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Monument Creek Trail - 15 members in 27 triplogs have rated this an average 4.3 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Apr 05 2019
mt98dew
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 Guides 16
 Routes 19
 Photos 398
 Triplogs 1,454

50 male
 Joined Oct 24 2010
 Phoenix,Az
Tonto Trail: Bright Angel Trail to Hermit TrNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 05 2019
mt98dew
Hiking29.84 Miles 7,300 AEG
Hiking29.84 Miles   12 Hrs   11 Mns   2.45 mph
7,300 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Three day weekend allowed me to do another piece to the GC puzzle. Drove up Thursday night after work and car camped outside of Tusuyan. Got up around 4:30 and drove to the Park. There is parallel parking just prior to where the blue/red shuttle exchange occurs for those who get there early enough. This parking is limited - first come first serve. This is a great spot to (just off Bright Angel TH) and worked out perfectly for what I had planned. Caught the red shuttle out to Hermit and started down the trail around 5:30.

The Descent: Love Hermits! This is my third time being on it, second time to the bottom and it is a great way to access the Canyon. The entire trail is awesome, but I really enjoy the Waldron to Santa Maria Springs stretch. Love the way the Canyon pops into view after the Dripping Springs juncture. Hermits is starting to show some "wear". On the descent down to Waldron part of the trail is laid with inset stones. (Really kind of cool and I'm sure not easy to have done). Some of these stones have lost their placement in the earth and a domino effect is starting to occur :( . I was here just a few weeks ago and I can already see the dominos starting to fall. There is also some rock falls just prior to the Monument Stairs. All easily negotiable but just a sign that the Canyon (and trails) are constantly changing. On the way down (about 1 mile in) I briefly checked out a side trail that takes off from one of the switchbacks. There is stonework that gives the impression that this was a legitimate trail. Only followed it for a few dozen yards. The stonework ends quickly, but trail use was evident further on. I might check it out at a later time, but it wasn't on today's menu. Also checked out the structures at Santa Maria Springs. Turns out those structures just below the Springs are old time outhouses. Peaked over the padlocked doors and saw the wooden toilet seats :o ouch!

Eastward on Tonto: First time on the Tonto and I was feeling super hyped about seeing the "rest of the Canyon". :lol: Reaching the saddle and seeing the Monument Creek area for the first time was incredible! Truly unique and worth the trip. I'm not a camper, but I would love to stay and enjoy the area for day. On the way down I had met a backpacker who said that Granite Rapids (referred to as Monument Creek on HAZ) was awesome and worth seeing. This turnoff is just prior to the campground. So still feeling fresh I headed down to the dry wash. It starts off as a single trail, steep and rocky, but very doable, that maybe drops 200 feet to a dry wash. You have Monument Creek Pinnacle in front of you as you descend. Pretty cool! I was expecting there to be water in wash, because I could see water just to the south of where I entered. But for a good mile the wash was dry with pebble sized rock to trudge along. About .4 miles from the Colorado the stream resurfaced and I creeked hopped my way down the rest of the wash. Seeing the Colorado close up was amazing! I was able to see 1 kayaker just heading down the rapids. Pretty cool! Little bit of a climb out of Monument but after that the trail was fairly flat with some minor ups and downs. I was surprised at the exposure :o I actually felt more aware of the drop off on the Tonto than I did on either Hermits or Bright Angel. Not an issue if you stay on the trail, but if you stray too far in one direction...... Cedar Springs was the next signed spot. Water was trickling. Hiked down to the water using a faint user trail. Not much too see at the source, though the drop into the Canyon looked interesting. Cedar, and all of the Tonto Trail was very exposed.....to the sun. Very little shade. Monument and Indian Garden being the notable exceptions. Started to feel the miles as I passed Salt Creek. Water was trickling there as well, with 5 people taking in the sun. At Salt Creek there was actually a trail heading up towards its origin(?), but as I said I was feeling the miles and needed to stay on task. Honestly, the rest of the Tonto was kind of a blur. In part, because it is very similar throughout: the huge, omnipresent drop to the Canyon bottom on the left and the towering walls of the Canyon to the right. Initially my eyes were torn between the two (the "drop" and the "wall") trying to decide which was more worthy of my admiration. I think the "wall" lost out (undeservably), because the "drop" was always so present. It was also a blur because I was hitting "the wall". At Horn Creek (I think, didn't see any signage stating that) took a 5 minute break and enjoyed the limited shade. There were a couple of trees there with beautiful pink blossoms. Very striking. Water was flowing nicely, though not abundantly. Knew I was getting close to Bright Angel when I started seeing humanity moving in the distance :)

The ascent: First time on Bright Angel. The climb out is unrelenting. Starts out very gradual as I worked my up towards Bright Angel campground/Indian Gardens. Was amazed at the green oasis. Water was flowing very strongly here, but that was based more on sound than sight due to the lushness of the foliage. Also, amazed at the facilities and the number of people just "chillin" in the area. After my last 10 hours of isolation I almost felt claustrophobic. After the camp, the climb begins in earnest. Not so much in intensity. It actually seemed very gradual throughout. It. Just. Never. Stopped! Amazing how they designed the trail. From a distance you'd think there is no way up to the top. The trail, which is very wide, composed primarily of compact dirt with a soft top layer, just continued to cut back and forth....never going too far in one direction before switchbacking. Views are great, though limited as you are looking at the same part of the canyon the entire climb.

Pretty amazing hike. Only saw 10 hikers between Hermits and Bright Angel, (though there were campers at Monument and sun worshippers at Salt Creek). Couldn't say the number on BA, but over 50. Flowers, though not abundant, when present they were very striking. Wildlife, surprisingly abundant, though almost all on BA: 4 deer, 5 very unafraid ground squirrels, a chipmunk and a large assortment of lizards. Would have taken a ton of pictures, but my garmin was giving me a low battery signal two pictures in ](*,) . Will have to get some sort energy supplement to deal with fatigue. I'm sure I missed some great sights due to "the wall".
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1 archive
Sep 21 2018
BiFrost
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 Guides 4
 Routes 338
 Photos 6,903
 Triplogs 803

49 male
 Joined Nov 20 2012
 Phoenix, AZ
Monument - Hermit Creek, AZ 
Monument - Hermit Creek, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Sep 21 2018
BiFrost
Backpack32.77 Miles 10,977 AEG
Backpack32.77 Miles2 Days   2 Hrs   17 Mns   
10,977 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Partners partners
slowandsteady
Spent 3 days exploring Monument Creek, Granite Rapids, Hermit Creek and Hermit Rapids. Friday morning starting about 10am hiked down to Monument Creek campground via Hermit Trail. Pretty warm but once the shadows moved in over the canyon it was much better. Good water to filter in Monument Creek near camp. Two groups were already there but everyone was cool and talked to a few people. They also installed new toilets as well replacing the old open air ones so that was kind of a luxury.

Second day the goal was to explore Hermit Creek and check out Hermit rapids. We left early and made the Hermit Rapids from Monument by about 945. Cool rapids but the hike through Hermit Creek was also a highlight as well. We took about 45 minute brake at the rapids before heading back to Monument campground. Once there we filtered more water and headed down to Granite Rapids for the afternoon. Easy hike down to the rapids but the afternoon heat was on full blast so the Colorado was a welcome sight. Checked out the rapids and went over to the beach for a swim. We stayed over 2 hours and there were a few other backpackers camped there. About 3pm a boat crew showed up as we were getting ready to head out. But I stayed and chatted with them for 30 minutes and they were happy to give me a cold beverage. Then we headed out on 45 minute hike back to camp for the night.

Next morning, we started early about 6am to avoid the heat. Fortunately, the Hermit Trail is on the shaded side of the canyon in the morning, so we made it all the way to Hermit – Boucher trail junction with almost all shade. Then once up above 6,000 feet it was much cooler for the final hike out Hermit. Took 6 hours to get out Monument so not too bad for us. Another great Grand Canyon trip with Mexican food at Plaza Bonita in Tusayan!
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2 archives
May 26 2017
survivordude
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 Routes 59
 Photos 779
 Triplogs 139

38 male
 Joined Aug 19 2009
 The Basin
BA Tonto Monument Hermit, AZ 
BA Tonto Monument Hermit, AZ
 
Backpack avatar May 26 2017
survivordude
Backpack35.50 Miles 6,775 AEG
Backpack35.50 Miles4 Days         
6,775 ft AEG45 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Been sitting on these permits for 2 months now and finally it was time to go back to the Grand Canyon! I took my oldest daughter there last year for her birthday and she had a blast, so we did it again this year and also brought the boy and his friend. Stevie Wonder and my friends Corey and Alix rounded out our group of 7.
Camped in the forest near Tusayan on Thursday and got an early start on Friday morning down Bright Angel. This is my first official time down the BA. So many people it reminded me of the Squaw Peak superhighway but more international. Great views the whole way down to Indian Gardens. Everything was still nice and green. Took a short break here and filled up on water. Then on to the fun stuff. The Tonto has got to be one of the best trails of all time. It keeps a pretty steady elevation as it winds in and out of every side canyon. The views never stop on this trail. Neither does the sun. After stopping at Horn Creek for a short break we continued towards Salt Creek. This is when several in our group started to break down a bit due to the heat. Thankfully, Salt Creek had some nice shaded ledges to lay down on. We rested and fueled up and headed to Monument Creek. On the decent down to Monument Creek through the Tapeats, we saw 4 kingsnakes. Enjoyed the penthouse suite again at Monument.
Saturday we packed up and headed down to the river. This whole day was spent just relaxing on the beach. The Granite Rapids research project is looking good as several of the recently planted trees had grown quite a bit since last year. After some cliff jumping, the guys mostly just relaxed while Madi did gymnastics and the boys played baseball.. what a surprise.. Several groups of rafters passed through the rapids and a few stopped at the beach before hitting the whitewater. A group of 30 senior citizens on an 8 day rafting trip shared the beach with us for the night. The crew of Jay, Margeaux, and Leila were AWESOME!! After 4 days on the water with the seniors they were so happy to see the kids! They fed us real food and gave us beer.. THEY GAVE US BEER! :y: Probably the best part of the whole trip was when Margeaux and the crew threw Madi a birthday party at the river, complete with cake and singing! She loved the attention (and the cake)! What a special moment for her.
Next day we helped them pack up and wished them off down the river. Our group then made the 5 mile hike over to Hermit Creek. All of the camp sites were on the east side of the canyon and exposed to the sun so we spent a majority of the day hanging out at a nice waterfall. We did make it down to Hermit Rapids and the beach there. The rapids were intense but the beach there was not that impressive (compared to Granite). However, the hike through this canyon was really cool. I really liked how it went from narrows with some cool waterfalls to a very expansive but still closed in canyon. Back at camp with our larger group, we were very close to running out of fuel but another group was headed out that night and they were happy to get rid of the extra weight so it worked out perfect. They even gave us some of their extra food! We ate very well that night and got a good nights rest for the hike out the next day.
Beat the sun to Cope Butte and made it up the Cathedral Stairs no problem. Took a nice break at Santa Maria and then up up up.. That last stretch of coconino and kaibab are brutal, but victory was ours to be had. FYI the best ice cream cookie bars are at Hermits Rest, and its not even close..

Overall this was an awesome adventure and we had a really great team to share it with. A lot of times I take these trips to be alone with nature and to be secluded, but ironically what made this trip so great was everyone on our team and all of the awesome people we met on the journey.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Hermit Creek Medium flow Medium flow

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Horn Creek Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
didnt touch due to radioactivity

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Monument Creek Medium flow Medium flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Salt Creek Light flow Light flow

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Santa Maria Spring Dripping Dripping
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2 archives
May 12 2017
tibber
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 Guides 21
 Routes 576
 Photos 25,752
 Triplogs 846

64 female
 Joined Feb 26 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Grand Canyon River Trip, AZ 
Grand Canyon River Trip, AZ
 
Rafting avatar May 12 2017
tibber
Rafting
Rafting6 Days         
 no routes
No, this was not on my bucket list. Well actually I don't really have a bucket list; just an idea of some of the things I'd like to do. The Grand Canyon, other than seeing it was good enough for me. Little did I know that Wendy thot I should hike down into it and Ambika thought I should raft through it. My first time seeing the Canyon was flying over it in 1980 in my brother's airplane from Montana and landing at Grand Canyon Airport. My second time was also with my brother on the train trip we took from Williams in 1996. This time, my brother had just passed so it was with mixed emotions that I took this ride.

It was great to see the canyon from this angle. I have been on the South and North and Rainbow Rims so it was fun to be rafting where I had seen previously through mine and others photos.

A Colleen Miniuk-Sperry Photography Workshop - Women's Retreat: Seven day motorized rafting trip from Lee's Ferry to Whitmore Wash on the Colorado River

what I liked:
being only one boat
being all photographers so you never had to worry if you're holding anybody up
temps were pretty much perfect for our trip
blue waters
green water of the Colorado
great food
wonderful boatman/cooks
six days seemed just right for a first trip
cowboy camping all but two nites

what I didn't like:
all that sand... in everything.
no napkins :o
midnite treks to the privy (one nite I was way off track :oops: and the First Mate fortunately spotted me and directed me)
I packed just a tad too much and my travel bag was a tad too big for the pumpkin
hectic schedule; seemed hardly any time to just soak it in
not enough hikes
would like to have seen more canyons

And by the way, getting your big camera in and out of its dry bag was something we did all day long as well as getting up and down in lieu of what rapids were ahead.

Our theme: "What time is it?" "It's river time :y: "

Day 1 - Lee's Ferry to Sand Pile Camp (about 30 miles) 10:30-5:30 with a stop at Sheer Wall Rapids ledges for lunch
Day 2 - Sand Pile Camp to Below Kwagunt Camp (about 24 miles) 8-5 by Vasey's Paradise with stops at Redwall Cavern, Nautiloid Ledge, lunch at Eminence Camp, Nankoweap Granaries hike (so glad I got here as I was so impressed from fellow HAZers 2013 trip and photos).
Day 3 - Below Kwagunt Camp to Granite Rapid Camp (about 36 miles) 7:15AM - 5 with two hour stop at LCR, lunch at Papago Beach (fun to see another HAZer area I had heard and seen so much about). Hike up a bit of Monument Creek after setting up camp. Fun to be in another area fellow HAZers have been.
Day 4 - Photoshoot at Granite Rapids to 119.8 Mile Camp (about 26 miles) 8-5:30 with lunch at Hotauta Canyon and stops at Shinumo Creek (running fast and high so couldn't get back to the Falls) and Elves Chasm (as pretty as all the pictures I've seen).
Day 5 - Tres Burritos Camp to Below Kanab Creek (about 25 miles) 8:30-5 with hike to Stone Creek Falls, lunch at Owl Eyes (Dolly Parton), little hike to Deer Creek Falls
Day 6 - below Kanab Creek to Whitmore Helipad 7:30-5 (about 42 miles) including stop at Havasu Canyon and Creek for hike (just incredible), lunch at Last Chance camp. Lava Falls was all that, just was over too quick but we got slammed hard and wanted to do it again anyway.
Day 7 - fly out on helicopter to Bar 10 Ranch (about 15 minutes at 7ish o'clock), take deHavilland at 9:11AM for flight to Marble Canyon at 10:20AM (both were awesome). (160 miles if by road)

My videos are done via mileage as well which is noted in the video title. In the descriptions below the videos I'll mention the highlights included in that video: PLAYLIST Grand Canyon Rafting Trip, Lee's Ferry to Whitmore Helipad Playlist Also in the videos I tried to label the rapids and as I got further along in the videos I tried to identify the landmarks.


By the way, I have full details of the trip. The report includes photo references and the rapids and their rating as well as landmarks. So if you would like a more detailed description, let me know via PM and I can send it to you. I thot it would be way too much to put directly on a HAZ trip report.
Geology
Geology
Asbestos
Culture
Culture
HAZ Food
_____________________
For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.
2 archives
Dec 03 2016
arizona_water
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 Guides 8
 Routes 114
 Photos 1,079
 Triplogs 117

29 male
 Joined Mar 06 2016
 Salt River Valle
Hermit Monument Tonto & BA, AZ 
Hermit Monument Tonto & BA, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Dec 03 2016
arizona_water
Backpack27.88 Miles 7,398 AEG
Backpack27.88 Miles1 Day   6 Hrs   18 Mns   
7,398 ft AEG   14 Hrs    Break
 
1st trip
Work has been really busy these past few months and I can't take time off right now. This limits my backpacking options to weekends. So I was very content to fit this trip to the Canyon in to a weekend window. And perfect weather for an early-winter Canyon hike!

We stayed with friends in Flag on Friday night, then left for the South Rim at 5a.m. We started hiking from Hermit's Rest at 7. After a little less than two miles east, along the Tonto, we headed down Monument creek to the Colorado, and then back up to spend some time in the narrows section. Monument Creek was definitely the highlight of this trip! We left Monument at 3:15pm and continued along the Tonto until we arrived at our campsite in Salt Creek backcountry area. It was about 5p.m. and the sun was setting in the Canyon. This left about 12+ miles for Sunday's hike out: east on the Tonto, and then up Bright Angel.

Snow conditions: scattered drifts on the rim. About 0.5 inch or so for the first mile on the Hermit, but no significant ice. BA has snow and scattered ice for the highest 1.5 miles. This was actually quite slippery, but trekking poles were enough. We all had microspikes, but no one wanted to stop and put them on when we were so close to the end of our hike.

Temps: 24 degrees on the rim when we departed down the Hermit, 28 degrees at our campsite on Salt Creek, 60 at Indian Gardens at noon, and 43 back on the rim at 2:15p.m. -- Not too bad, if you're prepared for it!
Named place
Named place
Salt Creek

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Cedar Spring Dripping Dripping
several small, dispersed pools near the spring creating a trickle of flow through the wash north of where the Tonto Trail crosses it.

dry Fourmile Spring Dry Dry

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Garden Creek Medium flow Medium flow
Always a welcome sight

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Granite Rapids Heavy flow Heavy flow
No visible silt in the river - flowing at 40,000CFS plus. This type of flow event is thunderous and you can hear it over a mile away.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Hermit Creek Medium flow Medium flow
Good visible flow, as seen from the Hermit Trail

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Horn Creek Pools to trickle Pools to trickle

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Monument Creek Medium flow Medium flow
Great flow in the narrows below the designated camping area. Subsurface flows persist until 1/3 mile south of the Colorado River confluence. There was also light flow above south of where the tonto trail crosses the creek bed.


water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Salt Creek Light flow Light flow
Subsurface flow where trail crosses creek. trickle upstream and light flow about 150 meters downstream.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Santa Maria Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
1.5 inches of ice covering trough.
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- there's nothing like finding Water in the Desert -
2 archives
May 28 2016
survivordude
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 Routes 59
 Photos 779
 Triplogs 139

38 male
 Joined Aug 19 2009
 The Basin
Monument Creek TrailNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Backpack avatar May 28 2016
survivordude
Backpack20.00 Miles 6,390 AEG
Backpack20.00 Miles3 Days         
6,390 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
I got to spend the weekend in the most awesome place on Earth with the most awesome person on Earth! Haven't been to Grand Canyon since Havasupai last year and I got a great opportunity to go with my gymnast daughter, Madisyn for her 12th birthday. Went with my buddy Mark and his son Josh also, as they have been to Monument several times and I'm a relatively newbie to the Grand Canyon (**complainer disclaimer**). This place offers a lot more than spectacular views and excellent workouts, it is an experience that is measured beyond what any words could describe. You take away a lot more than photos and memories.
When we got to the park and the first glimpses of the canyon came into view, Madi's jaw just dropped for about 3 minutes straight. We camped up top on Friday night and started down Hermit at about 7AM. It was nice and cool on the switchbacks down through the Coconino. I really enjoyed the forested area between there and Santa Maria Spring. Most of this hike is in the Supai going in and out of side canyons along the side of the cliff above the redrock layer. Madi made sure that she did many gym poses in front of some pretty scenic views. I think the two of us getting to hang out together and be goofy and laugh our way down the trail might have been my favorite part of the whole trip. Seeing her enjoy herself so much and being at an age now that she can appreciate it was very cool, as a father, to witness. After a while you emerge from the side canyon and out into the main canyon where the views are even more magnificent. Coming down the Cathedral Stairs, we took our time and I did my best to not think about having to hike back up! Coming down to the Tonto level, things took a turn a bit. As we were taking our sweet time enjoying the views it was getting later and hotter and we were running out of water very rapidly. I never knew how grueling a downhill hike could be. We got to a saddle and found about a 6 ft long piece of shade that we all enjoyed and finished up the last of our water. Knowing we had about 2 more miles to go, two in our group decided to go ahead and get water while the other two took a slower pace to camp. We were all exhausted when we finally arrived but despite being Memorial Day weekend, we were able to secure the penthouse spot at Monument Creek. Having the benefit of no iPhones, and no internet nor TV, allows conversation to dominate. It is great to sit around telling stories and getting to know each other better, especially since we all have a common bond now of that brutal hike to get to camp.
The next day we hiked down to the beach on the Colorado River near Granite Rapids, where we spent literally all day just resting in the shade and enjoying watching the rafters go through the rapids. I cannot remember the last time I spent an entire day doing absolutely nothing and it was wonderful! (While the guys rested, Madi was practicing her gymnastics floor routines the whole time.. ahhh to be a kid again..). On the way back to camp, instead of taking the trail back, we opted to go through the narrow section of Monument Creek. This proved to be most excellent as climbing around this area was very fun. Not too often I get to practice the ol' Spiderman moves. Lets just say I am not as graceful as a gymnast.
We decided to get an early start on the hike out to beat the sun on the Tonto section. That was probably the main reason why the hike out was actually not that bad. Even all 23 switchbacks of the Cathedral Stairs were not that terrible. Even though we did take several breaks, we passed 3 groups on the way out. I think it has a lot to do with the psychology of knowing we have to hike out that makes the return always seem quicker. Had a nice long break at Santa Maria and enjoyed some lunch. With extra motivation and a full stomach we finished the final ascent back to the trailhead.
This was one of the best hikes I have ever been on. What can I say? Its the Grand Canyon!! Everything about this place is bigger, stepper, tougher, hotter, and more remote than anywhere else. I love all of hiking. I love the nature and views, and the company, but I also love the struggle and the pain, the frustration and exhaustion. It all comes together for an experience that changes the very fabric of who I am. Again, these words and these photos don't even come close to describing this weekend. I got to spend the weekend in one of the 7 wonders of the world with my awesome daughter and made some good friends at the same time.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Monument Creek Light flow Light flow
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Apr 02 2016
John9L
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 Guides 6
 Routes 170
 Photos 4,848
 Triplogs 1,619

male
 Joined Mar 12 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Monument Creek TrailNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Backpack avatar Apr 02 2016
John9L
Backpack22.00 Miles 6,400 AEG
Backpack22.00 Miles2 Days         
6,400 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners partners
clairebear
Claire and I headed back to the Grand Canyon for a nice overnighter down the Hermit Trail. We spent the night in Monument Creek and had a fun afternoon heading down to Granite Rapid and exploring the narrows by camp. We hiked out Sunday morning to beat the heat.

We drove up on Friday night and camped in the national forest west of Tusayan. This let us take our time on Saturday morning. We made a quick stop to Maswik for a light breakfast and then drove to Hermits Rest where we started hiking around 9:45am. The first few miles down Hermit make a steep drop. We made steady progress and hit the Supai where you make a long traverse. The going was moderate as the temps climbed while the sun beamed down. Shade was a commodity. Before long we hit the Cathedral Stairs and dropped to the Tonto. From there we headed for Monument Creek where we set up camp in the penthouse site.

After we had camp set up, Claire & I went for a day hike down canyon towards Granite Rapid. The going is very easy as we wind down canyon in and out of shade. Soon after we hit the Colorado River and headed for Granite Rapids. This rapid is a beast and I really enjoy admiring it from shore! It must be a thrill for river runners! After we had our fill we headed up river along the shore to check for backpackers or rafters. We were shocked to find the area completely vacant! My first two times here had multiple groups including rafters. The solitude here is a real treat. We spent time relaxing in the shade and admiring the views. I took some time to filter Colorado River water which was flowing green and clear... very easy for filtering.

We eventually turned around and headed back for camp. The return flew by and once there we decided to drop down through the narrows. It's short and relatively easy. We both wanted to keep our feet dry so we took our time as we worked our way down. This is a really fun area as we scrambled and stemmed to keep dry. I stepped in water a few times but my feet were dry overall. We had a blast and joked about going down a second time.

We settled in for a clear evening with pleasant temps. Monument Creek was filled with four small groups spread out. We have the penthouse site. This is the group site so make sure there aren't any large groups before taking this site. We enjoyed our dehydrated dinners and admired the stars. A few satellites flew over but no shooting stars. The overnight temps were very comfy as we both slept well. I love these pleasant nights in the Canyon!

Our day two started early as we wanted to beat the heat on the hike out. We broke down camp and had breakfast and hit the trail around 7:45am. The going went well on the hike out. There was a mix of shade and sunlight along the Tonto. We had all shade for the climb up Cathedral Stairs which really helped. We continued on along the Supai Traverse and took a break about a mile before the Santa Maria Spring. From there it was the typical grind up the Hermit Trail. Once up top we stopped at Hermits Rest for a cookie sandwich and soda. Another solid trip complete!

I really enjoy the camps off Hermits Rest. With this hike I have spent at least one night at all the major camps: Boucher, Hermits Camp, Hermits Rapid, Granite Rapids & now Monument Creek. These are perfect options for those wanting to get off the corridor trails and see another part of the Grand Canyon. Go to Boucher last. ;)
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Monument Creek Medium flow Medium flow
Plenty of water flowing down Monument Creek in the usual places. Water flowing near the camp and on through the slot. It then flows underground and appears again near the Colorado River.
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3 archives
Mar 20 2015
toddak
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 Guides 8
 Routes 5
 Photos 1,071
 Triplogs 399

54 male
 Joined Nov 15 2005
 Puhoynix, AZ
Salt Creek - Grand CanyonNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Mar 20 2015
toddak
Canyoneering21.00 Miles 5,000 AEG
Canyoneering21.00 Miles   15 Hrs      1.40 mph
5,000 ft AEG
Intermediate Canyoneering - Difficult or dangerous; Tech Climb; rope reqd; descent anchor; exit technical;
A - Dry or little water; shallow or avoidable water; no wet/dry suit
 no routes
1st trip
What could be more fun than hauling 500' of rope and a packraft down to the river and back. Down BA, west on the Tonto, down Salt Creek, short easy float to Monument Creek, exit up and out on Hermit. Pretty little canyon, with a nice bit of flowing water. The first rappel is off a small tree, sturdy but a future flash flood could take it down. I would put the second rappel at just under 250' off a good bolt. There are also several challenging downclimbs in the canyon where lowering packs might be necessary. The beach at the river would be great for camping.

Got grilled pretty good by a ranger coming down the Cathedral Stairs as I was climbing up in the late afternoon. Friendly, but she clearly thought I wasn't going to make the rim in time for the last shuttle bus and that I was probably planning to camp illegally. Just doing her job I suppose, but with the extra motivation I cranked up the pain dial a bit more and made the next-to-last shuttle bus with time to spare.
Geology
Geology
Beach
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Mar 01 2014
hippiepunkpira
avatar

 Guides 25
 Routes 36
 Photos 2,877
 Triplogs 657

33 male
 Joined May 30 2008
 Peoria, AZ
Hermit/Tonto/BA Loop, AZ 
Hermit/Tonto/BA Loop, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Mar 01 2014
hippiepunkpirate
Backpack29.25 Miles 7,000 AEG
Backpack29.25 Miles4 Days         
7,000 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
I started writing a super in depth report for this trip but it seems to be kind of a big time investment. I'll just do a moderately in-depth report instead:

Dustin, Tanner, Gil, Matt, Devin and myself headed down into the Canyon on a drizzly Saturday, in tow we had 3 first time Canyon hikers. Going down Hermit was a tad wet, but the impact of the descent is what really seemed to make it rough. The newbies were pretty torn up and slow moving for the last few miles. I was trying to keep things moving because the rain was supposed to hit again in the late afternoon. Sure enough, water started falling from the sky about a mile from camp. I made it to Hermit Camp a few minutes in advance of everyone to scope out campsites, and found a nice spot under a rock overhang that provided some nice shelter. Everyone looked pretty exhausted. Dinner was eaten and tents were pitched. Three of the guys were so tired that they were in bed pretty much at sundown. I also managed to forget my quick-release plate on my tripod, essentially I was lugging around an extra four pounds of worthlessness. I was expecting to have to sleep on the ground at Hermit Camp, but I did manage to get my hammock hung on some mesquites, although I did get some sag in the middle of the night and my butt was touching the ground in the morning.

After a rough first day, the second day was the easiest and best. We got a late start as a couple of the guys slept for a good 13 hours, but we only had about 3.5 miles of packing on the Tonto to do. We rolled into Monument about 1:00, after taking a nice break along the way in a side drainage. Gil was moving slow due to a sore knee from the rugged Hermit descent the day before, but powered through. It was truly a breathtaking moment coming around the bend and seeing the Monument towering in the middle of a gurgling Monument Creek. We took lots of photos and proceeded to Monument Camp. After getting settled in, I went with Dustin and Tanner down to Granite Rapids. The other three decided they better take it easy to preserve themselves for the rest of the trip. I'd been to the river before so I knew what to expect but the other two were pretty blown away. We poked around and took photos, and even took off our shoes to dip our feet in the ice cold water. Tanner collected a bottlefull of Colorado River water as a souvenir. When we returned to camp, Devin had just woken up from a two hour nap, while Gil and Matt had done a little exploring upstream. Dustin, Tanner, Devin and I decided to go check out the narrows where Monument cuts strikingly through the Vishnu-Zoroaster complex. I took off my shoes and splashed barefoot while the others kept their shoes and performed athletic moves to navigate the creek without soaking their footware. I always say that the creeks are my favorite part of backpacking the Grand Canyon, and that section of Monument reaffirmed that opinion. Upon returning to camp and proceeded to have hammock problems. I used too big of cordage on part of my suspension (which I threw together on the fly since the one I ordered wasn't delivered in time). To make a long story short, my hammock whipping failed on me four times and I ended up sleeping on the ground.

Woke up with the typical ground sleeping pains, which is exactly the reason I like sleeping in a hammock. We got out of camp a little earlier as we had a 10 mile day ahead of us. I put Gil in the lead for the first couple miles since he was slow going with his knee. Eventually he ended up in the back, but we were cautious to make sure we didn't leave him behind. It was noticeably warmer this day, and it was a typical day on the Tonto, working in and out of drainages all day long. The whole day seems like kind of a blur. I remember good but seemingly distant views of all the temples on the north side of the river. I remember stopping at every major drainage like a checkpoint to refuel, drink water, and wait for Gil. Everyone would get wind in their sails at different times, with a few different people taking the pole position at different times. I remember identifying the Battleship above us and thinking we were close, and then realizing that it was still another long traverse around Horn Creek. We rolled into Indian Gardens with a bit of a culture shock after not seeing many other people the last couple days. We had a bit of a party that night, with lots of laughing, joking, friendly banter and such. When it was time to go to bed, we realized how quiet the campground was on how boisterous we were :D I managed to fix my hammock problems and had another pain-free night sleeping above the ground.

In the morning, Gil and Matt got a good 30-40 minute headstart as they knew Gil was gonna be slow with his knee. The rest of us hit the trail about 9:00 and set a pretty steady pace up to 3 mile rest-house, where we caught up to Matt and Gil. Dustin, Tanner, and I proceeded to keep pushing up pretty good and topped out just before noon. I had a weight on my shoulders still, however. Back in October 2012, I had a bum knee coming out of Havasupai, and Dustin made it out well before me, dropped his pack, and came back down to carry mine out for me. I felt like I had the opportunity to pay it forward so I ran back down Bright Angel. I ran into Devin after about a half mile, and then reached Gil and Matt about three quarters of a mile down. I confiscated Gil's pack and hauled it up for him. We all made it out by 1pm, and proceeded to drive to Flagstaff for a heavenly late lunch of my favorite Mexican food in the world at La Fonda.

The first day was kind of rough, and I had a few gear SNAFUs of my own, but it turned out to be an amazing trip. I laughed so much and so hard like I haven't done in a while. We saw amazing country, banded together to setup gear, eat and share food, collect water and survive together in the big ditch for four days. I was a bit anxious about taking a group of Canyon novices on this itinerary with a rainy forecast, but in the end we persevered and had a great time. I'm proud of our group :)
Named place
Named place
Granite Rapids Mohave Point

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Hermit Creek Medium flow Medium flow
Pretty standard conditions at Hermit...solid creek flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Monument Creek Light flow Light flow
Good flow in the narrows downstream from Monument Camp, dry upstream as well as the stretch down to Granite Rapids

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Santa Maria Spring Dripping Dripping
Typical conditions at Santa Maria...full trough!
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My website: Mountain Tripper
I also write for: Territory Supply
Sep 21 2013
Hippy
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 Guides 7
 Routes 3
 Photos 1,749
 Triplogs 609

33 female
 Joined Dec 02 2009
 Grand Canyon
Tonto Trail: Bright Angel Trail to Hermit TrNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Backpack avatar Sep 21 2013
Hippy
Backpack25.95 Miles 5,073 AEG
Backpack25.95 Miles2 Days         
5,073 ft AEG
 no routes
I wasn't sure what exactly I wanted to hike this weekend...being one of the few weekends I actually get that consists of a Saturday and sunday...I had other plans way back in the day, but oh well, this was waaaaay worth it!
I had asked 9L for suggestions and he threw out Granite Rapids and coincidently on break my BCO friends popped by the store and we got to talking, they mentioned some permits free for GR Saturday night, score!

I dragged a friend from Tempe along (we call him Tojo), I'll never make that mistake again, you all thought *I* talk a lot... :o Good company other than the lack of silence of the trails in midday heat...

At Santa Maria Spring we checked out the outhouse...smells like poo! Passed a group of 6 there, half an hour later we took a break and a few of their group caught up, one tall guy said "Hey I recognize you" none other than our HAZ pal BoscoAZ, small Canyon! We chatted a bit, took a picture and were off again. We met up with that crew the next morning on our way out from Granite Rapids. Nice meeting you all!! Boscoaz hope your daughter enjoyed the trip!! :D

I enjoyed gallivanting down Hermit, had never been past the Dripping Springs Junction actually! Tons of rock slides all along the trail, is that normal? I knew there were a few reported "land slides" after our most recent monsoon storms, there were 2 or 3 places where "Karens" were (for once) necessary, but not entirely, a brief scan of the few feet down the trail and you'd be right as rain.

I must saw the Cathedral Stairs shocked me, I've seen natural breaks in the Redwall before but ohmygosh I think I'm in love with this one! And when you look east to Cope Butte? You see those hoodoo like figures, the furthest south is like some sort of ivory statue, I must've attempted to take a million photos of our "Idol" as we hiked on past, it was pretty neat to see "Him" from the east side of the Butte as well! "He's following us" my hiking buddy said, not creepy at all...

I enjoyed the Tonto as usual, and to being doing this entire section midday was even better! I was able to go all 9L on Tojo and point out the layers and neat landmarks. I even taught myself a few new landmarks this trip. We didn'tsee any other people until we caught our first view of The Monument, a couple came moseying around a corner and asked us if they were heading the right way to Hermit Trail :doh:

The Monument was stunning, the creek was flowing and was pleasant to drink even after the iodine...note to self, invest in new filtering option!
Cedar Spring was dry, there's a spring there?!
Salt Creek was flowing just enough to be able to filter but we were moving across the Tonto so fast we didn't need to stop there for water. But I loooove being in the Tapeats!!
Horn Creek was flowing a teeny tiny bit upstream and I was quite surprised at what a pleasant camping area that is!! I might like to camp there sometime!!

When we passed the Monument and headed down to the River we ran into a Ranger who I immediately recognized as Ranger Betsy! She knew me right away from Volleyball and we had a quick reunion and I collected another photo with a Ranger :D

Seeing The Battleship from the other side was a fun sight as well! So many caves up there in the redwall on the west side, I might have to look into getting better rappelling gear to check those out someday!


Total moving time 14 hrs 55 minutes :y:
Culture
Culture
Cag Shot Cartwheel
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Canyon Freak Adventures!
May 04 2013
toddak
avatar

 Guides 8
 Routes 5
 Photos 1,071
 Triplogs 399

54 male
 Joined Nov 15 2005
 Puhoynix, AZ
Monument Creek TrailNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar May 04 2013
toddak
Hiking31.00 Miles 6,500 AEG
Hiking31.00 Miles   15 Hrs      2.07 mph
6,500 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Long day hike, with the main goal to explore more of the MC area. Dropping down through the short section of smooth, polished narrows is very fun, Granite rapids is a monster, and the monument itself is very impressive seen up close from the trail passing near its base. But I especially enjoyed hiking up-creek to the base of The Abyss, where there is a small green oasis with water cascading down a mossy cliff face from a spring somewhere above. Kind of like a small version of Vasey's Paradise. Even found a golf ball there, probably launched from the rim (nice distance, but definitely OB).
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Apr 19 2013
trekkin_gecko
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 Guides 5
 Routes 343
 Photos 4,106
 Triplogs 2,608

61 female
 Joined Nov 17 2008
 phoenix, az
Monument Creek Exploration, AZ 
Monument Creek Exploration, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 19 2013
trekkin_gecko
Hiking4.00 Miles 300 AEG
Hiking4.00 Miles
300 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
had an easy day today, only 1.6 miles from granite rapids to the monument creek campground
took several little side trips from our camp:
1. jess and i went down the creek a ways, and had we been willing to get our only shoes wet, could have gone down far enough to meet up with monument trail that we had just come up
nice slickrock, flowing water, some slides and scrambles - fun
2. it's a little confusing getting back on the tonto, so i wanted to check it out, hiking up to a saddle above the creek and campground
3. went back to the monument and started up a use trail from the tonto intersection, but couldn't tell where it was going, so returned
4. went up monument creek, where there is supposed to be a waterfall
after only five minutes, the drainage splits, and i first went right, then came back and went up the left branch where there were several cairns
kinda wished i had spent my time on this one, going a bit further
it's neat being the only one up these canyons
so much to explore; you could never see everything in a lifetime
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Apr 17 2013
trekkin_gecko
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 Guides 5
 Routes 343
 Photos 4,106
 Triplogs 2,608

61 female
 Joined Nov 17 2008
 phoenix, az
Hermit/Tonto/Monument/Tonto/BA, AZ 
Hermit/Tonto/Monument/Tonto/BA, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Apr 17 2013
trekkin_gecko
Backpack31.80 Miles 7,000 AEG
Backpack31.80 Miles5 Days         
7,000 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners partners
cactuscat
cliff_bound_chick
where to start?
this trip has been in the works for months
kelly planned a great itinerary for us
since it was so far off my radar, i didn't realize until a couple weeks ago it was a four night trip instead of three :o
should i admit that?
finally focused and assembled gear, food and clothing
picked up jess and headed north
hiked shoshone point monday and battleship tuesday for a good taste of things to come
after some final shopping at the general store, shuttle plans and packing the backpacks, we were ready to get going
mileages are from kelly's map, and aeg is estimated from haz gps routes

day 1: hermit trail to hermit creek (7.0 on hermit + 1.2 on tonto = 8.2 miles)
i loved everything about hermit trail - views, potential options, the trail itself
it would be tough to go up this way, especially on the cathedral stairs
took our time and got used to the packs on the downhill
hiking poles were invaluable to stabilize and balance
still a little windy and cool
at one point it looked like we were going to get rained on, but only a dozen flurries hit us
rolled into hermit creek camp to find it almost full, but got a nice enough campsite
had our first issue, as my sawyer squeeze didn't want to squeeze (worked better by day 3)
thank goodness kelly had her steri-pen
lesson #1: test everything before hitting the trail
i'll be investing in a steri-pen soon
this was our coldest night

day 2: day trip to hermit rapids (2.6 mi), tonto to granite rapids (4.5)
after breakfast and coffee went down hermit creek to the rapids
the creek is very pretty and had flowing water
the rapids were intimidating and we were lucky enough to see one large raft and a group of smaller rafts and a kayaker go through
pretty cool, and of course now i want to do a river trip
wandered around the area awhile, then hiked back to camp to pack up
made our way back on the tonto in the warmest part of the day to monument, then down to granite rapids
while not as big as hermit, still would make for a nice ride
we had the entire large beach to ourselves!
the only others down there were the crew working on planting willows and cottonwoods to replace the torn out tamarisk
jess slept out on the beach and kelly in her hammock

day 3: monument creek (1.3 miles)
pretty cool to wake up at the colorado river
explored the other side of the creek along the river
didn't see any rafters
eventually packed up and went back to monument campground
only one other party there and we found a nice double campsite that could accommodate a hammock
several other parties arrived during the afternoon
i spent some time hiking up and down the creek/canyon
the park service requires a ratsack or something similar for food and trash but we didn't see any rodents the first two nights
kelly saw mice in her tree but bravely hung in the hammock
since the next day would be a long one, we decided to get an earlier start

day 4: monument to indian garden (10.7 miles)
got going at a decent time for us and faced the steep climb out of monument right off
the tonto was pleasant, and it was nice to see views of the river occasionally
the drainages were interesting, too
kelly spotted a grand canyon pink rattlesnake near horn creek where we took a good break
carried on to indian garden, which seemed quite luxurious compared to the three previous camps, with much better toilets, no worries about water and a comfy picnic table to sit on
saw two of our previous neighbors
i hiked out to plateau point
went to the condor talk
relaxed and read

day 5: bright angel to the rim (4.5 miles)
all of my food was gone, trash minimal, and i didn't carry much water so my pack was lighter
thought this would be a killer, but it really wasn't bad at all
kind of a shock to see so many people, but for a sunday, traffic was relatively light
judged my progress by where i was in relation to battleship, and of course at the rest houses
the girls were close behind in good shape and we were off to lunch

those are the high points, now for some musings:
i realize this wasn't the hardest or most remote trip, but it was my fifth backpack and the most nights i've spent on the trail
hermit was a good next step beyond the corridor trails along with backcountry campsites
i really enjoyed going down to the river at hermit and granite rapids
we all got along fine and backed each other up on the water filter situation, sharing food and gear and planning the day
kelly has a much nicer map than i do
i like my sleeping set up, brought the right clothing, and could have used a couple days worth of additional lunch type snacks
left behind a second pair of shoes and my gps
would have liked my coffee from a press, but it's hard to beat the weight of via coffee
not 100% happy with my pack pockets (rei flash 52) but it's very comfortable
it was good to have a trail overnight on weaver's needle a week ago
brought some flannel pajama pants which combined with fresh socks kept me warm and my sleeping bag clean
thought i was getting a cold right before the trip and i am now a big fan of airborne and emergen-C as i felt fine
i've done three backpacks without hiking poles, and now find them to be an essential piece of gear
still wake up a lot in the night
know i'm leaving lots of stuff out, but can always revise
many thanks to cactuscat for planning and getting the permits
jess, you're solid as a rock and i enjoyed your company on the drive
if you can't tell from the above, i loved this trip :)
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Apr 17 2013
cliff_bound_ch
avatar

 Triplogs 7

35 female
 Joined Jun 01 2009
 phoenix,AZ
Hermit/Tonto/Monument/Tonto/BA, AZ 
Hermit/Tonto/Monument/Tonto/BA, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Apr 17 2013
cliff_bound_chick
Backpack31.80 Miles 7,000 AEG
Backpack31.80 Miles5 Days         
7,000 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Partners partners
cactuscat
trekkin_gecko
Let me start by saying this trip was amazing!. Ill try to keep this log easy to follow, but i cant promise anything. First day gecko picked me up and we were off.i thought i would be fine with tons of tuna fish.... i was sorely mistaken. We get up there and of course its beautiful. took a short jaunt to stone man. gecko climbed him in short order. next day on to battleship! had a fun time scooting off the trail. the climbing spots were my favorite! next morning start down hermit real awesome trail, cathedral steps looked intimidating but made it through with no problem. got to camp was sure crowded but the little creek and waterfalls were nice. Down the creek we go to check out the rapids. seeing them for the first time was like a kick in the chest. one of the coolest things iv seen. next day on to granite rapids and we got the best camp spot. sleeping under the stars on the beach with the rapids doing there thing in the background was the best sleep i had all trip.next day went to monument and explored down the creek witch was sweet! then back to camp for rest. next we went to indiangardens. had a nice camp site and walked all around looking at trees and water. some very lovely people gave us food and let me tell you bbq chips have never tasted so good! me and kelly became JR. rangers got a patch and a badge. sat in on a condor talk that was great. finally our day to hike out came. was happy for modern comforts but sad i had to leave the canyon. kelly and geko did just fine on the way up from IG but i found those last miles the hardest. All in all i would say it was a spectacular trip and would suggest it to anyone. thanx go out to kelly for making it happen her wonderful company and hiking expertise. thanx to gecko for slowing her super human pace to hang out with us slowpokes and for many a good conversation.
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Apr 17 2013
cactuscat
avatar

 Routes 58
 Photos 2,427
 Triplogs 378

47 female
 Joined Oct 15 2002
 Safford
Hermit/Tonto/Monument/Tonto/BA, AZ 
Hermit/Tonto/Monument/Tonto/BA, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Apr 17 2013
cactuscat
Backpack28.00 Miles 7,000 AEG
Backpack28.00 Miles5 Days         
7,000 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners partners
cliff_bound_chick
trekkin_gecko
After months of anticipation, my hiking buds finally arrived last Monday ... we hit Shoshone Point and other rim attractions that day. On Tuesday we enjoyed breakfast at ET, then somewhat reluctantly headed out into the chilly, windy weather to do Battleship - thankfully once we were down the trail a bit the temps warmed up and the wind died down.
Wednesday we made final preperations, got breakfast from the deli, and caught a ride with Kristi to Hermit's Rest ... she took some trailhead pics for us, and we were finally off.
We made good time down Hermit and enjoyed the hike. I literally jumped for joy - backpack and all - at the sight of my first blooming redbud tree. The Supai traverse between Santa Maria and the Cathedral Stairs seemed endless. We took a break at Lookout Point to assess the weather and encountered a few snow flurries - much better than heavy rain, which we were not prepared for. There was rain and bad weather all around us, but we seemed to be hiking under a halo of goodness. We descended the Stairs with a scary story Kristi had told us echoing in our heads ... no problem, though. After the Stairs, it was nice to enter a desert environment and reach the Tonto trail. Shortly after that, we reached the crowded Hermit Creek campsite and waited for the previous night's campers to depart our chosen site.
Kelly's water filter failed immediately, and Jess found someone who could instruct us on the proper usage of our borrowed Steripen - a great piece of gear, which I think we will all be buying soon. Thank goodness we had that with us, as well as some chlorine tabs which I always carry for backup, or our trip would have ended right there.
There was no place to hang my hammock at that site, so I just bedded down on my pad ... my first night sleeping in the Canyon was also my first night spent out under the stars. My Phoenician buddies were a little cold that night, but my only issue was a leaking Thermarest - repaired it the next day.
Next morning, Jess and I played a little hackey-sack at the campsite, then we all set off down the creek to Hermit Rapids. Wow - the rapids blew me away! I've never stood next to big rapids before ... the only thing I could compare it to was Niagra Falls roaring past my face. We explored and relaxed and watched some boats run the rapids ... we all agreed we want to do that now.
We returned to camp, packed up, and set out for our next destination ... strolled across the Tonto to Monument Creek, then on down to Granite Rapids. Upon arrival we found that we had the entire beautiful beach campsite to ourselves! I hung my hammock and we all made ourselves comfortable. Listened to my ipod for a few songs before falling asleep looking at the stars and the canyon walls glowing in the moonlight.
Woke up feeling great after the hammock sleep - I will never sleep on the ground again, if I can help it! With the hammock there are no pressure points, and I get a really restorative sleep ... my sore hips thanked me by feeling much better.
We lounged around the beach, watched the vegetation volunteers do their thing, visited the rapids, and got a visit from backcountry ranger Debbie. Eventually we packed up and made the short hike upstream to the Monument Creek campsite.
We choose a nice site with a good tree to hang from. We were warned by our neighbor that the place was overrun with mice at night - no problem, we have ratsacks. We each explored a bit, treated water, had dinner, and rested up for the long hike the following day.
Then our Steripen's batteries failed and I discovered that it takes special batteries - not the double or triple a's that we were carrying ... thank goodness for the 13 chlorine tabs, which would see us through to IG.
As soon as it was dark and I was in my hammock, I saw by moonlight that my tree was crawling with mice - yikes! I told Jess to make room for me in the tent because I might have to join her. After some consideration, I decided to try to stick it out in the mouse tree ... just couldn't bear to give up the joys of hammock sleeping. Besides, by that point we had been out for several days and mice didn't seem like such a big deal. I cocooned myself in the hammock and pulled the extra fabric over me so that should a mouse drop onto me, it wouldn't fall directly onto my face or head ... after I woke up in the night and everything seemed fine, I didn't even bother with that precaution again.
We woke early and had breakfast, then broke camp pretty quickly and began the climb out from Monument. We stopped briefly at Cedar Spring, which Ranger Debbie had told us was running, to check it out. We didn't really need water, but I hate to pass up something like that without checking it out ... now I understand what they mean when they say the water at Cedar is "hard to collect".
This was the worst day for me, since I stupidly wore my Merrells and by this time I had several painful blisters ... I lagged behind Kelly and Jess all day. When I caught up to them resting at the western arm of Salt Creek - or was it Horn? - I noticed a gorgeous GC Pink Rattlesnake stretched out on the sandstone ledges a few yards from where Jess was doing the same. Very cool! The snake let us get a few pics before curling up in a defensive coil ... never even rattled at us. Around this time, I decided to change shoes and see if hiking in my New Balance Minimus 1010's would give me some relief - thankfully, it did help alot.
Food had been on all our minds, as our supplies were running low ... we had dinner and breakfast left but not many snacks. When we rolled into into IG, I immediately made for the ammo can where people leave extra food - kinda busted through a crowd of people there and ripped open the can ... passed out peanuts to my partners, but that was all that was there. Then I realized that the dayhikers were a bit taken aback by my rather uncivilized behavior, lol, and I decided to explain myself - and try to score more snacks in the process. I said something like "hey do you guys have any extra food that you don't want to carry out - we are pretty hungry, we've been out for four days" at that point they almost all exclaimed "oh!" in unison, and began reaching for food to give us - yay! We scored a pb&j, chips, snack bars, and my big prize, a bag of grapes and strawberries - nothing ever tasted so good. I was pretty proud of my new found assertiveness and yogi-ing skills. :)
We settled into the topmost campsite, and I hung my hammock from the pack pole and the shade ramada ... no hanging anything from trees there, but I didn't need to. We very much enjoyed the ammenities of what I dubbed the "Hilton IG" ... safe drinkable water with the turn of a tap, large clean private toilets, picnic table, ammo cans, etc. Pretty cush.
Kelly went off to hike Plateau Point while Jess and I soaked feet in the creek and strolled a little ways down the BA. Later, we went to see Ranger Elyssa about getting our jr ranger badges and wilderness explorer patches ... we completed our workbooks over dinner, then attended her condor talk and afterwards were sworn in and awarded patches. It was fun. And I really felt like we had earned those patches over the previous few days!
After another good night's sleep, we spent a fairly leisurely morning packing up and we were some of the last to depart - at least Jess and I were ... Kelly took off ahead of us. Kinda sad not to finish as a group, but we understood. I wore my NB's for the hike out, and didn't even feel my blisters - it was a small miracle.
All in all, it was one of the best weeks of my life. Wish we never had to come back ... can't wait to do it again.
Random notes:
I used to love Merrells ... now I hate them, and will never buy them again. Never thought I would backpack in the NB Minimus, but they saved me.
The borrowed Steripen and Jetboil Flash both rocked ... will be buying both very soon.
My new The North Face Crestone 60 pack was a great choice - love it.
And hammocks are the way to go! :D
Flora
Flora
Redbud Tree

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Cedar Spring Dripping Dripping

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Garden Creek Medium flow Medium flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Hermit Creek Light flow Light flow

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Horn Creek Pools to trickle Pools to trickle

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Monument Creek Light flow Light flow

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Salt Creek Pools to trickle Pools to trickle

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Santa Maria Spring Dripping Dripping
Full trough.
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Apr 13 2013
John9L
avatar

 Guides 6
 Routes 170
 Photos 4,848
 Triplogs 1,619

male
 Joined Mar 12 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Granite Rapid via Hermits Rest, AZ 
Granite Rapid via Hermits Rest, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Apr 13 2013
John9L
Backpack21.10 Miles 6,103 AEG
Backpack21.10 Miles2 Days         
6,103 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Partners partners
chumley
zukerrach
The three of us made an overnight trip down to Granite Rapid. We drove up on Friday night and stayed with Haley (Thanks!). We started down on Saturday and made smooth and steady progress. There were several groups along the hike. We knew it was going to be a busy weekend. We arrived at Granite Rapid to find two other backpacking groups and some rafters. We wanted our space and considered hanging out below the rapid but the wind was too strong. It even blew Chumley's tent away...luckily he was able to chase it down. After that we went over to the rafters above the rapid and asked to crash in their vicinity. There was plenty of room for everybody and they were very hospitable.

We woke fairly early on Sunday. The wind was really whipping and made hanging out a bit uncomfortable. We decided to pack up early and start the hike out. Chumley went up ahead as Rachel and I finished packing. From there we started making our way out and threw on headphones to help grind through the misery. We caught up with Chumley along the Supai and passed several groups also making their way out. The final push to the rim was a grind but flew by. This was a really great trip and I'm glad everything worked out leading up to this backpack.
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Apr 13 2013
chumley
avatar

 Guides 75
 Routes 667
 Photos 13,251
 Triplogs 1,424

46 male
 Joined Sep 18 2002
 Tempe, AZ
Hermit to Granite Rapid, AZ 
Hermit to Granite Rapid, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Apr 13 2013
chumley
Backpack21.10 Miles 6,103 AEG
Backpack21.10 Miles1 Day   2 Hrs      
6,103 ft AEG30 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Partners partners
Hippy
John9L
zukerrach
9L scored permits for Granite Rapid camp the week before and we made short-notice plans to make this trip. A late arrival at Hippy's Friday night meant she had a head start on the beers, but we all crashed pretty quick with no plans to rush out in the morning.

We hit the trail a little after 10, and made quick time down into the basin. Hippy said her goodbyes and turned back to go to work, leaving us to head to the river.

This hike is conquered in a few very different sections:
0-1.5 steep rim to the basin.
1.5-2.1 light descent to the rest house.
2.1-5.2 mostly flat with a couple of ups and downs to the top of the stairs
5.2-6.3 stairs and steep descent to the Tonto
6.3-8.0 flat-ish tonto traverse
8.0-9.6 descent into and down gravelly monument creek to river

The NPS is rehabilitating the Granite Camp area and has removed a bunch of tamarisks, eliminating many of the previous upstream camping spots. They have planted a bunch of new trees, both cottonwoods and willows, but of course, it will be a decade or more before any of these provide any shade. So most camping here is now exposed with the exception of the farthest upstream section of beach where they have left a few tamarisk for now.

We initially decided to camp in a sheltered spot downstream, but the wind this weekend was crazy and after watching my anchored and weighted-down tent fly away like a kite in one gust, we decided to relocate and encroach on the rafting party upstream. (I was able to run down my tent after it had flown about 150 yards into a rocky hillside. Still intact, with no damage!)

We made friends with the rafters and socialized all evening over river maps, guitar music, ladder golf, mac n cheese, chocolate mousse, adult beverages, and some other stuff that I believe might be legal in two or three states. ;)

After a crazy-windy night with the beach sand blowing into every possible corner, crack, and crevice, we got up and broke down camp. I was disappointed the rafters did not have bacon. :(

I headed out a few minutes ahead of 9L and Rachel since I knew I couldn't keep up with them on the ascent. I kept a good pace but they eventually caught up with me about 6 miles in. We rendezvous-ed at the rest house before I let them take off for the rim while I chugged along at my own pace.

The top two miles of trail is littered with tourists on day-hikes, but for the most part they were very courteous and knew to let uphill hikers have the right-of-way.

Upon reaching the top, I pulled a toughboots and face-planted between the trail sign and the parking lot. I hobbled over to my truck and got out my car-camping first-aid kit and cleaned the gravel and dirt out of my knee wound while enjoying a delicious Hop Shock right out of the icy cooler.

9L and Rachel had gotten there a bit ahead of me and visited the Hermit's Rest gift shop, returning with ice cream sandwiches that were the highlight of the whole trip. Wow! :y:

We headed back to the village, visited with Hippy for a little bit and then back to the valley with a very brief stop at NiMarcos, where Larry joined us for a salad and some carrot sticks.
Culture
Culture
Mining Equipment
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated

dry Fourmile Spring Dry Dry

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Monument Creek Light flow Light flow
Nice flow in the creek. Plenty of clear water to filter.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Santa Maria Spring Dripping Dripping
Dripping from the pipe, but the trough was full of clear, cold water.
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Profound observer
Apr 13 2013
zukerrach
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 54
 Photos 843
 Triplogs 189

31 female
 Joined Jan 21 2013
 Delafield, WI
Granite Rapid via Hermits Rest, AZ 
Granite Rapid via Hermits Rest, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Apr 13 2013
zukerrach
Backpack21.10 Miles 6,103 AEG
Backpack21.10 Miles2 Days         
6,103 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners partners
chumley
John9L
My experience, in emoticons:

:y: --at the top, packed and ready to go
8) --on the way down
:D --eating my sandwich
:-s --listening to John describing the geological layers
:GB: --at the river
:zzz:
:scared: --starting the climb back out
:( --at the cathedral stairs
[-( --on the final ascent to Hermit's Rest
:stretch: --at the top
:y: --once I realized there was ice cream
Named place
Named place
Grand Canyon National Park
_____________________
Mar 15 2013
nonot
avatar

 Guides 93
 Routes 236
 Photos 1,969
 Triplogs 476

male
 Joined Nov 18 2005
 Phoenix, AZ
Boucher TrailNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Backpack avatar Mar 15 2013
nonot
Backpack43.20 Miles 2,290 AEG
Backpack43.20 Miles5 Days         
2,290 ft AEG40.8 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
We left the bus to Hermit's rest at about 9:30 AM and headed down the Hermit, finding excellent trail conditions. Quickly we were onto the dripping springs trail, which had some icy sections and hadn't been pruned yet this year. Onto the Boucher trail, which was the one official trail I had yet to complete to the river on the south side. The contouring to Yuma Point took longer than expected, though it was not that physically difficult. We checked out the potholes and found some nice campsite options, but continued on, scaring up a dozen mule deer soon afterwards. The route down through the Supai in Travertine Canyon is perhaps the most interesting trail routing I've seen yet, and was a victim of the big rain/snowstorm in sections, as some of the more critical portions of the trail are now pretty sketchy and missing important parts, making it more scrambly. The trail down from White's Butte down to the Tonto resembles the Brown's Peak chute more than anything else, and isn't much in terms of a nice mule trail. Also spent some time exploring an old mine in the area not on my map I observed, and some other old constructions. Camped near Boucher Creek, and saw some other group make their way in that night by headlamp.

The next morning we checked out the rest of Boucher Creek to the Colorado. It was pretty nice without much of a trail, but it gets a little narrow in some spots and creates some nice scenes. Then made our way over to Hermit Creek, and noticed it was getting pretty warm in the afternoon. I explored Hermit Creek below the campsite and the trail up to the Old Sante Fe camp, where I noticed that rockfall of a few car and sofa side boulders wiped out a good chunk of this horse trail.

The next day we checked out Hermit Rapids and the nice beach, then packed over to Monument Creek and also checked out Granite Rapids. Monument Creek disappears for the majority of the creekbed between the monument and the river. Finally encountered a raft party - must be too early in the season for the permits to actually get used much. On the way back took the waterfall scramble route back up - that was a lot of fun.

Over to Indian Gardens, passing Cedar Spring, Salt Creek, and Horn Creek. There - we ran into yet more people, including Sirena, on her way to Salt Creek. At Indian Gardens, found that they have installed quite an impressive and excellent set of latrine facilities, 10 stars out of 10. First time actually camping there - it is a pretty nice setup. Hoofed it out the next day, 2hrs 20 minutes to the bus stop, lots of construction on the rim.
Fauna
Fauna
Mule Deer
Named place
Named place
Whites Butte Yuma Point

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Boucher Creek Medium flow Medium flow
Decent flow, above ground almost entire way to river. It does diminish in the above-ground portion, but is flowing strongest near the campsites and near the beach.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Cedar Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
From the Tonto, I observed pools and the rock pourovers were wet.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Garden Creek Medium flow Medium flow
Very nice and cool, as usual.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Hermit Creek Medium flow Medium flow
Nice flow, and cool.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Horn Creek Light flow Light flow
Very light flow through Horn, did not taste it, due to the radiation warnings.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Monument Creek Light flow Light flow
Light flow near the creek campsites and at the river, dry in between. A bit more than a trickle.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Salt Creek Light flow Light flow
Had a light flow, did not taste it, worried it would be too mineralized.

dry Travertine Canyon Dry Dry
Dry at Tonto crossing, and wherever the Boucher trail goes through, the inaccessible Travertine spring below the Tonto was dripping as usual.
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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!
Feb 07 2013
writelots
avatar

 Guides 19
 Routes 39
 Photos 5,577
 Triplogs 337

46 female
 Joined Nov 22 2005
 Tucson, AZ
Hermit TrailNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Backpack avatar Feb 07 2013
writelots
Backpack23.00 Miles 3,400 AEG
Backpack23.00 Miles7 Days         
3,400 ft AEG
 no routes
Partners none no partners
Hiked in to Granite Rapids camp for a 7 day volunteer project. I am working on the write up for my blog with insane levels of detail, but here's the short of it:

This is a pilot project focused on restoring not only habitat but also creating better recreational space on Granite Beach for boaters, backpackers and critters. The beginning stages were removal of 90% of the tamarisk on the site, leaving some of the larger trees near the boaters camp for shade. Then they are planting poles and nursery grown stock of other native riparian species to see what will take in this environment. The results will help to inform more projects on more beach spaces in the future.

Essentially, I went down there and tammie whacked for 6 days then hiked back out. I was so exhausted by the end of the trip, I could barely make a fist! Not to mention that it snowed while we were at the camp during that massive snowstorm that hit Northern Arizona that week. It was cold, wet and miserable - but it was the Grand Canyon, so no one noticed ;)

The trip was river supported, so boats brought in a kitchen and awesome food and gear. We had a great time, and I can't wait to go back and do it all over again!
Culture
Culture
Throwing a Wendy
Named place
Named place
Granite Rapids

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Santa Maria Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
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Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.- Barack Obama
average hiking speed 1.97 mph
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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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