find any others. Oh well.

Hoping to head back to finish off Woolsey Butte next weekend!

Also...fyi...4G on the summit, this is a real time posting. Damn technology ;)

I like to see where I get signal, it's a fun game.haha
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Canyon Freak Adventures!
3 archives
average hiking speed 1.77 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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