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Sockdolager Rapid via Hance Creek - 3 members in 5 triplogs have rated this an average 4.3 ( 1 to 5 best )
5 triplogs
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May 18 2013
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 Guides 84
 Routes 694
 Photos 17,480
 Triplogs 1,703

49 male
 Joined Sep 18 2002
 Tempe, AZ
Sockdolager Rapid via Hance CreekNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar May 18 2013
chumleyTriplogs 1,703
Hiking7.50 Miles 2,743 AEG
Hiking7.50 Miles   4 Hrs   40 Mns   1.67 mph
2,743 ft AEG      10 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
ElliotAlford
John9L
VolcanoCLMBR
Decided to day trip to the river from our camp at the Hance Creek/Tonto junction.

This is a complete and total pumpkin-kicker. Woulda been nice to have a little bit more 411 on the bypasses, but it helped that 9L had been part of the way once before. The canyon is stunning, especially when it drops into the narrows of schist and the amazing pink Zoroaster Granite. But the bypasses take a toll, adding unplanned AEG and a lot of time.

We got to the river just as a rafting party was passing by and we took some photos of them running the rapid. After not more than 10 minutes we began the trek back, with much less time in our day than we had thought.

All of us had come from the rim in the morning, and by the time we got back to camp we were all exhausted. The beer was honestly earned and thoroughly enjoyed.

Youtube video (2:25): http://youtu.be/hq4-qOAXoWQ
Named place
Named place [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Sockdolager Rapids

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Hance Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Not much flow at the river, but enough to get a fresh drink if needed.
[9 Best] Stroller Friendly Hikes Se...
[9 Best] Stroller Friendly Hikes Sedona In (2022)

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Hance Creek Light flow Light flow
Typical flow below the Tapeats. Plenty to filter.
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two scoops!
May 18 2013
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 Guides 6
 Routes 174
 Photos 5,442
 Triplogs 1,640

male
 Joined Mar 12 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Old Hance to Sockdolager Rapid, AZ 
Old Hance to Sockdolager Rapid, AZ
 
Backpack avatar May 18 2013
John9LTriplogs 1,640
Backpack14.75 Miles 6,200 AEG
Backpack14.75 Miles2 Days         
6,200 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Partners partners
chumley
ElliotAlford
VolcanoCLMBR
The plan was to backpack down the Old Hance Trail and set up camp at the junction of Hance Creek and the Tonto Trail. From there we would day hike down Hance Creek to Sockdolager Rapid. Chumley and I would take the Old Hance Trail while Frank, Elliot & Teresa would take the Grandview Trail and we’d all meet at the camp spot.

Our hike started from the fire road by mile post 256. We left my jeep there and then started down the remains of the Old Hance trail. The top section is in fairly decent condition. The route deteriorates as you descend. After a bit you find yourself in a drainage and the best bet is to continue following it down. As we descended we found some cairns here and there but they are not consistent. We continued down and actually got lucky and were able to follow signs of a route. After considerable work we reached the break in the Redwall and descended into the start of Hance Creek.

There is a bypass at the start of Hance Creek and then the rest of the creek is straight forward. You basically rock hop as you wind down the creek bed. We made respectable time and reached the junction of Hance Creek and the Tonto. Chumley and I set up camp and while we were doing that Frank and the others showed up. All of us got set up and enjoyed some lunch and then started our hike down Hance Creek toward the Colorado River.

The first two plus miles down Hance Creek are easy and enjoyable. The creek was running and the scenery is spectacular. Vishnu Temple looms straight ahead for most of the hike. After two miles the canyon tightens up as you hike past walls of Vishnu Schist and Zoroaster Granite. The inner canyon is just stunning! We continued on and reached the first bypass. We made quick work of the bypass and continued to the second. This is where I turned around last month. I led the way up and as I climbed the clouds darkened and the wind picked up. Some drizzle fell as I climbed and luckily it was not an issue. I would say this second bypass is the longest and most difficult. It’s steep and loose. I was glad when I reached the top however the backside is loose and steep as well. I was very happy once back in the creek bed. We continued on.

The next few minutes are easy hiking as you hike along Hance Creek. You then come to a chokestone that appears to be impassable. I went back up creek looking for what I thought was the third bypass. While back there Chumley found a route down using a crack in the rock to the right of the chokestone. Getting down this was a bit tricky because you down climb it blindly. There are good holds and once you’re at the bottom you see it’s not a big deal. Going up was simple. We continued on and found the third and final bypass. You are rewarded with a magnificent view of Sockdolager Rapid at the top. All of us made our way down to the rapid and were treated to a group of rafters going through. After that we pretty much packed up and started our return. On the hike back I stopped by the falls requiring bypass two and three. This side canyon is a thing of beauty!

Once back at camp all of us relaxed and started having our dinner and beer! Hance Creek did an excellent job keeping our beer cold and delicious! Later that evening we set up the party lights and had some neighbors join us for a bit. We all turned in by 10pm and that ended an amazing day in the Canyon!

We woke on day two and broke down camp. Chumley and I said goodbye to Frank and the others. They were heading back out Grandview and we were heading back up Old Hance. We made good time as we hiked up Hance Creek. We took a short break by John Hance’s old camp remains. We continued on and reached the Redwall break and then started making the climb out. The going up was pretty much what I expected. Steep and taxing! As we scrambled up we noticed we were on our same route we followed down. I was feeling really good about this! Unfortunately that would change.

As you’ll see in our GPS track we made our way up a drainage too far to the west. By the time we realized our error we decided to continue up with the intention of making our way to the east. This is far easier said than done. Moving horizontally in this ravine is extremely difficult because it’s steep and overgrown. Every inch was hard won on our scramble up. We fought to get into the correct drainage but knew it was a losing battle. It looked like there was a break in the Kaibab Limestone near the top and we decided to go for it. We continued fighting up and soon after found ourselves back on the rim to great delight! Our route felt like abuse. I was bloody and exhausted!

From there we made our way over to the jeep and then stopped by the store to say goodbye to Haley and then returned to Phoenix. This was a brutal hike especially the climb out! Learn from our mistake and make sure you take the proper drainage out. It will make your life much easier! Besides that Sockdolager is awesome and the inner canyon is spectacular. Give this hike a try if you love rough going with a mixture of beauty few people see.
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Apr 07 2013
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 Guides 6
 Routes 174
 Photos 5,442
 Triplogs 1,640

male
 Joined Mar 12 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Old Hance TrailNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 07 2013
John9LTriplogs 1,640
Hiking15.00 Miles 5,300 AEG
Hiking15.00 Miles
5,300 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Partners partners
Dave1
johnlp
JuanJaimeiii
Met up with Dave, Johnlp & JJ3 for an adventurous hike down the Old Hance Trail. And thanks Haley for shuttling us over from Grandview!

Haley dropped us off at the fire road a little after 7am and we were off. We started by dropping off the rim and were able to follow the original trail for about a minute and then it was gone. From there it was a bushwhack down the ravine. We basically looked for the best route with the least amount of undergrowth blocking our way. It was a mixture of following a rock laden draw, scrambling and down climbing and then fighting cacti, trees and everything else added for good measure. We made slow progress as we slipped and slided on down. We were constantly reassessing our route. You can see the break in the Redwall at the bottom and that was our goal. We continued down and tried to make our way towards the break which is easier said than done. There were a few times where we cliffed out and had to work our way over to find a better way down. The good thing is there are lots of game trails and also signs of human traffic. As we neared the bottom we located a good use trail and followed that down to the Redwall break. With that we found ourselves in the bed of Hance Creek.

Once in Hance Creek we started making our way down and Dave said there is a pour off that we needed to bypass. We easily found the bypass and it’s well worn with foot traffic. After that we were back in the creek bed and the going was much easier. After a few minutes I noticed some people up ahead. There was a group of a half dozen and they were heading for the cave Tse An Bida which lies in the Redwall. Dave, LP & JJ3 ended up following them while I hung out in the creek bottom. While they were up there I made my way down the creek where I was able to see their route to the cave. It looks tricky. After an hour or so the three of them returned to the creek and we continued down canyon.

Next up we ran into the spring and the remains of Hance’s tourist camp. There are the remains of a few structures and a corral. After a look around we continued down Hance Creek and set a brisk pace. We then arrived at the junction of Hance Creek and the Tonto Trail. While there we pumped some water and talked about our options. It was late morning and we wanted to head for Sockdolager which is a six mile round trip. We started off and cruised down the first two miles of the creek. At that point we reached a pour off and had to locate the bypass. While looking we decided to have lunch. By this time it was getting close to 1pm and I was thinking about the long hike out. JJ3 was able to locate the bypass and with great motivation convinced us to follow. The first bypass is a little sketchy as you climb up a good two hundred feet and then drop down a drainage filled with rocks. We continued and found the second bypass. At this point the time was flying by and I felt my energy draining. I decided to turn tail and start hiking out. I came up with a plan to let the other’s know my progress on my way out. I would build a few cairns along my return and would ask the backpackers at the Tonto junction to let the others know I passed.

I had very low energy returning up Hance Creek. I arrived at the Tonto junction and sat and chatted with the Backpackers there. From there I connected on the Tonto and cruised up to Miner’s Spring (Page Spring) where I took a break and pumped some additional water. Our plan was for me to wait there for the others but I grew restless. I then built a few cairns and spelled “9L” with an arrow pointing towards Horseshoe Mesa for the others to see. While hiking up to Horseshoe Mesa I was able to spot the rest of the crew making their way up. I continued on and built another cairn with “9L” on Horseshoe Mesa. I could see the others down below heading for Miner’s Spring.

Once on Horseshoe Mesa I started the final hike to the rim. It started as an enjoyable hike as you traverse the Supai. Things started getting tough as I hit the cobblestone switchbacks through the Hermit Shale. My pace greatly slowed as I proceeded through the Coconino. I kept looking back towards Horseshoe Mesa and was able to spot everyone else making progress up the trail. As I neared the top I saw a familiar face hiking down. It was Haley with a coworker friend. We stopped and chatted. They were on their way to the Cave of Domes. I asked her to let the others know she passed me. From there it was a very slow grind to the rim. I was glad I turned around early in Hance Creek because I had little to no energy. Once on the rim, I was very happy to see the tourist because I knew my hike was done!

This was one of the toughest 15 mile hikes of my life! Old Hance really sucks energy and is very difficult going. I doubt I ever hike it again. Hance Creek is magnificent! I have an overnight permit for mid May and I plan on going all the way to Sockdolager Rapid. Grandview is a grind after all this but is beautiful as always! The Canyon only gets better!

My GPS Route has been posted to Route Manager. I plan on doing some edits on it and will post here when complete.
Geology
Geology [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Zoroaster Granite
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Apr 07 2013
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 Guides 1
 Routes 12
 Photos 5,311
 Triplogs 4,327

65 male
 Joined Mar 16 2008
 chandler,az
Old Hance to Grand View with Rapids, AZ 
Old Hance to Grand View with Rapids, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 07 2013
johnlpTriplogs 4,327
Hiking15.24 Miles 6,989 AEG
Hiking15.24 Miles   11 Hrs   28 Mns   1.39 mph
6,989 ft AEG      30 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
This is a very cool intense hike taking in a route that is definitely less traveled. The Old Hance trail is steep loose and kind of brushy, but nothing over the top. It was nice to get far enough down canyon to where the brush is minimal.

The hike up to the Tse' An Bida Cave involves some scrambling and a little exposure. The alcove is enormous. The cave goes all the way through the redwall, We just checked out the beginning and signed the register.

From here the hiking became easier as we worked our way down Hance Creek, stopping to filter water at the Tonto crossing, and continued down stream. After a mile or two the canyon tightens up and the going is more challenging and fun. We missed the first bypass and spent quite a bit of time and effort trying to find a way past the first big pouroff.

By the time we reached the bypass it was almost our turn around time. JJ, who was now shirtless and packless, was ranting and raving from atop of a climb around wanting to continue to the river. We scrambled up the steep slope and back down to return to the creek bed.

Once we got to the second bypass we were at our predetermined turn around time. It was warm and we knew we had a long uphill hike to get out of the canyon. JJ, still shirtless and packless, scambled up the steep rocky bypass and started to try to persuade us to continue. After a couple minutes he said he was going to the river and disappeared. 9L decided to start heading back. Dave and I started up the bypass in case we needed to show the authorities where to find the body (JJ).

Once through the second bypass we could see by JJs GPS that we had less than half a mile to get to Sockdolager rapids. The final bypass is a little easier than the first two and you can see the rapids from the top. We worked our way down to the river. Mission accomplished!

Getting back up Hance Creek to the Tonto went fairly quick now that we knew where we were going. 9L left signs for us and talked to folks along the way, so we had a good idea of where he was on his return.

We stopped at Miners/Page Spring, filtered water, and started up to Horseshoe Mesa. From there it is up the Grandview and out. Pretty tough after all the energy we had previuosly expended. Saw Hippy on the way out on her way to Cave of the Domes. Thanks for the shuttle to get us started!

An epic hike with great company. Thanks John9L for setting this one up. Thanks JJ for driving.
Named place
Named place [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Hance Creek Sockdolager Rapids
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
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“Good people drink good beer.” Hunter S Thompson
Mar 17 2012
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 Guides 8
 Routes 12
 Photos 1,317
 Triplogs 491

57 male
 Joined Nov 15 2005
 Jackson, CA
Sockdolager Rapid via Hance CreekNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Mar 17 2012
toddakTriplogs 491
Canyoneering19.50 Miles 5,000 AEG
Canyoneering19.50 Miles   10 Hrs      1.95 mph
5,000 ft AEG
Basic Canyoneering - Scrambling; easy climbing/downclimbing; frequent hand use; rope recommended; easy exit
A - Dry or little water; shallow or avoidable water; no wet/dry suit
II - Normally requires a half day
 no routes
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Beauty (water-sculpted pink granite / black schist narrows) and
The Beast (the climb back up Grandview).
_____________________
average hiking speed 1.67 mph

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

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