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Pipe Creek Canyon - 1 member in 7 triplogs has rated this an average 4 ( 1 to 5 best )
7 triplogs
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Oct 29 2022
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 Routes 4
 Photos 121
 Triplogs 29

female
 Joined Mar 26 2022
 Flagstaff, AZ
Pipe Creek CanyonNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 29 2022
shelby147Triplogs 29
Hiking16.50 Miles 5,600 AEG
Hiking16.50 Miles   9 Hrs      2.20 mph
5,600 ft AEG   1 Hour   30 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
My goal for this day was to hike down Bright Angel, walk up the bottom of Pipe creek and come up onto the tonto platform as described in the Tomasi book, and hike out South Kaibab via the Skeleton point route. It all went great until I reached the first cliff :lol:

I reached the chockstone at the bottom of Pipe creek and climbed the slope on the east side. I wasn't sure where to go around and back into the creekbed - there were at least three possible levels with faint sheep tracks. First I went to the very top. The slope was loose and I didn't love it. I looked around the corner and said "hell nah" - I assumed there'd be another slope but upon checking the book I was supposed to follow a "decomposing ledge". No ledges looked appealing anyway. I checked around the corner at two lower levels and also felt sufficiently cliffed out. Things definitely looked climable, but I'm not a climber. There was webbing above the chockstone and it looked so close. I followed a track back down to the creekbed and had an easier time descending than expected.

I was a bit bummed my plan didn't work out because now I had to either hike up crowded Bright Angel or all the way over to South Kaibab on Tonto. But I consoled myself by finding the base of the old devil's corkscrew and then following the old trail all the way up to Tonto. I only lost it at the very top where it crossed the wash. I thought this trail was still in great shape and much faster than the new one. I saw an interesting hollow at the base of the tapeats.

I took my time looking down on pipe creek from above. It's pretty cliffy at the head. I found a broken china plate. It's a good thing that pipe creek had good flow because otherwise I'd have had to return to Indian Garden anyway. It took an hour to ascend the slope and redwall break to Skeleton point. I came up just as some hikers were looking over the break and they just said "that was unexpected".

All in all, an enjoyable hike with some new ground. I'll have to go back to tag pipe creek another day.
Apr 08 2015
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 Photos 5
 Triplogs 25

male
 Joined May 25 2009
 flagstaff,az
Pipe Creek CanyonNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Apr 08 2015
markguycanTriplogs 25
Canyoneering2.90 Miles 900 AEG
Canyoneering2.90 Miles   3 Hrs   28 Mns   1.85 mph
900 ft AEG   1 Hour   54 Mns Break30 LBS Pack
Intermediate Canyoneering - Difficult or dangerous; Tech Climb; rope reqd; descent anchor; exit technical;
B - Up to light current; wading/swimming; possible wet/dry suit
II - Normally requires a half day
 no routes
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Stats from Tonto Trail drop in point down to Pipe Creek and Bright Angel Trail intersection.
Definitely a worthy adventure. 3 of 5 stars.
We did this as a warm up for Garden Creek which we did the following day.
Light stream flow makes it pleasantly moist in a very arid environment. lots of greenery and flowers.
Most of the anchors were in good condition.
The initial anchor "tree" described in Todd's guide is washed out and would barely be considered a shrub. I wouldn't trust it to tie my dog to.
Instead tie off some large boulders about 20ft back and extend the anchor to the pour off. This makes for a pleasant 100ft rap (60m rope worked fine).
This deposits you in an open stream bed, follow this for at least 0.5 miles til the next obstacle. Several down climbs and 3 more raps (longest is about 50ft) bring you to the Bright Angel trail. Here you could hoof it back up to the rim or decide to stay at Phantom Ranch/Bright Angel campground or walk back to Indian Garden campground which is recommended (all require permits/fees).
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Garden Creek Medium flow Medium flow
rushing and clear!

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Pipe Creek Light flow Light flow
minimal but clean
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Mar 22 2015
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 Routes 29
 Photos 1,548
 Triplogs 1,802

46 male
 Joined Jan 25 2009
 Phoenix, AZ
South Kaibab TrailNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 22 2015
Dave1Triplogs 1,802
Hiking14.09 Miles 3,400 AEG
Hiking14.09 Miles
3,400 ft AEG
 
Partners none no partners
Back to Pipe Canyon to explore, this time I stayed above the Redwall. I started out down the South Kaibab trail around noon and just after Buckey O'Neill Butte but before Skeleton Point I dropped down from the trail on the west side and scrambled down to the redwall. I contoured around Pipe Canyon to the head where I found a small cave which was marked on Harvey's map. The route here is pretty rough and along the way I had to climb over many large boulders. On one climb, as I was clinging to a chunk of rock with my left hand, supporting most of my weight, the chunk let go causing me to smash it into my knee at full force. Within about 30 minutes my knee had swelled up pretty good and was extremely painful to bend. With limited mobility, I had to decide whether to continue on to Bright Angel or exit back out the way I came and risk missing the last bus. I think I chose wrong. It ended up taking me more than 4 hours to get from the head of Pipe Creek to 3 mile Resthouse on the Bright Angel Trail, a distance of about 5 miles. It was maybe one of my most difficult hikes. Lots of ravines with loose rock to scrambled up and down with a bad knee and I ran out of light well before getting to BA. Along the way, I spotted the other cave from Harvey's map. I hiked out an empty Bright Angel trail in the dark.
 Named place
 Named place [ checklist ]
[ checklist ]  Pipe Creek
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2 archives
Mar 21 2014
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 Guides 8
 Routes 13
 Photos 1,323
 Triplogs 492

57 male
 Joined Nov 15 2005
 Jackson, CA
Pipe Creek CanyonNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Mar 21 2014
toddakTriplogs 492
Canyoneering15.00 Miles 4,600 AEG
Canyoneering15.00 Miles   11 Hrs      1.36 mph
4,600 ft AEG
Intermediate Canyoneering - Difficult or dangerous; Tech Climb; rope reqd; descent anchor; exit technical;
B - Up to light current; wading/swimming; possible wet/dry suit
IV - Long, full day, bivy possible
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Went back and did this canyon on a perfect Spring day. The pinch point anchor on the first rap had been rebuilt, I added a backup on the tree roots for good measure. Not sure how TM could only rate this canyon 2 stars, I thought it was excellent.
 Flora
 Flora [ checklist ]
[ checklist ]  Redbud Tree
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Mar 08 2014
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 Guides 8
 Routes 13
 Photos 1,323
 Triplogs 492

57 male
 Joined Nov 15 2005
 Jackson, CA
Pipe Creek CanyonNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Mar 08 2014
toddakTriplogs 492
Canyoneering13.00 Miles 3,500 AEG
Canyoneering13.00 Miles   8 Hrs      1.63 mph
3,500 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The anchor at the top of the east fork first rappel has been cut and removed, fairly recently based on HAZ triplogs from just 6 weeks ago. It looks like Todd Martin's original anchor using a cluster of small trees had been pretty well wiped out by flash flooding, although a few good roots remain intact. There was a short piece of 3/4" black tubular webbing quite a ways back from the drop that had apparently been used to set up a new anchor around a boulder pinch point, but it had been cut. Neither the tree roots or the pinch point are particularly good, but combining the two could work. But the pinch point is probably 20-25 feet back, and I didn't have enough webbing with me to engineer a decent setup. Too bad, still very nice flow down the falls. Got in a good workout hauling gear down and back up the Bright Angel anyway.
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Jan 25 2014
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 Guides 1
 Routes 3
 Photos 337
 Triplogs 311

38 male
 Joined May 31 2009
 Scottsdale,AZ
Pipe Creek CanyonNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Jan 25 2014
azflyguyTriplogs 311
Canyoneering15.00 Miles 4,600 AEG
Canyoneering15.00 Miles   10 Hrs      1.50 mph
4,600 ft AEG
Intermediate Canyoneering - Difficult or dangerous; Tech Climb; rope reqd; descent anchor; exit technical;
B - Up to light current; wading/swimming; possible wet/dry suit
IV - Long, full day, bivy possible
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Fun short canyon with a nice little flow.
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Jan 25 2014
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 Photos 353
 Triplogs 567

female
 Joined Jun 19 2009
 AZ
Pipe Creek CanyonNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Jan 25 2014
oceanwithinTriplogs 567
Canyoneering15.00 Miles 4,600 AEG
Canyoneering15.00 Miles
4,600 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Pipe Creek Canyon is one of the big gaping drop-offs you see far below when hiking down South Kaibab. It turned out to be an awesome canyon with some sweet mossy waterfall rappels and and relatively no downclimbing. It's as easy as it gets as far as technical descents go in the grand canyon, which is to say it's still a long and exhausting day. The Grand Canyon was pretty much a ghost town, we hardly saw anyone else except a few other hikers and backpackers even on the corridor trails. It was an awesome day with amazing views and it felt great to be back at one of the places I love the most!
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average hiking speed 1.71 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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