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Big Canyon to LCR Gorge - 3 members in 9 triplogs have rated this an average 5 ( 1 to 5 best )
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May 19 2018
RedwallNHops
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 7
 Photos 237
 Triplogs 938

44 male
 Joined Dec 22 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Big Canyon to LCR GorgeNortheast, AZ
Northeast, AZ
Canyoneering avatar May 19 2018
RedwallNHops
Canyoneering12.00 Miles 3,200 AEG
Canyoneering12.00 Miles
3,200 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Finally was able to get this one done. Firstly - the official route is wrong. It has you going down the first draninge you get to instead of climbing out of that drainage and descending the steep gully. The drainage the offical route takes you down requires at least 200ft rap to get you down into sheep wash. We hiked down that drainage, got to the big drop - wondered how we got off. Luckily I brought the Grand Canyoneering beta with me, punched in the coordinates and found out we were one drainage off. We backtracked and then got into the steep drainage that takes you into sheep wash. By this time it was getting pretty warm out, but I figured I had plenty of water to get me to the redwall. Little did I know I forgot to lock my bladder hose. There was some leakage in the back of my car, which I stupidly attributed to my car camping water container, which does leak. I assumed it was that instead of checking my bladder. Rookie mistake. I ran out of water when we hit big canyon. Unfortunately there was still another 2.5 miles to go until we hit the first rap. We hoped to run into water, but no dice....we finally did when we hit the redwall.. I waited another 15-20 minutes to get water because a lot of the pools were very muddy. You could tell it hadn't rained much lately. Finally we hit a decent looking pool after a sketchy downclimb. We stopped and filtered - I guzzled a liter before we moved on. We finally hit the first rap. The raps were gorgeous and fun. Unfortunately, the heat stress and running out of water took a hit on my mood and I didn't enjoy it as much as I should've( I didn't really start feeling normal until hitting camp). WE finally hit the blue/turquoise waters of the LCR - so gorgeous. We floated our packs the .3 miles down to the game and fish camp. Had a good night rehydrating along the river.
The next day we hiked out. The Salt Trail is fun and steep.
This trip was plan B. I had permits for Boulder canyon, but after Lonetree the previous weekend another 2.5 miles on the Tonto to get to Boulder did not sound good.. Plus I was a bit scared to tackle the Clear Creek riffles again...
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5 archives
Apr 21 2018
oceanwithin
avatar

 Photos 337
 Triplogs 554

female
 Joined Jun 19 2009
 AZ
Big Canyon to LCR GorgeNortheast, AZ
Northeast, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Apr 21 2018
oceanwithin
Canyoneering12.00 Miles 3,200 AEG
Canyoneering12.00 Miles2 Days         
3,200 ft AEG35 LBS Pack
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Partners none no partners
:y:

Finally! This trip has been years in the making. I lost count of how many times this was planned with permits secured, only to have to bail due to rain and/or a muddy LCR. Having been down the Salt Trail years ago, I have been wanting to come back to these blue waters ever since and this weekend could not have been more perfect.

Saturday our route took us down Big canyon, which narrowed up in the redwall layer after several miles of hiking. We made our way down the rappels and waterfalls, past enormous travertine boulders and mossy pools fed by warm-spring waters. Before we knew it we were down to the LCR, which was as blue and beautiful as ever. Camped on the beach and spent the rest of the evening admiring the changing light and amazing views as the sun went down.

Sunday we woke up early to hike out on the salt trail and made it to the top in 3.5 hours. It's 1000 times more of an actual trail than I remember but somehow I still managed to miss all of the petroglyphs that I saw last time. :(

I always feel completely blown away after doing anything in the Grand Canyon and this trip was no different. When my coworkers asked me how my hike was this weekend, all I could respond with was "oh, it was...good." How can you really explain the culmination of how it feels to pass through a paradise of emerald waters or sleep next to a turquoise river where brown beavers swim upstream or how cool it is to see the geology change over the miles, the comradeship between adventurers, how especially gorgeous a claret cup is when you're tired, the feeling of a waterfall rolling over your feet, the way moonlight bends around canyon walls as you lay looking up at night... I could go on. All in all this was an incredible weekend in a truly special place with extraordinary people, 5 stars all around.

A note on permits: We were surprised to find a Navajo ranger newly stationed at the fish camp (he introduced himself as "The Man With the Gun"). Nice guy, but doesn't mess around if you don't have a permit. We met several dejected backpackers who had to camp out on the salt without having reached the river due to having no permits. Glad we had ours, and kind of crazy that a ranger is needed there.
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May 25 2013
AZOutdoorsman
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 Guides 3
 Photos 2,110
 Triplogs 113

male
 Joined Jan 16 2004
 Chandler, AZ
Salt Trail Canyon to LCR GorgeNortheast, AZ
Northeast, AZ
Canyoneering avatar May 25 2013
AZOutdoorsman
Canyoneering
Canyoneering3 Days         
50 LBS Pack
 no routes
Partners none no partners
Back for another Memorial Weekend. Mainly to make it to Blue Springs and back - had to abort last time (see 5/22/09 triplog). Day 1: From Salt Trail TH - down and over to Big Canyon (canyoneering) to LCRG. Day 2: hike to Blue Springs and tube back. Day 3: out Salt Trail (canyoneering through ST Canyon on way out). Beautiful weekend! : )
Named place
Named place
Blue Spring
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Apr 28 2012
azflyguy
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 2
 Photos 337
 Triplogs 311

35 male
 Joined May 31 2009
 Scottsdale,AZ
Big Canyon to LCR GorgeNortheast, AZ
Northeast, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Apr 28 2012
azflyguy
Canyoneering12.00 Miles 3,200 AEG
Canyoneering12.00 Miles
3,200 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
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Canyoneering gear beta tester and supplier. Visit http://www.shadowcatadventures.com for canyoneering, climbing, hiking and backpacking gear.
Mar 11 2012
suzaz
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 2
 Photos 3,905
 Triplogs 154

female
 Joined Nov 23 2003
 Gold Canyon, AZ
Big Canyon to LCR GorgeNortheast, AZ
Northeast, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Mar 11 2012
suzaz
Canyoneering12.00 Miles 3,200 AEG
Canyoneering12.00 Miles
3,200 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The Emerald Pools part of this trip has been on my "to do" list for a long time. I've been down to the LCRG a few times but this was by far the best way to do the trip.

The hike out is ridiculous! even more so with canyoneering gear.

Many of these pics were taken by Cody Rients and shared with permission.
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Mar 10 2012
markyarch
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 Routes 5
 Photos 32
 Triplogs 209

48 male
 Joined Jul 19 2009
 Phoenix, AZ
Big Canyon to LCR GorgeNortheast, AZ
Northeast, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Mar 10 2012
markyarch
Canyoneering14.00 Miles 4,200 AEG
Canyoneering14.00 Miles2 Days         
4,200 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Partners partners
Vaporman
Started at Salt Trailhead, hiked to Big Canyon, and finally made it to the awesome turquoise water in the LCR. We had the entire LCR to ourselves! Floated down the LCR with out packs and finally set up camp for the night. The next morning started the hike out on Salt Trail. Ended up getting off trail near the beginning of the hike and had to scramble down a scree slope. Finally made it to the top of Salt Trail Canyon and descended the canyon. The big keeper was full of water and each person was able to get out of the keeper unassisted. This was the only pool of water in the canyon that we couldn't bypass. Finally made it back to Salt trail an re-hiked the same section that we did in the morning and finally made it out about 6pm.
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Mar 10 2012
suzaz
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 2
 Photos 3,905
 Triplogs 154

female
 Joined Nov 23 2003
 Gold Canyon, AZ
Big Canyon to LCR GorgeNortheast, AZ
Northeast, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Mar 10 2012
suzaz
Canyoneering12.00 Miles 3,200 AEG
Canyoneering12.00 Miles2 Days         
3,200 ft AEG30 LBS Pack
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
:y: :GB: :y:
Great fun! Certainly the best route to the LCRG by far. The guys on this trip were bad mambo-jamba's = hardcore strong. Thanks for the invite and carrying all the ropes....one day I hope to be strong like them. ;) Also grateful to those that pioneered this sweet route!

And as all good trips go, can't come home without a souvenir of some sort....picked up a (another) staph infection in my leg..... :-({|= hoping it won't take 208 antibiotics to clear up. :scared:
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Nov 14 2010
toddak
avatar

 Guides 7
 Routes 5
 Photos 1,053
 Triplogs 391

54 male
 Joined Nov 15 2005
 Puhoynix, AZ
Big Canyon to LCR GorgeNortheast, AZ
Northeast, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Nov 14 2010
toddak
Canyoneering12.00 Miles 3,200 AEG
Canyoneering12.00 Miles   10 Hrs      1.20 mph
3,200 ft AEG
Intermediate Canyoneering - Difficult or dangerous; Tech Climb; rope reqd; descent anchor; exit technical;
B - Up to light current; wading/swimming; possible wet/dry suit
IV - Long, full day, bivy possible
 no routes
1st trip
Partners partners
Vaporman
Rugged, punishing and sublime all at the same time, this is yet another unbelievable, amAZing place!
Culture
Culture
Throwing a Wendy
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Nov 14 2010
Vaporman
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 4
 Photos 8,687
 Triplogs 931

40 male
 Joined Mar 28 2005
 SLC, Utah
Big Canyon to LCR GorgeNortheast, AZ
Northeast, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Nov 14 2010
Vaporman
Canyoneering12.00 Miles 3,200 AEG
Canyoneering12.00 Miles   10 Hrs      1.20 mph
3,200 ft AEG
Intermediate Canyoneering - Difficult or dangerous; Tech Climb; rope reqd; descent anchor; exit technical;
B - Up to light current; wading/swimming; possible wet/dry suit
IV - Long, full day, bivy possible
 no routes
1st trip
Partners partners
toddak
So I've been joking around about wanting to find a hot springs technical canyon and I may have just found the next best thing! :lol: The price of admission is kinna high, but it's definitely worth all the effort... This is a warm spring technical canyon thru the redwall limestone layer of the rugged & remote lower Big Canyon of Little Colorado River with travertine falls and amazingly beautiful warm pools. :y:

We drove up the afternoon before with just enough daylight to navigate out way to the TH for Salt Trail Canyon and got ready for a chilly night of camping. We woke up at first light to a chilly 33*, broke down camp, geared up, and cross country out way to the upper fork of Dry Wash at GPS 36.186 -111.651. We reached the head of that that canyon in about an hour, which is rather steep & loose so we carefully made out way down to the rocky canyon floor. We quickly made our way to the middle section of Big Canyon and again trudge downstream thru sand, rock, and boulders to eventually start making our way thru the redwall limestone layer. At first it was just slickrock with some clean pools, then the pools got dirtier & tougher to bypass, and then we reached one that was a scuzzy chest high wader so we put our wetsuits on beforehand. ;) We reached the beginning of the technical section after about 4 hour of brisk hiking from the TH which put us in a good position to make it out before dark. :sweat: Geared up and made our way down the first tricky 60ft rappel along the side of a huge chockstone in an amazing grotto below. In the beta, I was told that it was fed by a warm spring but it didn't fully sink until we took a dip in that first pool and it was a refreshingly warm 65-70?. Is this still Arizona or did we just warp to a tropical island?!? :lol: Once out of the pool, we could see another two mini falls popping out of the side of the canyon wall. You cross a warm pool and from a chockstone we setup rappel #2, a sloping 90ft chute flowing with bubbling water into a narrow hallway. From here, we were looking down a travertine falls with a 40ft drop on the left side and a straight view to the LCR not too far ahead. Once at the bottom, we got some more amazing photos of that falls & pools and made our way past another falls before reaching rappel #4. This drop was another 50ft past yet another sweet travertine falls followed by the final 40ft sloping rappel #5 down to the amazingly sweet Emerald Pool. Grabbed some photos of this beautiful gem before boulder hopping & scrambling our way down to the equally amazing LCR which thankfully was still flowing the unreal turquoise blue. :y: Dunked in the blue waters, dropped all the gear, and while snapping loads of photos we slowly made our way downstream along the muddy & bushy bank. Neither of us had done the Salt Trail Canyon before, so It took us 15-20 minutes of wandering around, wading thru a swamp, and some serious bushwhacking but we eventually found the cairns indicating the beginning of the route, oops I mean trail. :sweat: We left the river around 2pm after being slowed down by much playing & soaking in all the amazing scenery, but now we'd have to power out of the canyon to bet the sun. That route out is steep, exposed, rugged, and kinna tricky to follow in sections but we topped out in about 2.5 hours of steady hiking. That tower near the top was pretty cool especially with it glowing from the setting sun. And thankfully we still had enough daylight to drive those tricky & rough dirt roads back out to the highway. :D

What better way to hit 1000 miles for the year than thru one of the best techical canyons in the state!!!
:sweat: :y: :sweat:
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Yea, canyoneering is an extreme sport... EXTREMELY dramatic!!! =p
average hiking speed 1.2 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.

3 pack - loud whistle
go prepared
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