I had always regretted not scrambling to the top of Vulcans Throne the last time I did the Lava Falls Route, as I was not sure when I would ever get out to that area again. Well I found myself in the area again this past weekend and this time after completing the Lava Falls Route, I did not pass on Vulcans and another canyon summit.
I suggested scrambling up from the Lava Falls Trailhead, but @chumley suggested starting from an area closer to the old dam. His suggestion won over and paid off greatly. From where we parked, it was a pretty quick and direct ascent to the summit. It was extremely cold and windy on the summit, but we tried to enjoy ourselves nevertheless with some summit beverages. The views were tremendous from the summit of Vulcans, but after taking them in for a few minutes and reading through the register, we decided to finish our beers on the hike down, as it was very cold on top of the exposed old volcano. The hike down was quick and uneventful. I would definitely put this summit on my to do list, if in the area. Grand Canyon summit number 18 for me.
After Lava Falls, we decided for a quick trip up Vulcans. From what I had read it was going to be climbing a gravel slope, but it was really no problem at all. I don't think I had one step that took me backwards. It climbs more and more steeply but the flora is evenly spaced and there are signs of wildlife use to help guide the way.
The 40-degree weather caught up with us on the peak as there was a cold wind, so we didn't linger long before heading back to camp. This is definitely a worthy climb for anybody visiting this area.
After hiking the Lava Falls Trail, we drove a couple of miles to the north and started hiking to Vulcans Throne. This is a very straightforward off trail hike with a healthy gain. We opted for a drainage that led to a saddle & this worked out really well. There were signs of use and the going is mostly easy except for the loose footing on the volcanic rock. We topped out and enjoyed the views and signed the register. It was very cold and windy so we decided to finish our summit beers on the hike down. Once back to the cars, we headed back over to the campground and settled in for the evening. This was a nice hike and is worth doing if you’re in the area.
Spent a few days at Toroweap with an old canyon freak from the 70's.
We were waiting to surprise Jamie Compos in the middle of his Pearce to Phantom esplanade hike...
So Tuesday morning Doug and I drove out to check out Lava Falls Route. I scrambled down a good bit but had other fish to fry so we parted ways and I shot up the south side of Vulcan's Throne.
Its steeper than it looks, follow the bighorn tracks up in a spiral and you'll be fine. If you hike straight up you're doomed. Every step up you'll slide down two!
Yeah I kept my feet in the bighorn tracks and was up in 17 minutes :p
It was SO windy I was knocked over a few times on the way up. Topped the false summit the wind gave way for a moment so I ran to true summit and shot a little video of the wind and the views.
Found the huge summit cairn. Signed the summit register (Hi JJ3!! Borrowed your stats seems like a bit much AEG but whatevs) And plotted my descent on the north end.
As I began the slide down the north side I spotted a solitary figure trudging along the road that runs from Lava Falls Route...
I ran down to meet him fast as my feet could carry me and after his initial shock we walked back to my campsite together where I presented him with beer, tons of fresh oranges, Reese's peanut butter cups and a burger dinner.
We caught sunset at Toroweap overlook then settled in early for our hike along Tuckup the next day and that's another triplog :p
After Lava Falls I decided to hike up Vulcan's Throne. The trailheads are right next to each other.
This one is deceiving. It looks like a big gentle mound that would be easy to climb up. In reality it is slippery lava rock so as you make your way up it is easy to lose traction and slide down. Once up top it gets much easier but then you have to make your way over to the actual summit which is another short climb. Up top the views were amazing. I made good time coming down but going up was a total slog.
average hiking speed 1.91 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.