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Old Bright Angel Trail - South Rim - 4 members in 21 triplogs have rated this an average 3.8 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Nov 11 2017
ddgrunning
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 230
 Photos 4,513
 Triplogs 378

50 male
 Joined Apr 13 2011
 Gilbert, AZ
SK-BA Loop Old BA Battleship, AZ 
SK-BA Loop Old BA Battleship, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Nov 11 2017
ddgrunning
Hiking20.07 Miles 11,028 AEG
Hiking20.07 Miles   9 Hrs   30 Mns   2.25 mph
11,028 ft AEG      35 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Former work colleague planned a SK-BA loop trip for Veterans Day and invited me to join. I told him it was a deal if I could bring my son along. :)

We arrived in the park on Friday around 4 pm and headed straight to Shoshone Point for a quick stretch of the legs and a little solitude on the rim.

As the sun was setting, we returned to the Shoshone Pt. TH and over to check in at Maswick Lodge for the night. The dining area was surprisingly full for dinner. Went with the pulled pork and mashed potatoes. Helpings were generous. I normally like the mashed potatoes, but they were a bit on the runny side this time around.

At 5:15 a.m., called the taxi/shuttle, which took us to the SK trailhead. The bus schedule suggested no bus service till 7 a.m., so we were a bit surprised to find a couple dozen hikers milling around the TH and a bus leaving the TH at about 5:45(?)

In any event, we jumped right on the trail and began our descent in the dark. It was a bit crowded at the start, but folks spread out within the first mile or so.

The wind (and blowing dust) was crazy at the top and continued to be a pain until we dropped below Cedar Ridge. From then on, the weather was fantastic! Shorts were the order of the day, with the temps in the bottom and up through Indian Garden and up top in the low 60s.

Some guy had set up his tent and camped at the Tip Off. Not sure whether he cleaned up camp before the ranger arrived ...

Saw a few bighorn sheep on the SK below Tip Off.

As we neared the Black Bridge and the River Trail junction, I was thinking of the news story earlier this summer of a ER doctor from Texas who "made a wrong turn" and ended up passing away from heat-related issues. I'm always saddened by such stories and left with many more questions than answers. :-(

On this day, however, heat was not an issue.

After crossing the Black Bridge, my son and I veered upstream to check out the gauging station, and the hand-powered tramline. It was worth a look.

Stopped for "second breakfast" (9:30 a.m.) at the picnic table past the restroom/water spigot on the way to the Silver Bridge. Read the sign indicating that water had been turned of at the resthouses on BA, so the only other water was at IG.

Hit the trail for the climb up. The Colorado was running a deep, beautiful green color.

At the bottom of Devil's Corkscrew, my son wanted to take Old BA, so up we went and then continued up the drainage to its intersection with the Tonto, before dropping in to Indian Garden. The Old BA is still fairly distinct in many stretches, but about 1/4 mi. short of the Tonto intersection, we lost track of the old trail, and just continued up the wash, knowing we'd hit the Tonto eventually.

At IG, we were feeling great and decided to follow through on a side-trip out to the Battleship on the way out. Neither of us had been out there. We had the HAZ route downloaded on Route Scout, which was helpful, but even so, we often found ourselves bouncing around above and below various ledges. Seems like we were consistently hovering around 5380 ft., but always seem to be tempted to go up, rather than down when given the choice. There are cairns here, there, and in various places that are moderately helpful, but it was difficult to string more than two or three of them together at any stretch. At some point, we just plodded through as best we could navigate. As expected, the going was a bit slow. Along the way, my son was attacked by a yucca and ended up with a 1/2" spine in his finger. :o Leatherman pliers came in handy ....

Once we hit the "bridge," the route was more clear until the turn up to the final climb up Battleship. Here, Route Scout was very helpful.

My son chimney-ed up the crack; I was able to climb up with out chimney-ing. I didn't think the exposure at this spot was concerning at all.

The views from the point of the Battleship were awesome. We signed the log book, rested a bit and then headed back. Hoped for a condor siting, but no dice this time. We made quicker time on the return trip, and it seemed that cairns were more helpful heading that direction.

By the time we got back to the 2 mi. switchback on BA, we were so happy to be done bushwhacking/route-finding that we happily tackled the remaining 1,400 ft. climb with gusto, knocking out the last two miles in a little over 20 minutes, each.

As we motored through the final tunnel about 1/4 mi. from the top, caked with 20 miles of grime, bobbing and weaving around those content to just dip their toe below the rim, and clearly on a mission to finish the trip, we still somehow managed to win the lottery and were selected by a couple of rim-hugging tourist to take their photo. My son graciously obliged, but I secretly held a little grudge, since our exit time was 9 hours, 30 min., rather than "sub-9:30." Ok, just joking. :lol: It was not that big a deal, but I really was surprised that of all the normal tourists, this gal asked the grimy, sweaty, hikers streaking to the top to stop and take their photo ...

After hot showers at Mather Campground, we packed up and headed back to the valley, another great GC adventure in the books.
_____________________
2 archives
Sep 23 2017
ddgrunning
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 230
 Photos 4,513
 Triplogs 378

50 male
 Joined Apr 13 2011
 Gilbert, AZ
Rim to Rim and Upper Ribbon Falls, AZ 
Rim to Rim and Upper Ribbon Falls, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Sep 23 2017
ddgrunning
Hiking
Hiking
 
1st trip
Annual R2R with a great group of friends and family. My 18 year old daughter joined on this trip--her third time. Stayed in the cabins on the North Rim on Friday night; ate at the Lodge and enjoyed the sunset from the veranda, followed by views of the sliver moon.

I don't usually sleep well the night before R2R, but managed the best night's sleep yet this year. Alarm went off at 4:30, and our group was at the North Kaibab trailhead, heading down at 5:40 a.m. With an overnight forecast low of 29 degrees, we were expecting it to be very cold, but were pleasantly surprised to find the TH much warmer--low 40s or upper 30s at worst.

It was quite busy on the upper part of the trail. Lots of groups out enjoying the canyon. After Manzanita Resthouse, people settled into their paces, spread out, and the trail became less crowded.

Just to shake things up a bit, and to get a little more solitude in, I convinced one of our group to join me on a side trip to Upper Ribbon Falls. I had never been before. Very cool place, and indeed, we had it to ourselves. Peeked over the ledge down to Ribbon Falls on the return, and then it was back on the "highway" to Phantom Ranch.

At the bridge crossing over Bright Angel Creek, they've put up a new sign, directing folks to the Bright Angel or South Kaibab trails (really one of the very few spots on the trail where someone could make a wrong turn).

Enjoyed ideal weather on the way up, with a slight breeze and intermittent cloud cover.

Decided to go up the Old Devil's Corkscrew, and then rejoined the new trail as it wraps around the point and joins Garden Creek. Took a dip in the "jacuzzi pools" before saddling up for the jaunt into Indian Gardens.

Felt great on the final 4.5mi/3,000ft climb out of IG. Enjoyed my 8 minute shower at Mather Campground. Then it was on to dinner at Maswick. Very disappointed with the service this time. The two folks running the grill literally spoke no English, and we stood in line and watched the chef burn our hamburgers while he was focused on cleaning his spatulas. Next time, I'm opting for Wendy's in Tusayan--half the price, and twice as quick.

Another incredible trip. So grateful to have this gem so close and accessible to where I live.
Culture
Culture
HAZ - Selfie
_____________________
Jul 08 2016
Hippy
avatar

 Guides 8
 Routes 4
 Photos 1,834
 Triplogs 643

35 female
 Joined Dec 02 2009
 Grand Canyon
Rim to RimNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 08 2016
Hippy
Hiking24.00 Miles 6,000 AEG
Hiking24.00 Miles   10 Hrs      2.40 mph
6,000 ft AEG
 no routes
Hiking from North to South is second to none...as a corridor hike anyway.

A moonless night made for a romantic transcanyon jaunt.

After crossing the silver bridge and heading up the Corkscrew Jamie and I, with our headphones in, made a quick decision with just a nod of our heads to bypass the tapeats narrows below IG and instead saunter up Old BA from the top of the Corkscrew at the granite pools to the Tonto then to IG.
There was a group of 3 guys a few minutes ahead of us at the granite pools, we beat them to IG by 5 minutes...but I wouldn't consider Old BA a shortcut unless you're ready to sweat... especially after already having hiked 20 miles through the night ;p

We left at sunset Friday night.
Made it to Bright Angel Lodge the next morning just in time for breakfast.

Total moving time 10hrs + 1hr rest at Phantom and 1hr rest at IG.

After breakfast I learned that I'd just been voted in as a member for Grand Canyon Historical Society!
Our whole reason for hiking r2r this trip was to attend the GCHS annual picnic at Shoshone Pt! Huzzah!
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Canyon Freak Adventures!
May 21 2016
ddgrunning
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 230
 Photos 4,513
 Triplogs 378

50 male
 Joined Apr 13 2011
 Gilbert, AZ
South Kaibab-Bright Angel Loop, AZ 
South Kaibab-Bright Angel Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar May 21 2016
ddgrunning
Hiking16.87 Miles 5,777 AEG
Hiking16.87 Miles   9 Hrs   9 Mns   2.36 mph
5,777 ft AEG   2 Hrs   1 Min Break
 
This trip served many purposes: (1) an end-of-the-school-year/start of summer trip for my younger kids; (2) a fitness test for our upcoming backpacking trip on the Inca Trail in Peru next month ( :y: ); (3) one more trip on our National Parks pass before it expires; (4) a chance to get my 21-year-old daughter below the rim to the Colorado (the last of our 5 to do so); and, perhaps most important, (5) a chance to meet the guy she has been dating and "audition" him for the role of boyfriend (and perhaps something more) :lol: :kf: . I can't think of a better way to get to know someone than spending 8-9 hours with them on the trail in one of the seven natural wonders of the world. :D

So, I took Friday off work and we headed out early from Phoenix. We planned two stops along the way--an exploration of the Slate Lakes Lava Cave, as well as a quick trip to Red Mountain. Both ended up being fun side adventures, for which I wrote up separate, brief triplogs.

After our side trips, we dropped by the Ten-X campground south of Tusayan, where we would camp for the night, and scoped out our spot. Then, we headed into the park and out to the Desert View Watchtower, where we would meet up with my daughter and her boyfriend, who were driving down from southern Utah.

I had never been to the Watchtower before. It's a pretty impressive structure, as were the views. As for presumptive boyfriend, he greeted me with a handshake, but hugs all around for my wife and other kiddos. :-k

After Desert View, we stopped at Lipan and Grandview points on our way back. I let boyfriend lead on the drive, and we all took bets in our car how fast he would drive. Would he go the speed limit? I placed my bet on 5 mph over--enough not to be an annoying stickler, but not so fast as to leave the impression he couldn't be trusted with my daughter's safety. My prediction played out--50 in a 45mph. :lol:

After enjoying the views, which were slightly hazy due to some control burns and perhaps the wind whipping up dust, we made our way over to the Backcountry Office, where we parked boyfriend's car. He and my daughter then piled into our Suburban and we headed back to the Ten-X campground.

We set up tents, and my 13-yo son was a good sport to volunteer to be BF's tent mate for the night. We enjoyed dinner, s'mores, and conversation around the campfire, as the full moon rose over the campground. Encouragingly, BF seemed to have a good sense of humor and reasonable intelligence.

After a pleasant night's sleep, we broke camp and were on the road by 7 am. Parked in the Visitor's Center parking lot, took the shuttle to the South Kaibab TH, and hit the trail shortly after 8 am. I had been down SK on a couple of other occasions on the first leg of a R2R, but had always begun before daylight. So, I was looking forward to seeing something more than a sign at "Ooh Ahh" point other than pitch darkness. Ironically, the sign was missing at the point, but the views weren't ;) .

The descent was steep but beautiful. The only downside was the volume of hikers on the trail (on my early morning R2R trips, I typically see only one or two other hikers before Phantom Ranch). I think my favorite views along SK are just below Tip Off, where the the River first comes into view and you have that sweeping trail view of the dark red/magenta rock leading down into the inner canyon. :y:

The river was running green and beautiful. We crossed the black bridge and headed over to the BA bathroom where we filled up on water; the girls enjoyed flush toilets; and we wandered up Bright Angel Creek, where we cooled our feet off in the creek, while enjoying lunch in the shade of the cottonwoods.

After lunch, we headed over the Silver Bridge, after which my youngest son and daughter (13 and 12) decided we were not moving along fast enough and took off. We didn't see them again till the top (they beat us by well over an hour).

Pipe Creek was running stronger than I had previously seen, and the BA drainage was quite lush and green.

I decided to take the old Devil's Corkscrew up Old BA, just to shake things up a bit. BF manned up and decided to come with me. I enjoyed the diversion. We rejoined the "new" trail where it intersected with Old BA. I've wanted to take Old BA all the way up to Tonto, but I was torn by the desire to explore the cascades of Garden Creek, off to the side of the "new" trail, as it rounds the prominence and circles back towards Indian Gardens. The latter option won out, and my oldest and BF joined me in the short side-trip down to the cascades. The water was running strong and the several "jacuzzi" pools proved irresistable. I tried each of them out for good measure and was very much refreshed. Meanwhile, BF and my daughter laughed at my enthusiasm and chased down lizards on the surrounding rocks.

The three of us caught up with my wife and third daughter at Indian Gardens. The approach to IG was again lush and green. There were a ton of hikers milling around IG and I found out later from my two youngest that, while they were there, the wind broke loose a large branch from the cottonwood tree that stands next to the water fountain and came crashing down on the fountain. Luckily, no one was injured.

The rest of the hike out was uneventful, though I'm always amazed at how long those last couple of miles seem ....

We topped out to the applause of our two youngest and then it was over to the Mather campground for showers and back to Maswick Lodge for dinner.

BF proved himself to be a strong hiker, enjoyable company, and basically a nice guy. And even though he's still clearly out of his league, and despite a semi-awkward "bro-hug" as we parted :stop: , I guess I'll let this relationship continue for now (... as if I had a choice :-$ ). After all, my wife and father-in-law took a pretty big chance on me 24 years ago ;) , so I guess the least I can do is pass that chance onto the next generation of basically nice guys.
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1 archive
Sep 11 2015
Hippy
avatar

 Guides 8
 Routes 4
 Photos 1,834
 Triplogs 643

35 female
 Joined Dec 02 2009
 Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon Corridor LoopNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 11 2015
Hippy
Hiking47.00 Miles 5,975 AEG
Hiking47.00 Miles   36 Hrs      1.31 mph
5,975 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Rim to Rim to Rim
SK to skeleton PT, down old Miners to the Tonto platform, down the kickass tapeats break to the river trail, across black bridge to Phantom, lemonade, down to the silver bridge, up and over "the kiva route" to the lower section of Utah Flats Route, back to Phantom, more lemonade, up NK to the rim, 4 hour nap, down NK to Cottonwood, 2 hour nap, no lemonade :( , down to Ribbon Falls, back to Phantom Ranch, still no lemonade!! It's dark, they're closed...on we March... Cross silver bridge, up old corkscrew, cross new BA at granite pools, up old BA to the Tonto, sneak into Indian Gardens, nap 2 hours? near Creek, up BA to Kolb Seep, left trail on "Kolb Route", intersect Upper Old BA aka Cameron Route, emerge just east of upper tunnel, quazi nap right there, crawl to original Trailhead beside Kolb Studio... No margaritas... Taxi took forever to get us home.

Sleeping for the next three weeks...except work at 8am tomorrow.... Meeehhhhhh
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Canyon Freak Adventures!
Mar 16 2015
Dave1
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 Routes 29
 Photos 1,548
 Triplogs 1,802

45 male
 Joined Jan 25 2009
 Phoenix, AZ
Bright Angel TrailNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 16 2015
Dave1
Hiking21.50 Miles 6,300 AEG
Hiking21.50 Miles   8 Hrs   30 Mns   2.53 mph
6,300 ft AEG
 
I had a few things I wanted to check out in and around the Bright Angel area and wanted to get back to the canyon before it got too hot. Headed down BA at about 10am. It was pretty crowded near the top as expected. Not much ice left, maybe about 200 yards or so within the first 2 switchbacks but its covered with dirt. I wore bald sneakers with no traction device and didn't have any problems.

At the bottom of the corkscrew I walked up Pipe Creek about 1/2 mile until I was stopped by a waterfall. Went back to the junction and then picked up the Old Bright Angel Trail which starts just west of where the current trail crosses Pipe Creek (at the bottom of the 'screw). Took this up to the current trail, crossed over and then up to the Tonto Trail. Both of these sections of OBA are still in good shape and are easy to follow. This was my first time doing the lower section.

Took the Tonto east to Pipe Creek again and then boulder-hopped up Pipe until I was stopped by the Redwall. Did some investigating of the Redwall and Muav layers for Tse-An-Sha Cave but didn't find anything. Along the Tonto I spotted a big tailing pipe a few hundred yards off trail. Found a good-sized mine at the top of the pile. Lots of mouse droppings inside so I didn't go in. Plus it's illegal. Headed out via Tonto to Bright Angel. Not nearly as many people in the evening. Finished with a Navajo Taco at Maswik.

2 liters
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Oct 17 2014
tibber
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 Guides 21
 Routes 589
 Photos 29,546
 Triplogs 1,150

66 female
 Joined Feb 26 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Ruins near Indian Gardens and Old Bright, AZ 
Ruins near Indian Gardens and Old Bright, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Oct 17 2014
tibber
Hiking3.13 Miles 961 AEG
Hiking3.13 Miles   3 Hrs      1.25 mph
961 ft AEG      30 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners partners
clydekilgore
I posted on FB a picture of Plateau Point letting folks know I was going to be returning to the GC. John9L posted a comment about some Indian Ruins. Clyde was interested so I did some Rx online and found info about the Ruins and also contacted John9L via HAZ who was able to put a route together for Clyde to follow. Yes I know Chumley, I gotta work on following a GPS route by myself one of these days :whistle: .

So Friday AM after a leisurely breakfast, all but one of our group would be going to Phantom Ranch while Clyde and I would be 'sploring. Clyde had an idea where both sets of Ruins were from previous GC trips but he was excited to actually get to them this time. It was a slightly overcast day as we headed on down the Bright Angel Trail. There was the usual traffic coming and going. I enjoyed going up thru this Tapeats section in 2010 and I enjoyed it as we went down :D .

At about a mile down the trail from Indian Garden, we found the crossover point. But first we'd have to find a place to get over the creek. We found an option B just a tad up creek and crossed there and then up to where there is an actual trail :DANCE: . Wow, how lucky is that?! We wound up and around and thru some brush and large rocks where we topped out by a boulder with a "protect this site" sign. This and the other site are considered Class II:
Class II sites are more fragile and vulnerable to visitor impacts than Class I sites.

Proceeding east and past the rock you will soon come upon the beginning of the Garden Creek Ruins including a few granaries and remains of old structures. As you continue walking along you will see the last room with a great view of Zoroaster. We continued down around the corner and then over to look at the trail below us and the hill that is on the other side of the trail. The previous nite we thot we spotted a trail on top of that. We also noticed a former waterfall far to the SE though it was dry now. Not seeing any other evidence of ruins we decided to head back. I took some more video and pictures.

As we headed down the hill we saw the Phantom group across the way. We waved and then got distracted by a little waterfall. We found the area we had crossed before and were back on the BA trail. While up at the other ruins, we spotted the trail that would take us to the next set. We tried to eye where we would need to go up to catch the trail (on the right "south").

So you walk down the trail just a bit more before you head straight up to catch this other trail. You can somewhat see the trail altho we went up a bit too soon so if you're following our route, go just a tad further. We would meet up with that trail and start heading to the NE. Clyde spotted a deer :) so I grabbed a pic and I think some movie but I don't remember. I always feel the deer look so scrawny in the canyon.

Anyway you continue up and eventually round the corner and up some more. As we topped out we spotted the Old BA trail coming off the current Devil's Corkscrew. We would be joining up with that at a confluence of drainages a little later. In the distance you can just start to make out a granary. As we get closer we can see a couple rooms. One of them had been smashed by a rock :o . According to Clyde, this wasn't even the main event of the ruins on this side so it was a bonus item. Once again, past one of the upper granaries was a spectacular view to the NE.

We continued on to see what the next ruins would look like. These Bright Angel Wash Ruins had a cool cave with a granary above the rooms. Happy at our success in finding all the ruins we were now faced with the task of getting down from here. Near as Clyde could tell we needed to contour our way to the wash straight below :pray: . Well that was one :pk: of a lot harder than it even looked; though "doable" as johnr1 would say. It was slippery with many objects to have to negotiate. I did spot some arrowheads that had been left on a rock so I had to stop and admire those. So straight down it was for the most part but we both eventually made it.

We had a little break here thinking how alone we were in this very Grand Canyon next to that very busy trail on the other side of us. The weather couldn't have been better and the scenery was :worthy: . What a fun morning this was.

Now to figure out where the Old BA was from here. In the wash there wasn't a trail though I could see some sort of area that looked like you could hike up that south wash but we knew the trail was up this east/westish drainage and near the telephone poles. We got up on the hill a bit and I spotted the trail. We stayed on it and continued up and then back down into the drainage. Couldn't really spot an area to go across but the alternatives of just going across now, rather than up the drainage, seemed the best option. We once again hooked up with the trail such as it was.

We continued up the rocky trail being ever mindful of all the little switchbacks. We would also see the little telephone poles a couple more times. It would seem the trail ended but if you opened your eyes wider ;) , you could see a little crook of a trail and proceed. This would happen a couple times. Clyde says he ran into trouble last time cuz he missed one of these switchbacks. I found the going though a hard traverse, not too bad as we ascended up to the plateau. And then we saw the Tonto across the way.

Eventually and about 325 elev gain and 20 minutes later we get to the real eye candy of our journey as we are now on top of the plateau with 360 views :y: that just blew me away. It was hard to decide what to photograph so I did a 360 of photos :gun: ; just seemed easier that way so I wouldn't have to choose what I thot would be the best shot. In a little bit we would hook up with Tonto East but let me tell you, it would be very difficult to find that route in from the Tonto. You just have to be mindful as you are hiking up the Tonto that when you see the triangle of rocks (there are none previous), to veer left and head toward Zoraoster. The trail looks like the rest of the landscape at this point.

As we made our way back to Indian Gardens, we passed by the mules that were parked there for their morning break. The rest of the day was certainly one of leisure as I read, had lunch, tried to remember how to play solitaire and read the book on GC Trivia that was in the Indian Gardens Ammo can library. Was surprised it took me two tries to remember how to set up the cards for solitaire. I took a walk around the gardens and did a little exploring too. I was a little sore, well my calves were, from the trek down so I tried to keep them somewhat limber.

Our crew came up from their great time at Phantom Ranch around 4. A few of them took a swim in Garden Creek as well. 3 of them hiked right past us at camp as they missed the turn :lol: . We all had supper and did our best to finish up everyone's food and beverages before retiring for the nite and that dreaded hike up the BA Trail.

Here is video from our exploring this day:
Garden Creek Ruins - http://youtu.be/FHTFHON2Nqc
Bright Angel Wash Ruins - http://youtu.be/YWHB-2_NiW8
Old Bright Angel Trail - http://youtu.be/4V1jpMBl6xc
Fauna
Fauna
Mule Deer
_____________________
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.
May 29 2014
Hippy
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 Guides 8
 Routes 4
 Photos 1,834
 Triplogs 643

35 female
 Joined Dec 02 2009
 Grand Canyon
Bright Angel TrailNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar May 29 2014
Hippy
Hiking20.00 Miles 4,400 AEG
Hiking20.00 Miles   9 Hrs      2.22 mph
4,400 ft AEG
 
Partners none no partners
Tuesday bike tour had a family of 5 with 3 kiddos, they hiked down SK camped at BAC then hiked out BA on Thursday morn with my help.

I met them down there as a moonlight guide of sorts. Awesome day!
Took them 9 hours to hike up. Took me 2 to hike down. Auugghhh but at least they felt safer and more comfortable with me there. They bought me a root beer float and paid for my ride to Phoenix. Such an awesome day, those kids ( ages 12,10 & 8 ) were troopers!!!! :D
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Canyon Freak Adventures!
May 19 2014
Hippy
avatar

 Guides 8
 Routes 4
 Photos 1,834
 Triplogs 643

35 female
 Joined Dec 02 2009
 Grand Canyon
Bright Angel TrailNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar May 19 2014
Hippy
Hiking20.00 Miles 4,400 AEG
Hiking20.00 Miles   9 Hrs      2.22 mph
4,400 ft AEG
 
Partners none no partners
Got back to Phantom finally!!
Its hot...flat out warm! Its reaching three digits easily at noon by the river


AND I LOVE IT!!!

so glad to get down to see the Phantom crew too! They asked, as usual, if I had whiskey...

I took BA down to IG, filled up my water then headed east on the Tonto to Old BA I opted to follow the entire route down to Pipe Creek.

Looking up at the Garden Creek fall it really made me want to rappel again!! With 50° water and 100° rocks this MIGHT finally be possible.
Schedules are changing in the next week or so, I'll be getting my Friday, Saturday, Sundays off, Whoo!

Anyone interested in rapping GC with me and some of the BAB crew? :D
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Canyon Freak Adventures!
May 18 2014
friendofThundergod
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 Guides 28
 Routes 314
 Photos 9,094
 Triplogs 866

39 male
 Joined Jan 21 2013
 AZ
Phantom Canyon - LowerNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Backpack avatar May 18 2014
friendofThundergod
Backpack28.00 Miles 7,800 AEG
Backpack28.00 Miles2 Days         
7,800 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
A pretty standard intro to the Grand Canyon courtesy of 9L. My previous experiences in the canyon had only been your standard rim to rim to rim marathons and a few other longer day hikes. We left Happy Valley road exit around 5:50 which sealed a very late canyon start time on what would eventually shape out to be a pretty warm day but a great day overall and eventually an excellent first trip to the canyon.

We were boots on ground at South Kaibab TH after 9:30 and making our way to the rim and down by about 9:45 in the morning. The hike down was quick and a little warm, but pretty standard. John gave a detailed description of each layer of earth, pointed out a few lesser known routes and introduced me to terms, like, red walls, the whites, and all the colorful names attached to all those temples and massive rock features, like, Isis, Zoraster, Brhma and Cheops. Seeing some of those land forms that a select few crazy HAZers have been scaling lately, really put into perspective the magnitude of those hikes.

Phantom Ranch, was well Phantom Ranch the usual assortment of legitimate hikers and backpackers mixed among those who had hiked down with a bottle of Aquafina to their well stocked cabins for the weekend, and the steady stream of rim runners of course. We took an extended break at the ranch and then made our way up the spur/use trail leading to Utah Flats.

Utah Flats was very warm, in fact, someone at ranch claimed 107 degrees, but I cant confirm. I was by no means falling out at this point, but I was certainly pretty fatigued as we snaked our way along the top of the Phantom Canyon drainage, until the point where we would drop in.

After finally reaching Phantom Canyon, the day got exponentially better. There were no people, we had a pristine spot, there was time for rest and relaxation and John was able to address some "safety concerns" we had had earlier in the day.

I know to the canyon enthusiast and hardened veterans our day two itinerary was nothing earth shattering. However, I can honestly say it was one of my more fulfilling hikes in a long time, and for me really nothing short of spectacular. Phantom Canyon was a blast, the pools of water started off freezing, but were welcomed by the end, we were able to keep all essential items dry, the canyon was beautiful and although short, it really proved to be a quite the gem overall.

I am not going to lie, I had a lot of anxiety for some reason about the climb out after our little canyoneering experience, however, it proved to be pretty tame. We hit up a section of the Old Bright Angel and John took me to a couple of ruin sites along the way, was very happy to mark my first two ruin's sites in the canyon. We left Indian Garden(s) near 2:30 and had to make sure we did not take too much time the rest of the way, as our last stop on trip would be and introduction to the B.C.O before closing time at five.

We ended up doing the final 4.5 miles in about two hours on the dot and were easily able to make it to the B.C.O where I obtained my first back country permit for the Grand Canyon, Nothing too crazy, just a little five day jaunt through some outer corridor areas during the first week of June, which I am already looking very forward to.

Interesting Side Notes:

John holds his camera three feet above his head even when he is going through ankle deep water, he says to minimize splash damage.

All the people are kind of annoying on the Bright Angel, however, I found feeding off the misery of others as they crawled out was great motivation and even fueled me to a certain degree.

Finally, there is no greater satisfaction then passing (with full pack) a group of famed ultra runners completing, but certainly struggling to complete a mere rim to rim.

Disclaimer: AEG needs some work, waiting on John's finally tally, my G.P.S. decided to bounce off a couple points in northern Utah I think.

Warning: I don't want to hear one pumpkin comment from Chumley about the length of my photo-set, it was an awesome trip and my first time over night in canyon so its allowed!
Fauna
Fauna
Canyon Tree Frog
Culture
Culture
Campsite
Named place
Named place
Phantom Canyon Phantom Creek
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2 archives
May 17 2014
John9L
avatar

 Guides 6
 Routes 174
 Photos 5,294
 Triplogs 1,639

male
 Joined Mar 12 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Phantom Canyon - LowerNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Backpack avatar May 17 2014
John9L
Backpack28.00 Miles 7,800 AEG
Backpack28.00 Miles2 Days         
7,800 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Lee was interested in doing an overnighter in the Canyon and I was down. I recently saw the Phantom Canyon trip report from Dave and Toddak and figured it would make a perfect overnight option for us. I picked up the permits before my Tanner Trip a couple of weeks ago. We worked out the details and were on our way.

We left Phoenix on Saturday morning around 5:50am and drove up to the Canyon. We left a vehicle near the BA Trailhead and took a taxi ($12 plus tip) over to SK. We started down around 10am and cruised down taking very short breaks mostly to take pics and soak in the views. We arrived at Phantom Ranch and took a break where we hydrated and ate some food. From there we grinded up the Utah Flats Route starting around 1:40pm. It was hot! This was my first time on the route and it went really well. There is a full blown trail going up all the way to the top of Piano Alley. The trail disappears for a minute once things level off but we picked it back up again shortly afterward and followed that all the way down into Phantom Canyon.

We arrived in Phantom Canyon around 4:15pm to find the area deserted. The camp we used is right at the bottom of the trail. We settled in and got camp set up. Lee was using a tent and I was using my bivy. Afterward we took a quick walk over to the rope drop. It’s right around the corner from our camp. It looked fine and I looked forward to going down the next morning. From there we hiked about a mile up Upper Phantom Canyon. This is a really beautiful area and is very lush. I’d like to return another time with more time to explore the area. I really want to see Haunted Canyon and other areas. We returned to camp and filtered water with my sawyer mini and then had dinner. We both turned in fairly early. The long hike & heat really took a toll on us.

Sunday morning came and we both woke fairly early…6:30ish. We took our time in camp and got all of our gear situated. We had three dry bags. One large bag we borrowed from Chumley (Thanks Chums!) and two smaller bags. Lee took the large bag and I took the two smaller bags. We divided up our gear and then got packed. From there we walked over to the rope and got ourselves situated. Lee went down first while I took pics. After he was down I lowered our packs one at a time and included both of our cameras. Lee took pics as I descended. Going down the rope was very straightforward and a good rush!

Once in the creek bottom we started heading down canyon. We were greeted by two very short swims immediately after the rope drop in. The water was very chilly when we first jumped in. It was roughly 8am and it woke me up immediately! After that the canyon opens up and we proceeded down the creek. Most of the going is very easy. There were a few more swims as we descended. They were very short averaging 10-20 ft across. Nothing is overwhelming and we were having the time of our lives. About half way down canyon we noticed fresh footprints and then saw wet rock. A few minutes later we caught up to a group of three. They dropped in about halfway off some sketchy route that started from the “Antler Room”. I’ll have to see if I can find any info on this route. We chatted with them for a bit and then continued down canyon. There were a few more short swims along the way. Some can be bypassed and others are mandatory. I would guess we did six mandatory swims. They were all very short and easy. As we neared the end we ran into another group who were making a day hike up from Phantom Ranch. Finally near the end we ran into ranger Christie from the BCO. We recognized each other from my numerous trips to the BCO. It was cool seeing someone I knew down here. A few short minutes after that we walked out on the North Kaibab trail. Hell of a morning!

After we were back on official trail we cruised on down to Phantom Ranch and took a long break at the Canteena. We unpacked all of our gear and got it resituated. I was surprised how dry the contents of our packs were. I guess the short swims didn’t give the water enough time to really soak in. The dry bags really helped as well. After our long break, we started the hike up BA. Along the way we took a detour up Old BA where I showed Lee the ruins. We then cut over to the ruins below Plateau Point. From there it was the grind up BA. We were back on the rim around 4:20 and then over to the BCO. After that we made the ride back to Phoenix but made a quick stop at NiMarco’s in Flag for pizza and the golden bbq wings. Damn those wings are yum!

This was another solid trip into the Canyon! I loved Phantom Canyon and would definitely “hike” the route again. Thanks Lee for driving and good times backpacking with you!
Named place
Named place
Cheops Pyramid Isis Temple
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Apr 19 2014
Hippy
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 Guides 8
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 Triplogs 643

35 female
 Joined Dec 02 2009
 Grand Canyon
Bright Angel TrailNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 19 2014
Hippy
Hiking20.00 Miles 4,400 AEG
Hiking20.00 Miles   7 Hrs   50 Mns   2.55 mph
4,400 ft AEG
 
Partners none no partners
Day off!! Set off after a rude awakening by my roommates and bikes falling all over the house...

Not a soul on BA until 1.5 house, tons of peeps coming up from IG

Got rained and hailed on down by the river! The sun and clouds made the canyon colors seem even bolder than usual :D
Filled up my camelbak with lemonade thanks to the phantom crew :)

Three mule deer along Old BA, no people until IG again.

Perfect day to hike the canyon!!
Very chilly, windy on the rim.

So happy to be home!!!
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Canyon Freak Adventures!
Nov 24 2013
John9L
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 Guides 6
 Routes 174
 Photos 5,294
 Triplogs 1,639

male
 Joined Mar 12 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Old Bright Angel Trail - South RimNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 24 2013
John9L
Hiking16.31 Miles 4,400 AEG
Hiking16.31 Miles   5 Hrs   35 Mns   3.16 mph
4,400 ft AEG      25 Mns Break
 
no photosets
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
I drove Hippy back to the Canyon on Sunday morning. I planned on dropping her off and then hitting a few hikes on my way back to Phx like Red Butte and Red Mountain. After we arrived in the park there was a nice blanket of snow. Well the Canyon started calling so I changed plans and headed in!

I parked at the BA Trailhead and was shocked to see the Canyon socked in with a heavy fog. I would guess visibility at roughly 300 feet. It was thick! I started down and the trail was wet and muddy. I was glad I was wearing my heavy duty hiking boots. I cruised down and as I hit the Coconino I started to see views into the inner canyon and they were jaw dropping! I continued on and was beneath the fog by the bottom of the Coconino and I cruised on down to Indian Garden. IG was maybe half full and the rest area was vacant. I was surprised the water was turned off. There was a trail crew working on some trenches and it’s possible they had the water turned off for their work. I didn’t ask.

From IG I went east on the Tonto Trail and headed down Old Bright Angel. I wanted to get the entire GPS track all the way to the bottom of the Devils Corkscrew. I made quick work of the Old BA Trail and then decided to make the quick walk to the Colorado before making the hike out. I arrived to find the river a very heavy chocolate brown. Good luck filtering that slop! After a short break I started the hike out.

My return trip was very smooth. I followed the present day Bright Angel Trail all the way back to the rim. There were very few people on the trail and the weather was pleasant for late November. I took a break near three mile rest house and then hiked the rest of the way out. This was a nice afternoon in the Canyon! It never gets old!
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Oct 18 2013
Hippy
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 Guides 8
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 Triplogs 643

35 female
 Joined Dec 02 2009
 Grand Canyon
Bright Angel TrailNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 18 2013
Hippy
Hiking12.90 Miles 4,400 AEG
Hiking12.90 Miles
4,400 ft AEG
 
Partners none no partners
Woke up bright and early in the employee bunkhouse loft down at Phantom Ranch, not a soul in sight, 9am! I had to rush fill up my 3 liter camelback with my favorite drink of choice Phantom Ranch's "world famous Lemmy lemonade!" I estimated it would cost $8 so I left that amount with them in the tip jar, they're cool cats down there!

I rolled out of Phantom this morning at 10am and made it to the Plateau Point ruins at 10:55, I waited to see if Quadman would show up for about 40 minutes, no sign of him so I darted up to IG then out along the Tonto to the start of the Old BA, I headed down to the last of the top switchbacks and saw no sign of him so I headed back to IG. I thought I'd give him some more time to catch up so I headed out to Plateau Point, had some lunch and my last beer :D

No sign of Quadman so I headed up BA in hopes of hitting the rim before 2pm, I ran into 2 tourists that I recognized from Bright Angel Campground so we hiked out the last 3 miles together made it out by 2:30 and hit up the bar for my traditional Post-hike Margarita! Yummm!
Fauna
Fauna
Jumping Spider
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Canyon Freak Adventures!
Oct 12 2013
John9L
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 Guides 6
 Routes 174
 Photos 5,294
 Triplogs 1,639

male
 Joined Mar 12 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Bright Angel TrailNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 12 2013
John9L
Hiking20.00 Miles 4,400 AEG
Hiking20.00 Miles
4,400 ft AEG
 
Partners partners
Hippy
The Canyon reopened and Hippy needed a ride back. I agreed to take her and wanted to get a fun hike in. We left Phoenix on Saturday morning and arrived at the Canyon around 1pm. After a quick stop at the store and Hippy's apartment we started hiking around 1:45pm. Our plan was to day hike down to Phantom and back. It was going to be a lot but we were both up for it!

We cruised down the Bright Angel trail which had only a handful of hikers. As we descended there were fewer people. We both enjoyed the solitude. We topped off our water at IG and then hit the Tonto Trail where we connected onto the Old Bright Angel Trail. This is one of my favorites! We followed that down and then Hippy lead me on the portion below the Devils Corkscrew. This was my first time on this section and I loved it! The old trail is relatively easy to follow with some minor exposure. From there we connected onto the BA trail and cruised the rest of the way to Phantom.

We arrived at a very quiet Phantom Ranch. There were some people but not many. We went over to the Cantina but it was closed for dinner. Hippy went around back and harassed the cooks and scored some lemonade. Thanks Bob! After that we stopped by the trail crew bunk house for a quick chat. From there we started the hike out.

The hike out started with the dimming light and it was full blown dark by the time we started the Devils Corkscrew. We made slow and steady progress with light from the moon and then our headlamps. Before long we passed IG and started the final push to the rim. Our pace slowed as the temps and our energy dropped. We stopped at Mallory's Grotto on the hike out and then topped out on the rim around 10:30pm. This was quite the day! I really enjoyed this hike especially the night portion. Another great trip into the Canyon!
Fauna
Fauna
Red Spotted Toad
Culture
Culture
Grave - Identified
_____________________
Oct 12 2013
Hippy
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 Guides 8
 Routes 4
 Photos 1,834
 Triplogs 643

35 female
 Joined Dec 02 2009
 Grand Canyon
Bright Angel TrailNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 12 2013
Hippy
Hiking20.00 Miles 4,400 AEG
Hiking20.00 Miles   9 Hrs      2.22 mph
4,400 ft AEG
 
Partners partners
John9L
Friday night I was in Scottsdale flipping through the TV channels when I caught a quick sentence about reopening the GC after this ridiculous Government Shutdown...Naturally we waited half an hour to hear a 4 second blurb "Grand Canyon National Park will be reopening tomorrow morning at 8am and now in other news..."

:o :D :y:

I rushed out to spend my last evening with my daughter and my best friend Jen (who's Dad is being moved to hospice right now :( ) Tomorrow I'd be on my way to the Canyon, back home!! WHOO!!

at 1:15pm, 9L and I drove through the entry station, we stopped at my work for food and Gatorade then made a quick detour to my condo where I geared up, we were at BA Trailhead at 1:45pm.
Ranger Rick spotted me the second I leapt out of the Jeep and says "You hiking" I just laughed and said "Course I am!". Good to see my friends right off the bat like that.
Also just before the very first switchback below Kolb Studio a big bold Condor flew right over our heads so close we could hear it's wing rustling! :o THAT WAS TOTALLY WICKED!!

9L and I made amazing time down to Indian Garden, I think if I had Niko with me he'd write it out like this:

Start: 1:45pm
1.5 mi house: 2pm
3mi house 2:30pm
BA/Tonto East Junct 2:59pm

Anyway, we spotted maybe a handful of people heading UP as we trotted down, Indian Garden campground was D-E-A-D DEAD!! Not a soul, one person by the restrooms as we passed on through toward Tonto East.
We spotted one person heading up from Plateau Point and not a soul along the Tonto, we bounced down the Old Bright Angel (South Rim Edition obviously) and I lead the way, demonstrating how the upper section of the trail crosses the NEW BA and continues down into the OLD Devil's Corkscrew, I've described that trek before but it never gets old...or as Uncle Chums would say it only gets older :D

Made it to Phantom in just under 3 hours but the Canteen had already closed! Luckily I waved at someone inside and after a good catch up chat good old Bob snuck us out two ice cold Phantom Ranch Specials...LEMONADE!!!! I pretty much hike down to Phantom JUST for the lemonade, really, it's that good.

Bob and 9L chatted about Bob's Phantom job and such, think 9L is going to jump the city ship and go live in the Canyon! Crazy kid...who DOES that!

At 5:30, we turned our toes back toward the river and headed up at break neck pace, we made a quick stop just East of the BA Creek bridge and checked out the old gravesite, I'd honestly never seen it before!! Very neat, Rees Griffith's story is in the Death in The GC book if you haven't read about it before.

We startled up to mule deer at one point, spotted a smallish size owl with HUGE orange eyes somewhere in the tapeats below IG, it's big shining eyes followed us for a while, I love the canyon night life. One person was camped at IG by the time we pranced through.
"Oh look, a person!"
"Hi person"

9L informed me just before we left Phantom that he'd never really hiked OUT of the Canyon at night before, so we spent a good chunk of time hiking by the semi-moon light, once at the tip top of Bright Angel I took him up to Mallory's Grotto and we left the trail "the back way", made it to the jeep at exactly 10:40pm and cranked the heat in that sucker like there was no tomorrow!!

This being my first "cold hike" of the season taught me a LOT, I need some sort of cold weather, moisture wicking sweater, any suggestions? I have a green fleece type thing that was drenched with sweat once I topped out Jacob's Ladder, I was sweating so bad and was so hot I had to shed my fleecey and my beanie. I had on a sweet moisture wicking tank top underneath so I wasn't drenched luckily, it was chilly and windy. By chilly I mean 60 at Indian Garden and 40 on the rim with a KILLER wind.

So begins my first winter living at the Grand Canyon, wish me luck!!! :D SO glad to be home and working again!
Named place
Named place
Zoroaster Temple
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Canyon Freak Adventures!
Sep 27 2013
Hippy
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 Guides 8
 Routes 4
 Photos 1,834
 Triplogs 643

35 female
 Joined Dec 02 2009
 Grand Canyon
Old BA & Miners Route & Skeleton Pt Rt, AZ 
Old BA & Miners Route & Skeleton Pt Rt, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Sep 27 2013
Hippy
Hiking17.31 Miles 5,386 AEG
Hiking17.31 Miles   9 Hrs   55 Mns   1.75 mph
5,386 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Second attempt at Miner's Route was successful!! :wlift: : rambo : :y:

First time I tried to go up Lower Miner's it was :pk: HOT and I was alone and not nearly as insane...er strong as I am currently. It seems I'm in the midst of some sort of hiking tear and I'm REALLY enjoying it!!

I grabbed my buddy Erin (I knew she could physically do this and with me in the lead I knew she'd be OK) and we hopped down BA ran in to TONS of Canyon friends, David Cassidy a hiker/guide friend of mine was finishing up a 9 person group of R2R-ers, Ranger Betsy on patrol, 3 guys from Florida heading up from IG, some random guy from Dallas heading down to find his mom, a sweet couple from Cali who we rented sleeping bags to at work, another random guy from O-H-I-O ](*,), and Mule Rancher Derryl,

Once we hit Indian Garden we realized that Mule Rancher Derryl was on his way down with a mule tour! Nooooo! Erin and I took off down the trail until we reached the Tonto where we heard Derryl say "If you look to your right you'll see my friend Haley heading across the Tonto Trail we probably won't see her again for a few days" :lol:

We trotted along at great speed along the Tonto until I realized I passed the "entrance" to the OLD BA trail, I just found it a few weeks ago with 9L so I wanted to take it! We made it down Old BA in what felt like seconds, but the mule group had caught up! I pointed out to Erin how the Old BA crosses and instantly heads down the OLD Devil's Corkscrew, you can't take the Old BA and NOT take the Old Corkscrew!!!
Again Mule Rancher Derryl said out loud "There she is again, Haley I wouldn't suggest going offtrail there" then he continued on to say "You'll see where they're walking is the Old trail that was used..." and then Erin and I were off on a scree filled adventure down the old corkscrew! : rambo : It's very easy to follow until the last 20 feet or so where it more or less vanishes, no matter, just go with it!

We continued down BA and hit the River trail where I pointed out our route to Erin then we ran off to Phantom for Lemonade ( :DANCE: ) and to introduce Erin to my trail crew friends and some friends that work at the Canteen, along the way a group asked us our itinerary so we told them...the word "Badass" was haphazardly tossed around multiple times, if only they knew what an understatement that feels like after having finished this fun little trek.


Ok so heading up the Miner's Route you will see a "route" of sorts...but really just go what feels right for you, I stuck to the Vishnu and Zoroaster "stairs" it was easy to dart up and not as "scree-ee" after a few minutes I realized I had officially climbed higher than my last trek, score! I waved Erin over my way and going was much easier for her, after that she dogged my steps and we had a grand old time.

There are two neat little saddles that are great to break at and enjoy the views, holy beans the entire Canyon SINGS to you from these vantage points!! I did step off the trail at one point, it went up a few feet further than I thought, it was so faint it was hard to follow it in some spots but I knew the way I was facing was wrong so we looked around, Erin called out "maybe it goes up?!" I looked ahead into the sun and spotted the trail uphill, duh Hippy!!

UP, UP, UP!!! My calves wouldn't be too happy with me if they hadn't been put through so much torture the past few months!
Eventually you reach a perfect saddle and the break in the Tapeats looms ahead, you reach it within minutes of leaving the saddle and from there just go up up up some more! The Miner's Cairn greets you at the top of the Tapeats and from there you just follow the uh..."trail" right into the Tonto...I have NEVER been so happy to run into the Tonto before!!

We followed the Tonto west until I found the "ridge" of Bright Angel Shale that heads up toward the break in the Red Wall known as Skeleton Point Route or Upper Miner's. 9L had suggested it would be easier to stick to the BA Shale ridge that goes up just to the right of the "wash" that runs down from the Break, we did just this, the going was not easy but not TOO hard, just hard on the lungs, phew!!

We spooked four pretty mule deer as we reached the Muav layer, I kept us on the big slabs of rock and the climb was much easier that way. Once we reached the bottom of the Redwall I kept heading up, it seemed logical at the time but once we reached the wall itself I KNEW something wasn't right, I had Erin wait by the wash while I inspected a climb to the right...this couldn't be right 9L would never doing something as ridiculous as this!!! And it didn't match everything I'd memorized...okay I'll try to the left, Erin came with me, we checked out another easy climb...I use the term easy very loosely... :scared:

I checked the third and last possibility from where we were and I just knew it wasn't right so I whipped out my phone and checked out the photos of the break that 9L had taken, those didn't help so I turned off airplane mode and made a quick call...from the middle of the Redwall!
Coverage was spotty and the call dropped within seconds, so I hit redial and ended up talking to Chumley...yea that was a big help :lol: Thanks for the laugh Uncle Chums! I managed to get ahold of John again and I quickly realized that Erin and I had climbed up into the Redwall prematurely! So we spent the next 15 minutes crawling, and I DO mean crawling! down the "wash" about 50 feet until I found this "VERY obvious" game trail...FYI all the monsoons we've had have washed away any trace of this "OBVIOUS" trail for the first 15 feet, before Erin and I climbed down we spotted it from above, once you know where it is it's pretty obvious...
I'd say just stay on top of the Muav Cliffed out layer, there's a "route" that leads from the wash directly to the break in the Redwall, after that it's cake! You climb up up up some more, walk over a TON of bones (named Fred of course) and 5 minutes after the bone yard you are slapped in the face with South Kaibab and it's tame, soft sand and walled in trail...

I've never been so happy to walk on South Kaibab! Don't get me wrong I thoroughly enjoyed all the offtrail, it as fantastic and fun and Erin was a champ and didn't even get scared or anything when I took us too high up! It was A BLAST!! Yes, these routes are strenuous but only because you climb SO many feet in such tiny sections, its STEEP but boy is it fun!!
Oh and of course all of the crazy exposure...but if you're not comfortable with that I don't know why you'd be off trail in the first place!! :A1:

I'm very happy that I finally got to do this, and I'm even happier that I got Erin to join me! She was very excited about the offtrail and hasn't stopped thanking me for taking her...

Well...what's next?! : rambo :
Culture
Culture
Cairn
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Canyon Freak Adventures!
Sep 14 2013
John9L
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 Guides 6
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 Photos 5,294
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male
 Joined Mar 12 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Lone Pine Canyon Rt below Plateau Pt, AZ 
Lone Pine Canyon Rt below Plateau Pt, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Sep 14 2013
John9L
Hiking15.50 Miles 3,800 AEG
Hiking15.50 Miles
3,800 ft AEG
 
1st trip
The Canyon was calling so I met up with Hippy for a fun adventure. I've had my eye on this route for about a year now and she was down.

We started on the BA Trail and made the hike down. We stopped at Indian Garden to top off our water and grab a quick snack. From there we started the hike out toward Plateau Pt. We've both been to the point before so I led us west on the Tonto Trail. We were looking for the first and only accessible drainage between Plateau Pt and Horn Creek. It's a break in the Tapeats and is very obvious.

We turned off the Tonto Trail after about a quarter mile and went cross country into the mouth of Lone Pine Canyon. I've read in Tomasi's book that there is a single pine tree within the canyon. I didn't pay attention to see if there actually was one. The hike through the break is choked in with brush. A little scrambling and agility required but nothing overwhelming. There was a trickle of water flowing there with some tad poles swimming around. There were no signs of human foot prints but there has been lots of rain recently.

After a few minutes of fighting through Lone Pine Cn we emerged over the Colorado River to magnificent views! Horn Creek looms down canyon to the left while Zoroaster towers to the east. We both notice the route is heavily overgrown. There are some game trails but they're not much. We'll have to continue fighting our way east along the bottom of the Tapeats. Our going was slow and cautious. Besides all the loose rock and foliage we had to keep alert for rattlers. We didn't see any the whole day. This route turns into a scramble and fight mixed in with some smooth and relatively flat sections. There were lots of animal prints that ranged from Big Horn to possible Ringtail. No human prints. With much effort we reached the transcanyon pipeline. The pipe goes straight up the Tapeats roughly 200-300 ft. We continued and wrapped around Plateau Pt. There wasn't much trash and nothing of value.

After a lunch break we continued to the east side and could see the Bright Angel Trail and then Garden Creek. As we neared BA we found the set of ruins. There is a fantastic granary nestled back in an alcove. There were a few small ones elevated up in the Tapeats. These are pretty cool and very close to BA. While looking around I noticed a faint trail on the east side of BA directly across from us. This route leads to the Old BA Trail which I explored in March. I told Hippy there were a few more ruins over there so we made our way over. The route leaves right off the BA trail and only takes about five minutes to reach the ruins. They are interesting and worth seeing.

From the ruins we made our way up the Old BA Trail. We connected on the Tonto and took that back to BA. We stopped at Indian Garden and Hippy talked to some rangers about a Jr Ranger Patch. From there it was the steady hike up the BA Trail. We topped out on the rim around 6pm and went over to the jeep at the official BA trailhead parking. This parking area was new to me and it's literally right there. Thanks Hippy for pointing it out and awesome hiking out there!
Geology
Geology
Tapeats Sandstone
Named place
Named place
Sumner Butte Zoroaster Temple
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Sep 14 2013
Hippy
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 Guides 8
 Routes 4
 Photos 1,834
 Triplogs 643

35 female
 Joined Dec 02 2009
 Grand Canyon
Lone Pine Canyon Rt below Plateau Pt, AZ 
Lone Pine Canyon Rt below Plateau Pt, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Sep 14 2013
Hippy
Hiking15.50 Miles 3,800 AEG
Hiking15.50 Miles
3,800 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
This was one of those times when I was told to "do my homework" on a hike and totally didn't. oops! Good thing 9L knew what he was doing...more or less.

We hopped down Bright Angel, pit stopped at Indian Garden, I pointed out all the water damage from the last 2 or 3 HUGE storms we've had. The damage has been fixed up a tad for tourists but there's still a picnic table stuck against a tree with 6 inches of mud holding it in place...next storm it might end up further downstream :lol:

We headed down the trail that leads to Plateau Point but 9L wanted to get to our starting point via Tonto West rather than my idea of heading out to the Point and heading west along the rim (in all actuality either way works out the same!)

There are two drainages west of the point, the first one is really a sheer cliff that water spills over onto. There is no way down there, seeing it from below is fantastic! It's the second drainage you want, it tapers down straight into a perfect slot canyon type break in the Tapeats.

Making our way through the Tapeats was like being in a whole different world!! It's like nothing I have ever seen before, except maybe a few slot canyons up near Lee's Ferry, but they were dry and desolate. The tapeats was full of all sorts of trees and evidence of wildlife living deep in the crevices and pocket caves.

We had to hop over many a pool of water, quite a few were full of tadpoles. At one point I got down and went all Hippy on one of the pools inspecting the number of tadpoles, searching for food sources, toad eggs etc and I spooked the tiniest toad EVER...well it was roughly the size of my pinky fingernail!! I tried to get a picture but it snuck under the sandstone and disappeared.
The perfect habitat! Hidden from human invasion, safe from our pollution and construction. Please tread with caution in these areas, the Tapeats are a perfect environment for some sort of unknown creature to pop up someday! :D

Not long after my toad discovery, 9L and I popped our heads out just above the Colorado River, just above being roughly 1200 feet! The trees and bushes took over the cliff side, Zoroaster was the prominent vista to the East, the River dominated the views to the West with Horn Creek visible, what a sight.
Sometime later I recall we paused to watch a few rafters and a kayaker take on the rapids. What fun it must be in person!

There is a faint use trail that heads east along the Tapeats, over rocks, under trees, I think only once you were forced to walk under an overhang, of course if you take the path *I* took you'll end up climbing all over the walls, don't go that way, it's crazy (FUN!).

A little further on I took the hard route again and climbed up below the Transcanyon Pipeline, always cold to the touch! To think that this one giant pipe gives us all our water up here.
I think it pumps something like 127 million gallons a year from Roaring Springs to all the lodges, resthouses and Tusayan as well...that seems a small number considering we get 4 million visitors a year (at least 4 million people that PAY to get in :lol: )

Anyway, there are bolts beside the pipeline that i'm guessing workers clip into while working on the pipe itself, it climbs 300 feet up the Tapeats here, I can't imagine working on that cliff with 40+ year old bolts as my life line!

We continued on our route along the base of the Tapeats gradually wrapping around beneath Plateau Point, we saw only a tony bit of trash, I would guess all the packrats and ringtails get to a good amount of junk before any humans do. also can't imagine many humans make it out this way. you'd have to know there was somewhere to go in the first place!

On the east side of Plateau Pt the sun was beating down on us hard, I finally gave in and said we need a break in a few minutes...half an hour later we finally found some shade and had some lunch. I found a cute little cactus garden and watched the huge black ants climb up and down the cactus needles as I munched away at all the "Hippy Snacks" I had in my pack.

We wrapped around a bit further after our break, BA came into view and we walk right up to some lovely granaries. There are obvious footpaths leading right to the Granaries from BA trail but I'd never noticed them before! I asked my friends in Arc dept and the granaries there are Class 1 archeological sites, which means it's ok to visit them just don't touch.
They told me that these are their "sacrifice sites". As sad as that is it's probably a good thing to have such sacrifice areas to keep the general public from wandering around and destroying other amazing places.
With all that said these ruins are in pretty good shape!

9L spotted a faint trail across the creek and mentioned more ruins, he seemed hesitant for a second, as if I wouldn't want to hike more, pffft! So we darted across the trail, I memorized the faces and clothing of a few people we passed on the trail, then we turned off BA like we owned the place. In minutes we were being pelted by big fat raindrops but we kept going, spotted the Old BA ruins and we had the option to head back up new BA or take Old BA, as if there's any question.

We stayed on the west side of the Old BA ravine and switch backed down off trail until we were just below the Old trail in the bed of the creek. I found two huge boulders that made a tiny cave to crawl into and made a B line for it, 9L reluctantly followed and we climbed a short section and came out right on Old BA. Probably my favorite trail to be on. It's so silent and calm and "secret".

We stopped by IG and I suckered 9L into meeting the rangers with me. After grabbing our Jr Ranger booklets we headed up BA and home. We did pass 4 of the 6 people whose faces I'd memorized before we cut off trail again earlier, sweet!
Awesome adventure, beautiful scenery, thanks 9L for not wearing earplugs the WHOLE hike. :D
_____________________
Canyon Freak Adventures!
May 23 2013
Hippy
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 Guides 8
 Routes 4
 Photos 1,834
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35 female
 Joined Dec 02 2009
 Grand Canyon
Old Bright Angel Trail - South RimNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar May 23 2013
Hippy
Hiking19.45 Miles 5,447 AEG
Hiking19.45 Miles
5,447 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Partners none no partners
What a wild day, I had planned on some crazy 17 mile adventure but...well, it never ends the way I plan it to does it? :)

I popped down BA bright eyed and bushy tailed, it was extremely uneventful until I reached the Tonto....this was the first time I've taken the Tonto East from IG, whoo! I trotted along the Tonto until I reached the power line things then pranced down following them into a ravine on my left...apparently there use to be a trail here....uh huh, NPS did a great job covering it up, at least the first part of it that could be "seen" from the Tonto anyway.
Once you're about a Quarter mile down the ravine any doubt in your mind that you were in the wrong place will fly right out.

The Old Bright Angel Trail is still perky and jolly and quite easy to follow! I spotted the granaries on the sides and pretty sure I saw a Condor hanging out in the shadows but could have been a turkey vulture, hard to tell this time.

The Old BA follows down the ravine along beautiful granite of black and pink and sparkling gold on brown, oh my goodness it was astounding!!

I kept an eye out for the junction that 9L had photographed on his trip but what I found out was it seems he left the Old BA to the left and headed toward the "water" where his junction was....I kept heading toward the right and discovered that the Old BA actually leads directly across and over the New BA and right down the OLD Devil's Corkscrew....pretty nifty actually, it completely bypasses a switchback and takes you right down the Old Corkscrew ravine!

But I figured most people would find the direct exit on the right to be easier than going over the hill straight into the corkscrew so I photographed "my exit". :)

The OLD Devil's Corkscrew most definitely earned it's name!! It switchbacks multiple times, its tight, crazy steeeeep and loaded with washed out "scree steps" at one point the power lines (yes you're still following them!) are so low even this tiny little Hippy had to duck down to avoid them! (in the middle of a switchback no less!!)

I had waited to head down the Old corkscrew until the guy behind me caught up and headed down the current corkscrew...oddly enough we both ended up at the bottom not far off from the "prospector's cave" at approximately the same time...it was fun to finally try it out but I'll stick to the "New Screw" from now on! :)

Journey down to the Miner's Route starting point was uneventful, hot, but uneventful. I attempted to head up before refueling the water just to see what I was up against....50 feet up I realized how hot and tired I was and that I hadn't chosen the best "route" up, so I scrambled back down, rested under the big boulder and eyed my path again....made it an additional 50 feet this time then decided, shoot, I really do need to rest and refuel. So I scrambled and slipped and slid down and bounced off to Phantom Ranch.

The wind on Silver Bridge was so intense I was being ping-ponged between the rails!!
The lady at the Canteen was very nice, she let me nap in the corner, gave me free lemonade and offered me a job...after sending some shakily written postcards I decided that a THREE HOUR "rest" at Phantom was enough!

Back across the bridge with the wind whipping my hair around into dreadlocks and I found myself back at Miner's Route....ok...up! UP! UP! I made it roughly 150 feet up and to the left this time, it never levels out it just keeps going up with this same wicked incline....those Minder's must have been BUFF!
I found what I thought to be a secured and leveled rock and hopped up graceful as a lamb onto it, then slammed to my hands and knees as the big thing began to slide down the side of the "path" :o :pray: :pk:

I launched myself forward onto the next nearest boulder as my surfing rock slid to a halt a good 5 feet down, that's when I noticed I had happened to slam my shin into the same boulder, ugh!! I looked up along the route then back the way I'd came.

Heading back to BA seemed like my best bet, but I realized I couldn't get back down the Miner's Route with my 34L backpack...it was only about 16 lbs today but....ugh, my new backpack's first day on the trail and I had to give in and let her roll and bounced and slide and fly through the air 150 feet...good job Deuter, she survived!

As I watched the pack roll down I held back the thought of my body being in it's place... :sk:

So then I reached the bottom and pranced up....okay I HOBBLED up Bright Angel at super slow Touron pace...and reached Indian Gardens, eventually, then crawled to the creek to soak my throbbing shin....only to get the evil eye from a mule deer who had been approaching the water...Sorry!!!

I think I spent an hour at IG, I managed to get an amusing text or two in with 9L then I was off like a bat in a freezer, that might have been record breaking pace...for a snail.

Three Mile rest house finally loomed near and I spotted a guy that looked quite similar to my hiking buddy Joe, oh look it is Joe. We sat and chatted a bit then he spotted a blur rushing down the trail.... :o
You gotta see it to believe it...Caution: I dropped an F bomb, sorry!
http://youtu.be/yMDDHljEK7E

So I thought I was going to die....my hike flashed before my eyes and I imagined my gravestone "Death By Bighorn: And she caught it on video" :D

5 minutes later a nice guy comes skipping up the trail and asks how we are, I'm pretty sure the only thing he caught between the two of us was "Oh my gosh-whoa-it was so fast-there was a bighorn-and it ran-and whoa!" So we showed him the video and he says "Wow that was awesome you could totally post that on your Hikearizona.com"

That stopped me in my tracks, "You're on HAZ?!"
He smiles and replies "No, but I know you, you're The Hippy"

:lol:
Hopefully we'll be seeing Vic around here soon! He was a cool cat.

We said our goodbyes and about a mile and a half later Joe and I met up with good old Nikorock who came bearing a Kyle or two for me to drag my gimpy bum up the trail with, thaaaanks Niko!!

Joe and I switched on our party lights and we all laughed and joked and "raved" the night away....

Now it's time for bed...I have to hike in the morning you know. :zzz:
_____________________
Canyon Freak Adventures!
average hiking speed 2.1 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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