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Clear Creek Trail - GCNP - 32 members in 64 triplogs have rated this an average 4.5 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Sep 22 2019
richvosko
avatar

 Routes 25
 Triplogs 191

33 male
 Joined Apr 14 2019
 Tempe
Clear Creek Trail - GCNPNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 22 2019
richvosko
Hiking13.00 Miles 2,050 AEG
Hiking13.00 Miles
2,050 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Aug 09 2018
roaminghiker
avatar

 Routes 23
 Photos 521
 Triplogs 24

65 male
 Joined May 29 2013
 Oakland Gardens,
Clear Creek Trail - GCNPNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 09 2018
roaminghiker
Hiking7.30 Miles 1,682 AEG
Hiking7.30 Miles   5 Hrs      1.46 mph
1,682 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Clear Creek Trail provided me a gorgeous, dare say spectacular, morning hike.

Some background. My wife and I stayed two nights, three days at Phantom Ranch down in the Grand Canyon. On the middle day, my wife walked and relaxed amidst the scenery, and I took some modest hikes.

As temperatures were expected to exceed 100 degrees by afternoon, I set out early – a bit after our 5 am breakfast sitting – to travel in the cooler morning air. (Note, camera for photoset had East Coast time, 3 hours ahead.) I aimed first to cover a short section of North Kaibab, to the second bridge from Phantom Ranch, then to double back and catch Clear Creek, not far in, just until it rose onto the plateau in front of Sumner Point on Zoraster Temple. All in, maybe a total of 7 plus miles round trip, including both the North Kaibab and Clear Creek legs.

The hike did not disappoint – I was graced with amazing views.

First, North Kaibab. North Kaibab runs essentially flat on the section to the second bridge, and was covered in shade in the early morning. The going was easy, and the lower canyon walls towered up around me, as I took in the gnarled shapes, bulges and incursions created by the intense pressures that formed the ancient rock of those walls.

And for me, the lower rock walls exuded a powerful vertical thrust, as what I presume actually happened a couple billion years ago. Collisions of land masses flattened out rocks not horizontally, but vertically, and hot magma rose upward through any cracks.

In contrast to North Kaibab, Clear Creek does not run horizontally, at least at the start. The first mile or so involves a vertical gain, modest, of about 1200 feet. The trail runs somewhat rugged in places, but the grade remains moderate and consistent, and the switchbacks and climb readily navigated. After the climb at the start, the trail levels out, gaining just several hundred feet in elevation to my end point below Sumner Point.

Clear Creek offered long, deep vistas. As I walked along, great lengths of the lower canyon walls with their powerful vertical lines and interlaced colors stretched out in multiple directions. Soft green expanses of low vegetation on talus slopes offset and counterbalanced the power of the walls. The Colorado river poked into view at spots. The horizontal strata of the lower sedimentary layers of the canyon laid stacked atop the lower walls, with their horizontal lines creating a sharp contrast to the vertical thrusts of the lower walls. And in the far distance, above, the bands of rock under the south rim prodded through visible amidst the distant haze.

Then the in-your-face close-ups. The level section of Clear Creek I traversed ran along the boundary between the hardened lower walls and the first set of horizontal sedimentary layers. The solidified magma and metamorphosed rock of the lower walls, warped and twisted though they were, reached up as if columns of a roman building, to hold up the great horizontal lengths of red and orange sedimentary sandstone. And while the sedimentary sandstone originated far into the past, many hundreds of millions of years ago, the magma and rock supporting them overshadowed this sandstone in age, having originated over a billion years ago. The boundary between the two represented eons and eons of ancient rock gone.

Finally, I met a complete change of scene once up on the plateau. On the plateau, gone were the vertical and horizontal strata that had for the last stretches stood at essentially arms length away and towered dozens and hundreds of feet above. Now I stood on gently undulating ground, not unlike that on the trail to Plateau point, amidst low cactus and scrub. Visible now, though, its view no longer blocked by the walls, rising a thousand feet above, rose the front face of Sumner Point, itself despite its size just the forward wall of one arm of the gigantic Zoraster Temple.

I turned around here, but Clear Creek ran for many more miles, to reach, well, Clear Creek proper, and along the way to the creek, provide stunning views further up the Colorado and further around Zoraster Temple.
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1 archive
Mar 30 2018
arizona_water
avatar

 Guides 8
 Routes 114
 Photos 1,079
 Triplogs 117

29 male
 Joined Mar 06 2016
 Salt River Valle
Phantom Canyon - LowerNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Backpack avatar Mar 30 2018
arizona_water
Backpack33.07 Miles 11,961 AEG
Backpack33.07 Miles2 Days   6 Hrs   16 Mns   
11,961 ft AEG
 
1st trip
I have two friends who have never been to the Grand Canyon before. They wanted to go backpacking, so I put them on a six-person permit. Quite the intro to the Canyon and to backpacking... :lol:

Day 1
We left Phoenix at 5:15am, hoping to beat spring break/holiday weekend traffic at the south rim entrance gate. Fail. There were long lines of traffic when we pulled up at 9. This, and a long line for the shuttle bus put us on the South Kaibab 10:45, which was much later than I felt comfortable starting. The group had no issues until the Utah Flats route. I must have not done a good enough job of mentally preparing everyone for the second half of their day because they were quite surprised with the elevation gain. Piano Alley was cool, and we experienced some minor route finding in the cactus maze on the plateau before finding the easy-to-follow trail. We arrived at the established campsite at Phantom Creek at 6:40pm. I ran over to the webbing anchor to verify that the rope was solid and the anchor was in good shape. Returning to camp, I realized that my hopes of exploring up-canyon would have to wait for a future trip. What a nice place to sleep! The sounds of flowing water are hard to beat when it comes to nighttime noises.

Day 2
We easily down-climbed the 20ft rope into Phantom Creek Canyon and enjoyed the next 4+ miles of enticing creek hiking. This section was by far the highlight of trip, with narrows sections, waterfalls, and waterslides. We had 3 mandatory swims, but keep in mind that Phantom Creek appeared to be flowing at a lower rate than in previous photos on HAZ. This is likely due to a low snowpack on the rim.

The confluence of Phantom Creek and Bright Angel is amazing because it is uncommon to see a true triangle confluence in small riparian areas. We proceeded up the Clear Creek Trail to a campsite below Sumner Butte. I expected this to be a mediocre dry camp after the previous night's perfect campsite. However, the views were stunning and it was fun to look around and identify all the different points and temples. After sunset, we had a light show as headlights were flashing all around the canyon. I was surprised to see two lights coming down the Brahma Saddle. I was curious about their itinerary, but mostly jealous. :)

Day 3
It was an uneventful hike down to Phantom Ranch and out Bright Angel. We had three rangers stop and talk with us, asking if we approached Clear Creek trail from the Brahma Saddle side. I found this question a bit odd since approaching the Sumner Wash area from the north (departing from phantom creek canyon) would be a considerably difficult hike in one day. One of the rangers had talked with the two climbers who I saw the previous night, coming down from the Brahma Saddle. The ranger told me they were climbing Zoroaster, but in a single day from the SK. While I understand doing Brahma in a single day, the trad climbing up Zoroaster seems like a bit of an EXTRA long day... respect!

Overall, this trip had many high points and only one low point - I lost my sun hat. So if you see an Outdoor Research broad brim hat on the Clear Creek, let me know. ;)


water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Phantom Creek Medium flow Medium flow
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- there's nothing like finding Water in the Desert -
2 archives
Feb 22 2018
writelots
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 Guides 19
 Routes 39
 Photos 5,577
 Triplogs 337

46 female
 Joined Nov 22 2005
 Tucson, AZ
Clear Creek Trail - GCNPNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Backpack avatar Feb 22 2018
writelots
Backpack35.00 Miles 6,000 AEG
Backpack35.00 Miles4 Days         
6,000 ft AEG
 no routes
Partners none no partners
Trip in the snow and the sun - the canyon does give you everything it can! Pictures tell more story.
Culture
Culture
Throwing a Wendy
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3 archives
Feb 17 2018
friendofThunde
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 Guides 18
 Routes 280
 Photos 7,723
 Triplogs 716

37 male
 Joined Jan 21 2013
 AZ
Brahma TempleNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Backpack avatar Feb 17 2018
friendofThundergod
Backpack35.41 Miles 13,334 AEG
Backpack35.41 Miles3 Days         
13,334 ft AEG
 
Partners none no partners
So Brahma was the plan for this three day excursion into the Grand Canyon with @carriejane and Brahma it was! We had permits for two days in the area, one for the AJ9 use area and one for the AK9 use area. The original plan entailed camping at the top of the redwall break on the way to Brahma a summit in the morning and then camping at Sumner Wash on the second day. However, the prospect of carrying 8 liters of water up the redwall break on day one, may have lead to a liberal interpretation of Grand Canyon backcountry rules on the first night. Nevertheless, our summit attempt was a resounding success and it was one of my more memorable three day trips into the big ditch. I was very worried about how my surgically repaired right shoulder would handle a Brahma summit attempt less than two weeks after getting the green light for the resumption of full physical activities, but I learned that I can do a lot of things with one arm and Carrie pushing up on my butt. Speaking of learning things, we also learned that a Nalgene can survive a 50 feet fall through the redwall and that tents are best when staked during high winds and that the poles that come with the Fly Creek Platinum are very durable under stress.

Day one was a pretty standard and at times warm hike to Sumner Wash, where after filtering six liters of water we decided that a loose interpretation of the backcountry zones was a better option than lugging our heavy packs up through the redwall. Especially, with some worries about my shoulder as it was. After setting up camp, we did a little day hike further east down Clear Creek Trail and then returned for an amazing night in the shadow of Zoroaster.

Day two was a play it by ear day. The goal was to go as far as my shoulder could take us and to just enjoy the journey along the way. Thinking my shoulder would only take us as far as the redwall break, I told Carrie to pack enough snacks and water for a return around lunchtime. This turned out to only be a seven hour miscalculation, as the shoulder was feeling great. With every obstacle cleared, I began to feel more confident and our determination to reach the summit grew. The rope sections certainly proved difficult, but it can be done with one arm and a little nerves. Similarly, the short climbs and scrambles can be negated by a nice two handed push on one's bottom. The traverses and wind tested Carrie's nerves, but even they proved just minor obstacles in our quest for one of the Canyon's ultimate summit gems. There was a little route finding Snafu to contend with on the final scramble, but there was no way it was going to stop us at that point and we quickly got back on track. The summit finally became a reality by 2 p.m. There are not a lot of names in this register and someone had replaced the book about ten days ago, but I was pleased to see that my now barely discernible entry and ode to my old man was still there on some loose papers in the register. We knew we had a long day still ahead of us, so we turned around after only a few minutes on the summit. The way back was pretty uneventful aside from the wind, which had me looking back several times to see if Carrie was still attached to the earth. The tougher of the ropes proved to be a little difficult going down, but it did lead to one of my classic quotes of the day. When I told Carrie I needed her help at the bottom, she asked, "What do you want me to do?" I yelled down, "Just catch me if I fall!" She looked up a little dumbfounded at what I thought was a pretty reasonable request. Going back was a slog, we were both basically out of fuel to eat and water to drink, but we got back to camp sans headlamps (both of us had left ours in the tent) about ten minutes before dark, just how we had drawn it up.

We endured some of the worst and most sustained high winds I have ever encountered while backpacking Sunday night, but were still able to get a pretty early start Monday morning despite the nearly sleepless night. We later learned that those were most likely 40 plus mph winds that we were dealing with for about 12 straight hours. The hike out started off quick and then became a bit of a slog around the tip off point when some quarter inch sized hail began to pelt us, luckily this turned into some softer snow very quickly, but the high winds and white out conditions required us to draw on a little grit for the final three miles of the climb out. We were rewarded for our tough little climb out with the road closed and gated off right before the trailhead due to the snow and ice on the road. However, just as we were contemplating how we were ever going to get home with a gated off road now in front of us, a tow truck driver came and unlocked the gate for us and some other pretty anxious travelers. I was not even aware the forest service gated off that rim road during poor road condition events!

In the end, the second time proved to be a charm and I could not think of a better person to share that amazing summit with! It was team work the whole way, nothing came easy and it was always interesting!

The return route I posted to the track is just a leg of the official route for anyone examining route. I turned off Route Scout on our return from the summit to conserve my battery, so just used the official route for an estimation of stats.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Bright Angel Creek Medium flow Medium flow
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4 archives
Feb 01 2018
Hippy
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 Guides 7
 Routes 3
 Photos 1,749
 Triplogs 609

33 female
 Joined Dec 02 2009
 Grand Canyon
Nankoweap TrailNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Backpack avatar Feb 01 2018
Hippy
Backpack115.00 Miles 10,000 AEG
Backpack115.00 Miles13 Days         
10,000 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Wayne Ranney had this genius idea to hike from Nankoweap to Phantom Ranch.
So he set up a motley Crew that included myself, my other half Jamie, geologist Kory Kirchner, Ornithologist Bryan Brown and wildland trekking guide Louie Herron.

Jamie put together the itinerary. Seeing as we'd have two guys over 60 it was a pretty luxurious pace!!

Day 1: down Nankoweap camp at Nankoweap Creek.
Day 2: layover. Jamie, Louie and Kory summitted Nankoweap Mesa. Bryan and I filtered water and explored the area found some kickin' arch sites. Same camp.

Day 3: the beginning of "the Butte fault boogie" myself and the 3 boys summitted Nankoweap Butte. Camped In Kwagunt Creek, why Kwagunt? Why not?

Day 4: up, down, up, down then up again to camp on Awatubi or was it Malgosa saddle?
There are no trails out here. Not even deer or use paths. This is grand canyon proper.

Day 5: hike down carbon then over to "little lava" aka Lava Chuar. My dear friends KC & Clint packrafterd across the River and meet us at Lava-chuar from here on out we were a group of 7 instead of 5!
(They paid for the entire 13 day permit even though they were only with us after from today on, amazing friends!!)

Day 6: layover at Little lava also known as "Beaver Camp" due to the active little beavers across the river! They're huge, like bear Cubs!

Day 7: up lava Chuar. Camp below north rim.

Day 8: up and over Juno Saddle down into Unkar Creek. Camped on ledges near spring, reliable delicious water!

Day 9: rest of way down Unkar to Delta, head downstream to Rattlesnake camp, up to The Tabernacle summit then down west side to camp on Tapeats slickrock between Sheba and Solomon Temples (which only I found greatly amusing. You might want to look up the story of the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon hah)

Day 10: contour to some amazing places. I was tempted to camp in the only privately owned land inside Grand canyon national park...but we had a schedule to keep. Next time Messers Hance and Herst...next time! Camped tonight in Vishnu Creek with stunning view of Vishnu Temple! Awesome ledge camp developed by who I wonder...we may never know. Maybe Kenton Grua.

Day 11: contour. By this day we hated that word.

"To contour in Grand Canyon you must first go up, but to go up you must first go down. Only then may you achieve the enlightenment that is The Contour" -Haley Day 11.

Camped this night on Tapeats ledges above Clear Creek.

Day 12: started morning off with clouds and gorgeous sunrise, gingerly stepped down a beautiful Tapeats break, did brunch in group camp at Clear Creek camp (I've still never actually camped there haha) spent next 2.5 hours CONTOURING Clear Creek Trail to Phantom Ranch in the rain.
This rain was on and off and very warm with a very cold breeze. 5/7 of us camped tonight at Phantom Ranch in the covered groupsite! Kory and Louie shacked up with the Ranchers and let them shower haha no thanks, I wanted to wallow in my two week canyon filth as long as possible.

Day 13: regrouped with K and L, all 7 of us hiked out South Kaibab Trail. Snow at very tiptop. Tomorrow is Valentine's day and there will be snow on the rim. Absolutely perfect!

*Mileage and AEG is an absolute guess as I didn't bother tracking anything because I was having way too much fun out there.

I could go into more detail but this area of the canyon is so special to me and I believe you this extent it is my duty to keep locations of things a secret... but if you have any questions please ask!

The rocks are fantastic...

Did you know Karl Karlstrom is presenting new evidence that the 60 Mile Formation (rock layer) is actually much younger than they originally thought and it's being reclassified as a member of the TONTO GROUP?! That's amazing!!

Anyway, you may have done the math by now. Wayne Ranney could not join us, he had unfinished business elsewhere :( but he did do us off at Nankoweap Trailhead and we all got to have dinner and breakfast at Cliff Dwellers on Jan 31st.

Jamie and I are planning another trip that will get Wayne out to Trinity or maybe even 94 Mile Canyon for some more geology/Super group action! But that's another story.
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Canyon Freak Adventures!
1 archive
Dec 15 2017
bretinthewild
avatar

 Photos 246
 Triplogs 17

32 male
 Joined Apr 01 2018
 Phoenix, AZ
Clear Creek Trail - GCNPNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Backpack avatar Dec 15 2017
bretinthewild
Backpack16.80 Miles 3,364 AEG
Backpack16.80 Miles2 Days         
3,364 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Decided to take the side trip to Clear Creek during a 5 day trip in the canyon. First time out there.

We left Bright Angel camp in the morning and hiked out past Phantom Ranch. The Clear Creek trailhead is clearly marked to the east. The climb to the plateau starts almost immediately and dramatically. Accelerated heart rate always a good way to start the day.

Dayhikers were out taking in the views overlooking Phantom Ranch and the Colorado River. Definitely worth the effort if you only have time or plans to get up that far.

We pushed on, the trail winds east around and over side canyons on the plateau. I remember seeing strips of this part of the trail from South Kaibab Trail on our hike down.

Views from here include some amazing shots of the Black Bridge crossing the Colorado. Snippets of the river show up throughout the hike.

Soon, Zoroaster Temple looms large, with outstretched arms. We took a break at the "base" of the temple to wait for one of our slower members, who took his time getting up the initial ascent. We saw him an hour later from maybe a full mile away. It's a very open and well marked trail.

I can see how this hike would get hot in summer months. It is completely exposed with no water. But on this very pleasant December day, we were perhaps the happiest people in the world.

As the trail continues, it takes a left into a completely new and amazing viewshed. Directly in front is Clear Creek Canyon, stretching down to the river and up into the canyon where we realized we still had quite a ways to go to get to camp.

If I had done more research on HAZ I would have been prepared for this, but we were all surprised that the trail seemed to keep going up! The incline is slight and curves up and over many drainages and canyons, but we were exhausted near the end as you are basically going uphill all day.

The end of this hike is most definitely the sketchiest part but the payoff is worth the effort. The trail makes a final wind around to the left and ahead you see a giant red butte with the trail cut in the side. For about the last half mile or so, the trail meanders down and is maybe 2 feet wide, with a steep drop down some red scree that would most certainly not stop you from rolling down the 500 feet to the bottom. Have to focus to finish!

Once down and breathing a sigh of relief, cairns take you through the wash and to the trail again, past a nice compost toilet, and on to the camping areas near the creek.

We saw one other group, a couple of college kids, but they were probably 200 yards downstream. Otherwise we had the place to ourselves.

Clear Creek was full, beautiful and clear, as the name would imply. The camp sites are well developed and most are set up with easy access to water. We made dinner, stretched, played some cards and passed out.

The hike back was a breeze in comparison. The day was overcast and after the initial ascent up through the tight red butte trail section, it was mostly all downhill until we got back to Phantom Ranch for a round of beers.

Clear Creek has been on my mind a lot and I will definitely be back. You really feel like you're on the edge of the world out there. I'd really like to spend more time so as to hike to the falls and get down to the river.

Last note, this is my first HAZ post! Since I just officially joined I wanted to backlog this one. Thanks to everyone for many insights that have helped me plan some great hikes. Hope to contribute more in the future.
Culture
Culture
Campsite
1 archive
May 04 2017
BiFrost
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 336
 Photos 6,842
 Triplogs 801

49 male
 Joined Nov 20 2012
 Phoenix, AZ
Phantom Canyon - LowerNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Backpack avatar May 04 2017
BiFrost
Backpack35.05 Miles 12,232 AEG
Backpack35.05 Miles
12,232 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Partners partners
slowandsteady
Another great trip in the Grand Canyon. Kathy had never been on the Utah Flats Route and wanted to do Phantom Creek to the Bright Angel confluence. We headed down South Kaibab Trail kind of late about noon and of course very warm especially once reaching the river. With temps pushing 100 we headed for the Phantom Ranch cantina getting there around 3pm and got some beverages to cool off. We waited until about 430 all the while hydrating and filling up water bags for planned dry camp at Utah Flats.

Fortunately by the time we started up Utah Flats route we had shade all the way up past Piano Alley and to the flats. Dropped packs and looked for good spot in the large rocky bowl. Great night out on the flats with clear skies lots of stars and a half moon.

Next morning it was off to finish the route over to Phantom Canyon drop in. The route passes under Cheops Plateau and Isis Temple with great views of both along the entire route. Eventually it drops 600 feet on the final descent into Phantom Canyon. The creek was flowing strong so we knew plenty of swimming opportunities were ahead but first we had to get down the rope waterfall bypass. It’s about 20 feet and there was good rope in place with knots for grip. I down climbed first, then Kathy lowered packs and then she climbed down doing her first real back country rappel/down climb :y: Took a few minutes to organize and enjoy the cool waterfall we just bypassed before heading down stream. We took our time the next 5 hours enjoying pool after pool of Phantom Creek. There is a section about half way down canyon ¾ mile long that has the best pools and rock slabs on the entire length. You could easily spend all day just in this section pool hopping and lounging. We took a long break before continuing on to Bright Angel confluence.

Back out at Bright Angel confluence we crossed and jumped on North Kaibab Trail and back to Phantom Ranch for more beverages and cool off in the cantina. We checked if there were any last minute cancellations for one of the cabins but nothing was free. We had a permit for Clear Creek as backup plan so we waited until 430 again, hydrated, and then headed up Clear Creek trail to find camp. I had been up this trail with @John9L and @friendofThundergod and camped at Sumner Wash so decided to camp there again about 2.5 miles from Phantom Ranch. Great spot on some rock ledges just above the wash and underneath the shadow of Zoroaster Temple. Overcast so we didn’t get the starry night of the previous night but awesome spot regardless.

Next morning it was back out Clear Creek Trail which is as advertised great views, nice trail grade and cool traverse high above the Colorado River. Once back down Clear Creek Trail passed by Phantom Ranch again and then the slog up South Kaibab Trail to the top. Cool long weekend and Kathy finally got to see Utah Flats and Phantom Canyon as well as seeing Cheops and Isis Temple closer up!!
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2 archives
May 04 2017
slowandsteady
avatar

 Routes 67
 Photos 966
 Triplogs 694

45 female
 Joined Jan 05 2012
 Phoenix,AZ
Phantom Canyon - LowerNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Backpack avatar May 04 2017
slowandsteady
Backpack35.05 Miles 12,232 AEG
Backpack35.05 Miles
12,232 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Some hikes stay on the "to do" list for many years. This was one of them.
One of the best parts about reading trip logs on HAZ is that when you do the hike, you hear the log in your head. I knew Utah Flats was going to be Utah (Not) Flat. :) It was absolutely gorgeous tho.
I finally got to see the routes to Cheops and Isis and put pictures to all of the stories. But, I'm not so sure I should have some of the pictures in my head. Hats off to those that can do those hikes!
The main reason this hike took so long to do, is that rope dropping into Phantom. I had it in my head, that I just needed to get far enough down it, to make it possible to "jump" the rest of the way. I started out ok, then I got spun around. Karl grabbed my feet and tried to get me to face the rock again. I just decided to "slide" down the rope and eventually let go. Karl was able to grab me a bit and soften the blow. I just about knocked my wind out as I landed on my bum. BUT, the scary part was over!! It was a blast hiking, swimming and sliding down Phantom Creek. I got a little swept away crossing Bright Angel Creek, but all the tough parts were forgotten as we drank Lemmy Lemonade in Phantom Ranch.
Camping on Clear Creak, has now put that on a list of places to get back to.
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Apr 01 2017
Dave1
avatar

 Routes 29
 Photos 1,548
 Triplogs 1,802

43 male
 Joined Jan 25 2009
 Phoenix, AZ
Cheyava FallsNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 01 2017
Dave1
Hiking42.00 Miles 10,000 AEG
Hiking42.00 Miles   15 Hrs      2.80 mph
10,000 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Down S. Kaibab, across Clear Creek Trail, then bushwhack to the base of Cheyava Falls. Clear Creek was running higher and browner than usual. Had to walk through it quite a few times. Returned to the rim via Bright Angel Trail. There was a large rock slide along the River Trail last week but NPS already cleared it.
Named place
Named place
Cheyava Falls
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Jan 15 2017
MikeS
avatar

 Photos 99
 Triplogs 866

male
 Joined Mar 18 2012
 Goodyear, AZ
Clear Creek Trail - GCNPNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Backpack avatar Jan 15 2017
MikeS
Backpack29.60 Miles 7,800 AEG
Backpack29.60 Miles3 Days         
7,800 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Winter backpacking at the Grand Canyon with 8 guys for 3 days and unlimited laughs and memories. Down South Kaibab on day 1, camp at Bright Angel Campground, hike Clear Creek & River Trail on day 2, and out on Bright Angel on day 3. It rained during the evenings and everything was wet but when we were hiking, we had relatively good weather for this time of year and all the storms.

Enjoy a 4 minute summary below of our adventure and let me know what you think.

[ youtube video ]
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1 archive
Apr 28 2016
rcorfman
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 Guides 1
 Routes 82
 Photos 1,282
 Triplogs 802

59 male
 Joined Oct 17 2008
 Phoenix, AZ
Clear Creek Trail - GCNPNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Backpack avatar Apr 28 2016
rcorfman
Backpack46.00 Miles 7,000 AEG
Backpack46.00 Miles4 Days   1 Hour   45 Mns   
7,000 ft AEG3 Days   6 Hrs   45 Mns Break25 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Day 1 - Bright Angel TH to Bright Angel CG

We left Phoenix early this morning to get to the Grand Canyon. We stopped in Flagstaff for breakfast at The Place, then continued the drive. After a quick stop at the backcountry office, we were able to park the car very close to the Bright Angel TH. While we were getting ready to start the hike, the storm hit and the snow flurries began.

It was about 11 and snowing fairly hard when we started down into the canyon. After we dropped below the rim, the wind died down and I pulled out my umbrella to help keep me dry. Many people commented on what a great idea it was to have it.

Most of the tread on my shoes is worn off and I was slipping all over the muddy trail. I was able to stay upright but there were several times where I nearly covered my butt with mud.

When we got to Indian Gardens, we went into the campground and stopped under a ramada for lunch. The rain finally stopped when we got going again and we soon put the rain gear away.

Maybe a mile below Indian gardens, we reached where Garden Creek drops into a slot canyon. Some of the guys were planning on canyoneering down it, but with the rain and colder weather it was decided to stash the ropes and stuff at the drop off point and hope for a warm and nice weather day on our way out.

As we approached where the trail first crosses Pipe Creek, there was a lady blocking our passage along the trail. A few ladies just had to pee and didn't realize there was a rest stop not much farther along the trail. Well we made our way by and then we stopped at the Pipe Creek rest house to sign the register and a few minutes later when the ladies came down the trail and saw the outhouse, everyone had a good laugh.

One of our group was having problems so we waited for him to catch up. He was okay, just moving slow so we continued on and he'd catch up to us at the campground. I got a bit behind the others taking pictures so when I reached the campground, I found the site they dropped their gear at, dropped mine, and continued to the Phantom Ranch canteen. I arrived 30 seconds before four so I just missed a beer but the others had arrived about five minutes earlier and where able to slam one down just before closing.

We all headed back to the campsite and set things up. Ranger Della stopped by and checked our permit and we had a pretty lively conversation for quite some time. She commented about proper headlamp etiquette in the crowded campground - keep the light around your neck or low so as not to shine it in others' faces and other things like not hanging socks on the foliage, keeping food stored properly, etc. She also mentioned there were some ammo cans behind the ranger station we could stash food and stuff in that we wouldn't need while at Clear Creek.

A bit before eight, we headed to the canteen but we got stuck behind several people that left the ranger program. That made the wait for beer a bit difficult. Dang! Time flew by and before we knew it, it was ten and we were being kicked out. Back to camp for the night.

Day 2 - Bright Angel CG to Clear Creek CG

I woke up with a headache. What's with that? By the time we broke camp, stashed our garbage and the food for our return, and filled up with water at Phantom Ranch, it was about eight by the time we were on the trail. It was easy walking until the climbing started almost immediately after turning onto Clear Creek Trail. We waited at the first bench for one member of our group before continuing up to another bench where there were actually benches to sit on. There was also a really great view of Phantom Ranch well below us. We continued up and there was a great view of South Kaibab and the black bridge, where a pack mule train was crossing. We continued up and finally made it onto the Tonto Plateau. The climb seemed longer than I remembered it but that seems to always be the case doesn't it?

We just cruised along today, stopping for a short rest break every now and again. We weren't in a hurry as our plan was just to get to Clear Creek CG. We eventually dropped off the plateau into the Clear Creek drainage. There was a group at the first campsites so we went a short distance farther and found a nice site to set up camp at. I think it was about half past noon.

We had lunch and then we all ended up taking a nice long nap. Finally we set up camp but just chilled for the rest of the afternoon and enjoyed some spirits in the evening.

Day 3 - Clear Creek CG towards Cheyava Falls and Back

Sometime this morning it started raining. I was in no hurry to get up and just laid in the tent for awhile until I heard others stirring. Finally I got up and it was still raining so we set up some tarps to hang out under during the rain. Sometime in the morning, I went back in the tent and napped.

The rain started to lighten up during lunch and finally stopped so we decided to head upstream and check out the ruins, then head towards Cheyava Falls. It was about half past one when we left and we arrived at the ruins around two. We spent at least a half hour exploring before we continued towards the falls. We weren't sure how far they were so we decided to head towards them for an hour and decide whether to continue or not then. By then, it was around three thirty and there was a lot of thunder and the rain was starting to come down hard. It appeared we still had a ways to go to reach the falls so we decided it was best to head back to camp. I already had my umbrella but I put on my rain skirt before we turned around; I didn't want my shorts to get wet.

The rain continued pouring all the way back to camp and my feet got soaked from walking through all the grass. It was close to five when we reached camp. I put on some more layers but didn't have any dry footwear to change into.

We had dinner and finished the rest of the booze we had. That seemed better than carrying it back to Bright Angel CG. The rain continued most of the evening but lightened up, then stopped by the time we turned in for the night.

Day 4 - Clear Creek CG to Bright Angel CG

It rained a little bit during the night, but not much. We weren't in a hurry this morning and took our time breaking camp. About 8:00, a trail runner came into camp and asked where he was. He meant to go R2R2R but took the turn to Clear Creek instead of heading up the North Kaibab trail. Oops. ](*,)

I think we got going around half past eight. After the steep climb up to the Tonto Plateau, we cruised along enjoying the morning. There were some newly opened flowers, but most had been pelted during yesterday's rain.

We arrived at Phantom Ranch about 12:30 and stopped for a beer before heading to the campground and setting up camp and having lunch. We mostly lazed around in the afternoon but went to the river and looked around a bit too.

Ranger Della stopped by and we had a fun chat with her. I purposely wore my headlamp on my head but she never mentioned it. We found out she had to tase and arrest a belligerent drunk a few years ago at Indian Gardens. It turns out that one of our group was there. No, he wasn't the belligerent drunk.

We went to listen to the Ranger program, mostly to be nearer to the canteen for it's 8:00 PM opening. Once eight rolled around, we left the program early and went to get beers. We played cribbage and some Cards Against Humanity and closed the place down before heading back to camp and calling it a night.

Day 5 - Bright Angel Campground to Bright Angel TH

We got up and broke camp. The one guy that had been struggling some headed out a bit past seven. Shortly after two of us went to discuss some things with, and say goodbye to Ranger Della. Another left camp and I headed out shortly after that and was on the trail around half past seven.

Around eight, I reached where Garden Creek meets Pipe Creek and the guy that left just before me was there checking out the water temperature. The guys previously decided it wouldn't be a good time for canyoneering down Garden Creek, but they still wanted to check out the end and see what it was like. We dropped our packs and climbed up the creek as far as we were able. Some people that were in the canteen last night saw us and followed us up too. The two Ranger Della groupies also came up. I think we hung out at Garden Creek for about an hour before we continued hiking out.

We made it back up to where we stashed the climbing gear and retrieved it, then continued on to Indian Gardens where we had a snack and got some water for the rest of the hike up the canyon. When I reached the three mile rest stop, I had a quick snack and drink before continuing. I felt pretty good and was hoping to reach the 1.5 mile rest stop in forty minutes. I ended up reaching it in 32. We took another break there and had some more food and drink before finishing the hike up to the rim. I made it out and to the car at quarter of one.

The day was cool but nice. It was sunny and quite the contrast to the snow flurry when we started. We had our celebratory beers and changed our clothes before heading back to Phoenix.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
The cacti were blooming, especially along Clear Creek trail. Various types of prickly pear were in bloom, along with hedge hog cactus. there were some other flowers blooming too.
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Go find a LonelyCache
1 archive
Apr 08 2016
Zort
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 23
 Photos 94
 Triplogs 18

50 male
 Joined Aug 12 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Seeking Cheyava Falls, AZ 
Seeking Cheyava Falls, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Apr 08 2016
Zort
Backpack44.50 Miles 16,272 AEG
Backpack44.50 Miles3 Days   2 Hrs   58 Mns   
16,272 ft AEG30 LBS Pack
 
no photosets
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Nearly 20 years to the day from my first Grand Canyon backpacking adventure, I led an aggressive trip that took three of us about three days and three hours in a quest to see Cheyava Falls. Planning for the possibility of just the perfect conditions to see the falls running, the permit request was placed and El Nino prayers were said. Sadly, Arizona got anything but the wet conditions that might lead to Cheyava flowing this past winter, but with permit secured and PTO lined up, we went to see Clear Creek anyway.

Day 1: There were clouds. There were cool temps and winds that made hiking across the often mercilessly exposed Clear Creek Trail quite pleasant. There was rain, and there were garbage bags fashioned into pack covers that flapped in the wind and gave us some concern but did the job. There was a long day and tired feet, but we were well-rewarded for our efforts.

Clear Creek is beautiful. What's more serene than the solitude of the desert? Water coursing over sand and stone, supporting the rare oases of life known as riparian areas. This is stunning. This is worth hiking over 16 miles in a day to see and hear and smell and feel.

Day 2: The whole point of the trek was to venture up Clear Creek to check out Cheyava Falls, and we spent the second day of our adventure traveling up the creek, seeing artifacts of ancient peoples and confirming that the white swath coming down the rock wall is where Cheyava Falls would be falling if a heavy late snow would have been quickly melted by warm temps and we happened to time things just right. At least we learned where to find the site of the tallest falls in Arizona.

Returning to camp at Clear Creek CG, a side trip up Obi Canyon delighted us with a short easy jaunt to the pour off waterfall at the back of the drainage. We missed the ruins, but now have a better idea of where to see them (plural, as I now understand it!). Chert scrapers and tools found along the creek trail reminded us of those who came before and eked out an existence in that beautiful but hard place.

Day 3: Simply put, we cranked out the miles retracing our steps across Clear Creek Trail, again with the help of clouds, wind and the occasional rain. At Phantom Ranch we had beers and lemmy, threw out the M&Ms we bought on the way in that were half eaten by the sly mice at Clear Creek CG, and bought new M&Ms.

From the ranch we made the familiar crossing of the Silver Bridge, and enjoyed unusually firm soil on the River trail. Even Bright Angel Tr was crusted over with a damp layer that kept our feet relatively clean. We made Indian Garden CG just as the sky opened up and really let us have it for the first time on the entire trip. We wiled away an hour or so under a ramada, eating chocolate, running a line to hang our packs out of the rain and marveling at the 4G signal that my Verizon phone was getting. No Plateau Point that rainy night.

Day 4: Just over two hours on the trail this day. Bright Angel, the Devil's Corkscrew, bright colors of new shoes and clean clothing, loud children, families, foreign tongues, the sounds and smells of cars and buses. A growler of Railhead Red was still plenty cold in the cooler when we got back to the car, and the showers at Mather were every bit as hot and good as we hoped. Burgers at Lumberyard in Flagstaff, a fill-up, a Coke for the road (sorry, it's a habit), and we were gliding back down the highway to Phoenix. Another Grand adventure in the bag!

Sorry, have yet to finish downloading pics. Stay tuned! Also seemed to be challenged as to attaching the handful of routes uploaded from this trip. Workin' on it...
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Zort
http://instagram.com/zort_the_beholder
3 archives
Feb 27 2016
sbkelley
avatar

 Guides 6
 Routes 11
 Photos 1,377
 Triplogs 184

35 male
 Joined Mar 29 2007
 Reno, NV
Brahma TempleNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Backpack avatar Feb 27 2016
sbkelley
Backpack29.00 Miles 10,700 AEG
Backpack29.00 Miles
10,700 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners partners
neurolizer
I would imagine that doing this in February isn't always going to work out, but given how dry the last month was, we had an opening. The group was Eric, Richard, and myself, and we did this as a 2 day/1 night trip. It was on the warm side throughout, but I'm not at all going to complain about heat given the volume of May and June triplogs for this one. There was no snow on the crux pitches, and we only encountered snow on the summit plateau of Brahma. And we used it to fill up our water supplies - a welcome gift!

We started down the Kaibab on Friday at midday, and there was very minimal snow and ice for the first couple hundred feet. Nothing after that. Down to Phantom, and up the Clear Creek trail in the comfortably warm sun. We got to Sumner wash, then hiked up the base of the Redwall break, finding a place to bed down for the night. The Hilton, it was not, but there was enough room for the three of us to throw down tarps and sleeping bags on flat spots. A quiet night, aside from the kangaroo rat jumping on my face at one point.

Up at first light, we quickly made our way to the Redwall climb. I'm saddened to report that Mr. T no longer points the way. The cairn shown in the photos that others have posted is still there, but I thought about what he would have wanted us to do and went right. The Redwall moves passed pretty easily, as did the Supai obstacles above. That long gentle arm coming off Zoroaster is truly an amazing place. The traverse beneath the Supai is a virtual highway, and soon it was time for the three crux pitches, or as I started calling them, the "Three Peppers." First one is an Anaheim, especially with the fixed rope. Not bad. Then a bell pepper on the friction climb right beneath the Jalapeno (the crux). That one packs some spice! Eric practically walked up, but Richard and I had to think about it for a couple minutes each. We didn't use the fixed black rope/orange webbing on the way up, but certainly did on the way down.

The traverses weren't in bad shape and the ground was soft, probably because of the recent snowmelt. The one before Brahma's final climb started to drag, and we were all ready to see that final Coconino climb. Pretty loose blocks in here (some of them large!), but the climbing isn't too hard. Summit was great, and we topped out about 4 hours after leaving camp. Return trip passed smoothly, and we were back at camp 7.5 hours after leaving. Nice. Warm hike out to Phantom, where we refilled water and talked with a guy who had climbed Zoroaster before. I was feeling great and moving well up until this point, but the wheels definitely came off the wagon heading up the Kaibab. But the wagon made it back up. Great climb, really happy to have gotten this one done!
Meteorology
Meteorology
Sunset
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Oct 17 2015
writelots
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 Guides 19
 Routes 39
 Photos 5,577
 Triplogs 337

46 female
 Joined Nov 22 2005
 Tucson, AZ
Clear Creek Trail - GCNPNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 17 2015
writelots
Hiking7.50 Miles 1,200 AEG
Hiking7.50 Miles
1,200 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
My day hike on the "day off" on the GCHBA volunteer event. Originally wanted to do something more ambitious, but conditions did not help me out, so I hiked out Clear Creek a ways. Always a spectacular trip - I love me some Tonto plateau walkin'!
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2 archives
May 23 2015
Dave1
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 Routes 29
 Photos 1,548
 Triplogs 1,802

43 male
 Joined Jan 25 2009
 Phoenix, AZ
Clear Creek Trail - GCNPNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Backpack avatar May 23 2015
Dave1
Backpack45.00 Miles 11,400 AEG
Backpack45.00 Miles3 Days         
11,400 ft AEG
 no routes
Saturday: Hiked down South Kaibab then took the Clear Creek Trail over to CC. Light rain on/off all day.

Sunday: Hiked up to Cheyava Falls (dry) and a little beyond. Checked out some other side canyons and did a little bit of exploring. Light rain at times.

Monday: Hiked out from CC. Rain in the morning. Sunny and hot by the time we got to Phantom Ranch. Hiked out Bright Angel.
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May 02 2015
friendofThunde
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 Guides 18
 Routes 280
 Photos 7,723
 Triplogs 716

37 male
 Joined Jan 21 2013
 AZ
Brahma TempleNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar May 02 2015
friendofThundergod
Hiking32.08 Miles 10,700 AEG
Hiking32.08 Miles   19 Hrs   59 Mns   1.76 mph
10,700 ft AEG   1 Hour   45 Mns Break
 
I headed up to the Canyon for a little bit of a gut check. I wanted to finish what Karl and I had started Thanksgiving of last year, which had really only amounted to a quick recon of the route through the red wall on the way to Brahma. I was able to get a pretty good idea of the rest of the route through Joe and Dave1.

I drove up Friday evening. There was a self-pay machine on the way into the park, but I was not sure if they were suggesting to pay or actually insisting, so I continued through the entrance and pretended that I did not know how the machine worked. I camped at the first dispersed site along the forest road that takes you to Grandview tower and the rim S. rim section of the AZT.

Keeping with the apparent rules of Brahma, which I gathered from reading other HAZ members trip logs, I got very little sleep the night before. However, I was able to double Dave's suggestion of two hours of sleep and got a restless four hours.

Even at 5:30 in the morning, foot traffic was a little heavy along the upper stretches of S.K. Nevertheless, the relentless downhill went by very quickly, as it always does. In fact, the first half of my morning went by very quickly and I made relatively good time. I was staring at Mr. T, getting ready to start my ascent through the red wall less than five hours after starting the trail.

I had already did the red wall section with Karl back in November, so there were no surprises and it went quickly and smooth. The ascent up through the shelves of Hermit shale went equally as smooth, in fact, for myself the red wall and Hermit shale stretches really make the hike, a little climbing but nothing overwhelming and kind of fun. Upon reaching the top of the shale, I got to enjoy one of my favorite stretches and the first of two long stretches of scree slopes that one must traverse to reach the Zoro-Brahma saddle and the starting off point for the final climb through the Coconino to reach the summit of Brahma. Actually, there were probably zero parts of this portion of the hike that I liked and the traverse is physically and mentally taxing to say the least.

I learned several things on this day. Firstly, I have no problem with climbing, scrambling and a little exposure. Secondly, I hate navigating scree slopes! Scree with unforgiving exposures is nearly my kryptonite. I find it to be scary to navigate, slow going and too tedious and annoying for my level of patience and demeanor.

If one examines my route, its easy to recognize I took a different approach up Brahma than the established route. A part of this was be design, however, most of this was a product of getting off track and choosing to improvise instead of returning to the established route. There are several failed attempts on my route where I stubbornly tried to climb up from a more southeasterly corner. Another lesson learned yesterday, improvising and being stubborn rarely pays off in the Canyon, as it will always wins those battles. Nevertheless, I reached the summit and enjoyed perhaps the best 15 minutes or so of outdoor experiences I have had to date.

The views were amazing and some ominous clouds mixed in with a couple heart-stopping claps of thunder made for a unique summit experience. I realize there are tougher spots to reach in the national park, however, I felt an immense sense of accomplishment and satisfaction standing on top of Brahma with the summit to myself. Similarly, there was an emotional aspect to the experience as well. I could not help but notice that JJ had left a happy Father's day message behind in the register and this held some certain relevance with me.

I had told a few close friends that I was doing the hike/climb as a small tribute to the man who made me who I am today. He would have turned 56 on the 30th of April had he still been alive today and I can't think of a better way to celebrate life than to spend a day cheating death.

The trip down was not the easy part. I ran out of water while making the traverse over to the Zoro-Brahma saddle and was really only able to squeeze about a three oz sip out of the bottom of my bladder after that. Similarly, because I was hiking a little fast and somewhat dwelling on my water situation, I walked three-tenths of a mile past my static lines to drop back down through the top layers of Hermit shale. Again my stubbornness led me to try and fix the navigation error on the fly, but there are no alternate routes and after yelling at myself inside my head I turned around and retraced my steps back to the first difficult roped down climb. I don't want to make excuses, but I think I was also making a few poor choices, because I was a little warm, kind of exhausted and I knew I had at least three hours to look forward to of no water (ended up being closer to five hours. Consequently, I may have been acting with a little haste and not thinking clearly. Nothing gets one's heart pumping like being alone on top of the Hermit shale out of water and unable to locate the lines needed to down climb.

The rest of the climb down and the trip back to the Clear Creek Trail went very slow, my actions were very deliberate because of fatigue and my rapidly declining stores of energy. The worst part of no water was not being able to eat, as my mouth was too parched to eat, or probably speak at that point. With only three miles to go, I broke down and drank some water out of the bedrock in Sumner Wash. I did not have my filter so I used my long sleeve undershirt as a pre-filter, filled a Gatorade bottle and alternated taking very small sips and rinsing out my mouth as I made my way back to Phantom.

There is no dodging S.K. so I just sucked it up and embraced the seemingly endless and very slow going climb into the night's sky. I passed a trail runner near the top and he asked, "Did you do a rim to rim to rim today?" I said "no," but thought to myself after doing Brahma what an insulting question, rim to rim to rim please, that's for the tourist.
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4 archives
Feb 07 2015
Hippy
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 Guides 7
 Routes 3
 Photos 1,749
 Triplogs 609

33 female
 Joined Dec 02 2009
 Grand Canyon
Deva TempleNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Backpack avatar Feb 07 2015
Hippy
Backpack43.58 Miles
Backpack43.58 Miles4 Days         
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
First off... Bagged it!!!

Day 1: Jamie and I left South Kaibab TH around 7:30am made it to Phantom by 10am.
Up North Kaibab with a stop at Phantom Creek and the pretty falls there. (Note: don't drink from phantom creek untreated!! Bleh!)
Continued on to Ribbon Falls and Upper Ribbon Falls. I climbed up into Upper Ribbon and tested the depth of the pool quickly finding it to be half a hippy deep!! Set up at Cottonwood Camp well before sunset. Watched the moon rise over camp...wow. One night short of being Full!

Day 2: loaded up with 6 liters of water EACH then Jamie led the way back down almost to the Ribbon Falls bridge. Not far up trail from there we took a sharp left and plowed our way up a steep ridge of shale-y hell!! The initial 300ft of this ridge made me want to vomit especially with the extra water in my pack!
After what felt like a full transformation into a bighorn sheep we began a rather "easy" traverse deep into this side canyon. Shortly in you'll come across some cairns that cross the drainage and lead you up up up closer to the redwall! Almost there!!

The redwall break was boulders and trees and a few itty chimneys. Basically even with the bulky backpack I was having the time of my life! Very last little up climb Jamie went first and we hauled our packs up then I scrambled up smiling like a fool.
Up through the Supai to a GORGEOUS false saddle contour toward a very obvious supai break on the other side of this bowl up up up and BAM!! The most stunning campsite EVER. We arrived with 3 hours left until sunset on Brahma-Deva Saddle. Full Moon rose tonight...oh man...I might've cried. Watching the moon light up the entire canyon from way up there tucked away in this saddle between giants...

Day 3: we were lazy yesterday so opted to pack up camp and summit our Temple this morning. A scramble up the Supai the usual slip n slide up the Coconino,across a boulder field of bitey kaibab limestone then through a very convenient little coco chute with a happy beckoning pinyon pine shading our way then poof! Youre up!

A few minutes walk north into the trees and you find yourself at the least impressive summit register ever...
This was Jamie's first temple back in 2012 the register he signed has since been removed. A nalgene bottle with a crappy little notebook has replaced it. Only one other signature from 2014. Nothing exciting but oh the views were insane!!! We signed the book, cracked open our IPA (which I managed to spill shortly thereafter...luckily we both had a few swigs and he's still talking to me!) Then we were off are completing my usual exploratory summit circuit, more sliding down, rearranged our gear and packs (which we had cached near the supai break near the saddle this was our exit point toward Clear Creek.)
Down the Supai, traverse the redwall rim to another awesome redwall break on the east ish side of Brahma!! Have any of you been here?? Cuz you really should go. Its a blast! Boulders and chimneys and rabbit holes and chutes and pack lowering. Oh my!
The descent went by fast. We were in a sweet drainage that ended above Clear Creek camp in a massive Tapeats pouroff! We backtracked and followed a sheep route IP and over right onto the Clear Creek Trail. Sun had set by now but we walked on west in the last glow of daylight. We set up camp in the dark in the arms of Zoroaster Canyon. Did I mention time of my life?? Moon rise sneaking over Wotan's Throne. :)

Day 4: late start at 10am!! Made it to Phantom by 1pm. Almost 2 hours of coffee and lemonade and tons of junk food!! Ohmygod summer sausages tasted like heaven. Oh yeah remember those 6L each of water we had? Down to 1/4 liter when we got to phantom! Perfect!
Up and out bright angel followed by showers clean clothes and lots of beer tequila and burritos at Plaza Bonita!

To summarize: BAGGED MY FIRST TEMPLE WHOOOO! And best canyon trip ever by far.
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Canyon Freak Adventures!
1 archive
Jan 07 2015
kwpapke
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 Guides 1
 Routes 6
 Photos 10
 Triplogs 16

66 male
 Joined Dec 28 2009
 Oro Valley, AZ
Clear Creek Trail - GCNPNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Backpack avatar Jan 07 2015
kwpapke
Backpack8.40 Miles 1,682 AEG
Backpack8.40 Miles   5 Hrs      1.68 mph
1,682 ft AEG35 LBS Pack
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Did South Kaibab :next: just past Sumner Wash on day 1, Clear Creek trail :next: creek + hike up clear creek to ruins on day 2, hike back to BA CG day 3, hike out day 4.

Seems like I'm one of the few non-rock-climbers that takes this trail ;) Don't know why, as it is the perfect winter trail. NPS doesn't like hikers to take this in the summer because there is no shade, but that's what makes it such a great trip in winter. I was hiking in a short sleeve shirt in early January, can't beat that!!

Want to come back and hike to the Falls some time, but from what I can tell the permits during prime time go pretty quickly.
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Youtube channel for gear testing: https://www.youtube.com/c/KurtPapke
1 archive
Nov 27 2014
friendofThunde
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 Guides 18
 Routes 280
 Photos 7,723
 Triplogs 716

37 male
 Joined Jan 21 2013
 AZ
Clear Creek Trail - GCNPNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Backpack avatar Nov 27 2014
friendofThundergod
Backpack47.12 Miles 12,059 AEG
Backpack47.12 Miles4 Days         
12,059 ft AEG
 
1st trip
I finished November in the exact way I started the month, climbing out of the Grand Canyon. Karl myself and John headed to the Clear Creek area for four days.

Day 1:

We did not rush out of town on Thanksgiving day. I had to drop the dogs off, Karl was feeling a little under the weather and there was no reason to rush to the Canyon, as we had lined up a short opening day and were not stressing the after ten start time. The highlight of day one was the Miner's route and Tamales at Phantom Ranch. I found the Miner's Route to be pretty cool and was happy I decided to make the short detour with John. We met Karl at Phantom for a long lunch and then headed for the Clear Creek Trail. We camped at Sumner's Creek area, the starting point for Brahma, were treated to a great sunset and were probably all in bed by 8:30 p.m.

Day 2

I woke up thinking Karl and I were heading off for a Brahma attempt, but it was very clear from the start he was in no shape for that, his flu/cold effects were still lingering. I was excited to give Brahma a shot and was happy to have Karl along because of his experience, but it was evident that we just needed to get him to Clear Creek where he could relax for nearly two days if he wanted to. The hike to Clear Creek was great, seemed to go by pretty quickly. John and I explored up Clear Creek while Karl stayed back at camp. We located the well known set of Indian ruins, and I snapped a picture of the less visited site near Cheyava Falls(which were dry as expected). The ruins were in the exact location mentioned in Butchart's book, however, without positive identification I was not ready for the commitment to explore further, but upon review of picture it is definitely them. Therefore, I will be returning. We enjoyed a nice couple of hours under the party lights, a slightly warmer night and a good night's sleep.

Day 3

I got the crazy idea of getting up early and heading back to Brahma for at least a quick recon, then dry camping Saturday evening and enjoying a shorter hike out Sunday. Karl, although not looking the greatest, thought he might be up for at least a trip to the break in the red wall and John was actually good with the plan. He would stay at Clear Creek for most of the morning exploring some side canyons and then meet us back at the Sumner Creek/wash area later in the afternoon. So Karl and I headed back to Brahma a day later and with a little bit more of a time crunch. Clear Creek Trail can seem to drag on a little, but the first section climbing out of Clear Creek or dropping into Clear Creek is a real gem and I really enjoyed the trail and area overall.

Even with moving camps and Karl battling the Ebola we were still staring at the base of the first climb within the distinct crack of the red wall just afternoon. However, I kind of sealed the fate for the rest of the day by wasting nearly 45 minutes looking for a climbing route right up the center of the crack. I literally made three different attempts. Karl watched and yelled out occasional tips, but nothing about it made sense to me. Joe said it was tricky but nothing crazy and I found myself in what I would call a "crazy" position. In fact, my fight or flight kicked in and left me worthless for a good ten minutes, but I jumped right back up and gave it another shot before I accepted defeat. We then hung out in the remaining shade ate some lunch, I was pining a bit about what the whole situation, but we both agreed to head back. About 30 feet into our hike back, Karl and I almost simultaneously noticed a distinct cairn on our left and then what looked to be a great route up. Duh! The route was clear as day. Rather then dwell over the several mistakes I had just made and the easy ways I could have avoided them, I just shot up the route. There was rope secured in a few spots along the way, but obviously not necessary, as one was tightly secured making it unusable from below. I found the climbing and scrambling to be fairly easy, especially, after having tried to free climb up the pour over area in the beginning. It felt so great to reach the top of that little break, the views from the saddle were truly breathtaking and it was a very exhilarating experience for me overall. A modest feat to many, but a very satisfying experience for myself. From there I continued on route and decided to go until a 2:30 or 3:00 p.m. drop dead time. I realized quickly that the first little climb through the break hardly means you are there. I was on and off the route and generally rushing too much, along with probably climbing too much, the latter further reinforcing that I should just head back and call it a successful recon, which I did. Besides I had kind of irresponsibly left Karl behind in the crack and just yelled down that I would turn around by 3, about half way up the second climb I heard him yelling from saddle area that he would wait for me. I was starting to feel like I was holding the guy hostage and I knew he was not feeling well so I headed back. I assured Karl that I was good to go from the saddle and he could return to camp. Meanwhile, I headed out towards Sumner Butte and tested my mettle a little on the narrow land bridge connecting it to the larger terrain features. Returned to camp, Karl was there, John was there and all was good.

Day 4:

Living by the old adage that men walk quicker out of battle then into battle we all made great time out Sunday morning. Even with a stop at Phantom Ranch I don't think anyone took longer then 4.5 hours to reach S. Rim and vehicle.

This was just another very satisfying Canyon trip, great company and a great destination. I feel the bug for the canyon even more now after my modest first ascent up just a crack in the wall. But I gained some good experience, got a much better understanding of the area and feel pretty good about knocking it out completely with more time and planning.
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average hiking speed 1.92 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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