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Tonto Trail: South Kaibab to Bright Angel - 22 members in 64 triplogs have rated this an average 4 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Dec 07 2020
toddak
avatar

 Guides 8
 Routes 5
 Photos 1,187
 Triplogs 451

55 male
 Joined Nov 15 2005
 Puhoynix, AZ
Bright Angel - Tonto - South KaibabNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 07 2020
toddak
Hiking15.50 Miles 4,000 AEG
Hiking15.50 Miles   9 Hrs   30 Mns   1.63 mph
4,000 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Counter-clockwise loop on a cool, breezy day. The new shade ramada at the S Kaibab Tipoff is very nice, the two 125-gallon rain collector barrels were about half full, water level just above the spigot height (not sure why they didn't put the spigots lower).

Side trip up the Battleship - what a fun, improbable route to the summit! Hard to say which battleship is better, GC or the Supes.

Bike shuttle along the Rim Trail between trailheads.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Burro Spring Dripping Dripping
trickling puddle at trail crossing

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Pipe Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
good flow in creek at trail crossing
_____________________
Feb 12 2020
DixieFlyer
avatar

 Guides 45
 Routes 424
 Photos 5,648
 Triplogs 384

male
 Joined Jan 07 2017
 Fountain Hills,
Bright Angel - Tonto - South KaibabNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 12 2020
DixieFlyer
Hiking14.90 Miles 3,806 AEG
Hiking14.90 Miles   7 Hrs   18 Mns   2.44 mph
3,806 ft AEG   1 Hour   11 Mns Break
 
I was originally going to do Rim2River2Rim, but opted to go down the South Kaibab Trail from the South Rim, take the Tonto Trail over to the Bright Angel Trail, and then take the Bright Angel Trail back up to the Rim. I enjoy this section of the Tonto Trail, which is why I opted to do this instead.

On the way down I stopped off at Skeleton Point, which is the first place to see the Colorado River. On the way up the Bright Angel Trail I stopped for a bit to look at 3 bighorn sheep who were hanging out off of the trail. At about the 2 mile mark on the way up I went off-trail for a bit to check out a portion of the hike over to The Battleship.

I put on micropikes at the last rest stop on the BA Trail, and wore them all the way back up to the Rim. The trail was pretty icy so I was glad to have the traction.

This is a good time of year to be up at the Canyon. It was 18 degrees when I started the hike at 8:30 AM, but by 10:00 I was down to shirt sleeves, and I stayed that way through the rest of the hike. There weren't many people out hiking, even on the BA Trail. Not surprisingly, I did not see anyone on the Tonto Trail.
Flora
Flora
Prickly Pear
Fauna
Fauna
Bighorn Sheep
Named place
Named place
Plateau Point The Battleship
_____________________
I'd rather die of exhaustion than die of starvation.
Aug 26 2019
SpiderLegs
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 8
 Photos 42
 Triplogs 663

54 male
 Joined Jul 12 2012
 Tucson, AZ
Tonto Trail: South Kaibab to Bright AngelNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 26 2019
SpiderLegs
Hiking14.30 Miles 3,829 AEG
Hiking14.30 Miles   4 Hrs   30 Mns   3.18 mph
3,829 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Had this in the works for a few weeks. My wife had an early morning flight for work out of Phoenix, so I was up at 2:30 AM at our lodging. Made plans to visit my son's new dorm room at NAU the same day, but he had class until 3 PM. That left me with almost 12 hours to fill in, so decided to do a quick trip to the Grand Canyon. The drive up I-17 went without a hitch and made great time to the South Rim. An unexpected bonus was being greeted by a sign saying that the park had free admission, so was able to save $35.

I've been closely monitoring the weather and was 50/50 on hiking this with the weather we've been having this week. But got to the park and while it was going to be a toasty day, still only a few degrees over my comfort zone. Between little traffic coming up and fast service from the GC taxi, it put me 45 minutes ahead of schedule. For that I'm thankful because if I started when I had planned to, it would have been a different experience.

I knew the story of the day would be the heat, so used the hike as a training hike and kept a brisk pace to try and be out of the canyon by noon. Got down to Tip Off and had put myself another 10 minutes ahead of schedule. From there hit the Tonto trail for the first time, loved this trail and thankfully about 20% of it was in the shade while I was on it. Kept making good time and only had two spots where the trail crossed a drainage that slowed me down about 30 seconds while I figured out where to pick it up again Gained another 10 minutes, which put me 20 minutes total ahead of where I wanted to be.

Then got to Indian Gardens and joined the teeming masses at the water fountain to soak my hat and a bandana along with cooling off my face & neck. Double checked my water situation and made steady time up the climb on Bright Angel. Felt a bit off, but just put my head down and cranked up the hill. On the way up I finally saw one of the pink rattlesnakes the canyon is known for. Rather large and well fed. Finished before lunch time and hit the road to spend the afternoon with my son who just started his freshman year at NAU.
_____________________
See my pics on Instagram @tucsonexplorer
2 archives
Mar 08 2019
DixieFlyer
avatar

 Guides 45
 Routes 424
 Photos 5,648
 Triplogs 384

male
 Joined Jan 07 2017
 Fountain Hills,
Bright Angel - Tonto - South KaibabNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 08 2019
DixieFlyer
Hiking13.70 Miles 3,809 AEG
Hiking13.70 Miles   6 Hrs   5 Mns   2.72 mph
3,809 ft AEG   1 Hour   3 Mns Break
 
Tracie and I were meeting some friends to do a South Rim-River-South Rim hike, and since neither one of us had ever hiked the Tonto Trail, we decided to go up a day early and take in the Tonto Trail. We started at the South Kaibab TH and went down the South Kaibab Trail to just before the Tip Off. From there we went west on the Tonto Trail and hit the Bright Angel Trail about 1/4 mile below Indian Garden. Then we took the Bright Angel Trail back up to the South Rim.

We had some good weather on the hike: it was a bit cloudy and breezy, but there was no precipitation. There was a little bit of snow on the upper part of the Bright Angel Trail, but not enough to make me want to put on microspikes.

This was a great little hike -- I particularly enjoyed this section of the Tonto Trail. The trail was good to hike on, the scenery was awesome, and we only saw 2 other people on the trail.
_____________________
I'd rather die of exhaustion than die of starvation.
2 archives
Dec 24 2016
BiFrost
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 361
 Photos 7,752
 Triplogs 924

51 male
 Joined Nov 20 2012
 Phoenix, AZ
Grand Canyon Christmas, AZ 
Grand Canyon Christmas, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Dec 24 2016
BiFrost
Backpack26.24 Miles 8,287 AEG
Backpack26.24 Miles3 Days         
8,287 ft AEG
 
Partners partners
slowandsteady
Christmas in the Grand Canyon staying at Phantom Ranch in the cabins. We started from Bright Angel TH hoping to hike in the snow but it didn't start until afternoon and by then we were too low for snow. At Indian Gardens we decided to take Tonto Trail east across to South Kaibab for something a bit different. Then down to Phantom Ranch with a steady but light rain.

Next day we headed up North Kaibab Trail to Ribbon Falls and Upper Ribbon Falls
[ triplog ]
Chilly day but the storm had moved through and it started to clear up. Arrived back at Phantom Ranch for a beverage before dinner.

Last day we packed up and headed out the River Trail and up Bright Angel. Part way up we hopped on the Old Bright Angel Trail but had trouble fining the start and ended up skipping the first 1/4 mile of it which looked very steep from above. The rest of Old Bright Angel was decent and easy to follow for old trail. On top the trail came out on the Tonto near Indian Gardens. Short break there and continued up the trail looking at the snow left over from 2 days ago.

We finally started to see some snow just below 3 mile rest house. By the time we reached mile and half rest house the snow was several inches. The last mile and half up to the rim was great hike through the fresh snow. Nice to see everything with snow cap!
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5 archives
Apr 08 2016
lwbenso
avatar

 Routes 12
 Photos 52
 Triplogs 13

29 male
 Joined Feb 08 2016
 Scottsdale, AZ
South Kaibab TrailNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Backpack avatar Apr 08 2016
lwbenso
Backpack25.28 Miles 7,229 AEG
Backpack25.28 Miles1 Day   22 Hrs   24 Mns   
7,229 ft AEG   13 Hrs   24 Mns Break40 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
DAY 1: Hike to Bright Angel Campground. 7.0 miles, -4780 feet in elevation

DAY 2: Hike to the Colorado River. After getting to camp at Indian Garden, we took a shorter hike out the Plateau Point. 7.7 miles + 1320 feet in elevation

DAY 3: Ascended the Bright Angel Trail-- reached the South Rim by early afternoon. 4.8 miles, +3060 feet in elevation
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1 archive
Apr 06 2016
Hippy
avatar

 Guides 8
 Routes 4
 Photos 1,834
 Triplogs 643

34 female
 Joined Dec 02 2009
 Grand Canyon
Tonto Trail: South Kaibab to Bright AngelNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 06 2016
Hippy
Hiking14.00 Miles
Hiking14.00 Miles
 no routes
Partners none no partners
Called out sick because I was sick, so went for a little hike.

3 bighorn near Burro Spring.
It's getting Hot already!!! Phew!

Nothing else to report.
_____________________
Canyon Freak Adventures!
May 02 2015
charlomechfry
avatar

 Routes 78
 Triplogs 93

male
 Joined Nov 11 2011
 
Rim River Rim w/ Tonto and River Trails, AZ 
Rim River Rim w/ Tonto and River Trails, AZ
 
Hiking avatar May 02 2015
charlomechfry
Hiking30.92 Miles 6,862 AEG
Hiking30.92 Miles
6,862 ft AEG
 
no photosets
1st trip
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Apr 25 2015
Hiking_Fool
avatar

 Routes 11
 Photos 260
 Triplogs 423

59 male
 Joined Mar 12 2011
 Cave Creek, AZ
Tonto Trail: South Kaibab to Bright AngelNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 25 2015
Hiking_Fool
Hiking15.00 Miles 4,000 AEG
Hiking15.00 Miles
4,000 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
kactushiker
Margarita girl
_____________________
1 archive
Apr 22 2015
fricknaley
avatar

 Guides 93
 Routes 384
 Photos 3,920
 Triplogs 3,008

45 male
 Joined Jun 20 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Bright Angel to South Kaibab via Tonto, AZ 
Bright Angel to South Kaibab via Tonto, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 22 2015
fricknaley
Hiking16.15 Miles 4,265 AEG
Hiking16.15 Miles   6 Hrs   2 Mns   2.87 mph
4,265 ft AEG      24 Mns Break10 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
finally started checking out the tonto trail. on the way down bright angel i decided to go out and see plateau point again. i haven't been out there for 12 years :o

beautiful spot for lunch then headed back and took the tonto east. nice stretch of trail with some fantastic scenery and zillions of blooming cacti.

got my butt kicked up the south kaibab but enjoyed it just the same.

wonderful hike and great weather for a quick getaway to the grand canyon :y:
_____________________
hi
Apr 18 2015
Lucyan
avatar

 Routes 1
 Photos 17,719
 Triplogs 907

40 female
 Joined Jan 18 2011
 In the Wild
Tonto Trail: South Kaibab to Bright AngelNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 18 2015
Lucyan
Hiking3.90 Miles 600 AEG
Hiking3.90 Miles
600 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
VolcanoCLMBR
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
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2 archives
Mar 16 2015
Dave1
avatar

 Routes 29
 Photos 1,548
 Triplogs 1,802

44 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
_____________________
Nov 27 2014
friendofThundergod
avatar

 Guides 24
 Routes 301
 Photos 8,642
 Triplogs 814

38 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.
Culture
Culture
Cairn Humor Mascot
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3 archives
Sep 08 2014
JohnB67
avatar

 Photos 89
 Triplogs 9

male
 Joined Nov 06 2011
 Tucson,Az
Tonto Trail: South Kaibab to Bright AngelNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 08 2014
JohnB67
Hiking3.90 Miles 600 AEG
Hiking3.90 Miles   3 Hrs      1.30 mph
600 ft AEG30 LBS Pack
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Great trip into the canyon!!!!
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Feb 21 2014
toddak
avatar

 Guides 8
 Routes 5
 Photos 1,187
 Triplogs 451

55 male
 Joined Nov 15 2005
 Puhoynix, AZ
Tonto Trail: South Kaibab to Bright AngelNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 21 2014
toddak
Hiking13.00 Miles 3,500 AEG
Hiking13.00 Miles   6 Hrs      2.17 mph
3,500 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
down BA > across Tonto > up SK
_____________________
Dec 13 2013
Hippy
avatar

 Guides 8
 Routes 4
 Photos 1,834
 Triplogs 643

34 female
 Joined Dec 02 2009
 Grand Canyon
Tonto Trail: South Kaibab to Bright AngelNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 13 2013
Hippy
Hiking15.50 Miles 3,833 AEG
Hiking15.50 Miles
3,833 ft AEG
 no routes
Partners partners
John9L
Decided to up this triplog now that I'm awake...basically I'd read about some ruins off the tonto at the base of the Tapeats and I wanted to go find them. I read there's some "intense scrambling" involved so I thought it better not to go alone. Smart decision but not entirely necessary. The scramble down the breaks in the tapeats was nothing major in my eyes, its steep and scree covered but the line was easy to follow and once you know where you're going you've got it made!
In a place entirely opposite of where we expected to find anything I nearly stepped on a black and white pottery shard that pretty much screamed itself into focus.
After that other shards, some knapped flakes, the metate and other beautiful relics came clearly into view.

As much cool stuff as we did find, looks like we'll be heading back again soon to find the REAL deal down there in the Tapeats...fascinating place the Tapeats...always something neat be it ruins, pottery, flakes or other knapping station evidence and best of all...dead things!! :y:

And now, the weather:
Snow down to Indian Garden and a few tiny patches along the Tonto east of there.
Snow down to the Supai on South Kaibab but not on trail until well above Ooh Ahh Pt. Lots of snow in Chimney on SK but not much ice, TONS of traction device tracks on DIRT and snow but SO not necessary as of today. :lol: tourists.

Thanks 9L for letting me drag you into this, it's great to finally have someone who can keep up with me and isn't afraid to explore away from the beaten path!! : rambo :
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Canyon Freak Adventures!
Dec 13 2013
John9L
avatar

 Guides 6
 Routes 174
 Photos 5,073
 Triplogs 1,634

male
 Joined Mar 12 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Tonto Trail: South Kaibab to Bright AngelNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 13 2013
John9L
Hiking15.50 Miles 3,833 AEG
Hiking15.50 Miles
3,833 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Partners partners
Hippy
Hippy and I went in search of some ruins we read about in Tomasi's book. We headed down BA and then went east on the Tonto and passed Burro Spring. We continued another half mile and then went off trail into a basin. According to the book we had to continue below the Tapeats and head south. We ended up exploring the basin and found a separate set of ruins that included a Matate. We were very excited about the find because we just stumbled onto it when Hippy found a pot shard. Our time was running short so we decided to start the hike out the SK trail. We'll have to return another time to find the ruins mentioned in Tomasi's book.
_____________________
Nov 09 2013
John9L
avatar

 Guides 6
 Routes 174
 Photos 5,073
 Triplogs 1,634

male
 Joined Mar 12 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
South Kaibab - Tonto - Bright Angel, AZ 
South Kaibab - Tonto - Bright Angel, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Nov 09 2013
John9L
Hiking13.32 Miles 3,600 AEG
Hiking13.32 Miles   4 Hrs   20 Mns   3.29 mph
3,600 ft AEG      17 Mns Break
 
no photosets
1st trip
I had some time to waste while Hippy was working so I decided to make this loop hike. I started a little before 1pm and cruised down South Kaibab. The weather was very pleasant and most people I passed were heading up. I reached the tip off and then turned west on the Tonto. I took a break around Burro Spring. I'm bummed because I just found out there are some ruins in that area. I'll have to return another time. After the break I continued on to Indian Garden and then grinded back to the rim and was up top around 5pm. This was a nice and easy hike.
_____________________
Jun 22 2013
Hippy
avatar

 Guides 8
 Routes 4
 Photos 1,834
 Triplogs 643

34 female
 Joined Dec 02 2009
 Grand Canyon
Tonto Trail: South Kaibab to Bright AngelNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 22 2013
Hippy
Hiking14.00 Miles 3,800 AEG
Hiking14.00 Miles   6 Hrs   45 Mns   2.43 mph
3,800 ft AEG   1 Hour    Break
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Met up with 7 friends at SK TH, we headed down to Cedar Ridge at 7pm and had a picnic, watched the sunset, we flipped on 3 sets of party lights and pulled out some glow sticks and created what is now known as "Cedar Rave". The huge full moon began to rise and just before it peeked over the rim we all decided to move on.

Jack, Kim, Ranger Robb and Erin left us for the rim, the two Joes, myself and Emily lit up SK as we pranced down to the Tonto.

I'd only been on tiny bits of Tonto before and I love it!!

Hiked mostly by the moon, party lights went off well before IG, saw tons of critters :D
Stopped at IG to soak our feet in the creek, a tradition with me :) watched a dozen bats swoop down above our toes to snatch bugs off the waters surface.

Headed up BA, the moon was hidden by the rim by the time we reached 3 mile rest house.

Looking back at the canyon all painted and glowing in the moonlight is one of those things you just have to experience for yourself, no words can describe the sheer beauty.

By now all my trail mix was settling wrong and the last 2.5 miles up were misery for my poor stomach. Note to self check expiration dates on trail mix and cliff bars!!! :sk:

Either way, beautiful hike. Glad I finally got to experience this, made it even better being with good friends under the full moon.

What an awesome backyard!
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Canyon Freak Adventures!
Feb 06 2013
cactuscat
avatar

 Routes 58
 Photos 2,526
 Triplogs 386

49 female
 Joined Oct 15 2002
 
Tonto Trail: South Kaibab to Bright AngelNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 06 2013
cactuscat
Hiking14.00 Miles 4,556 AEG
Hiking14.00 Miles   9 Hrs   27 Mns   2.04 mph
4,556 ft AEG   2 Hrs   35 Mns Break
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Took me a couple hours to get going on this hike - I was tired and not feeling motivated to do it. Finally convinced myself to get going by thinking about how many people I told I was doing it, and by the fact that I knew I would feel better once I was out there.
Started down from SK trailhead just after 9:30 a.m. Only the top few switchbacks of the Chimney were icy - took the Microspikes off, and wondered if I was carrying them for no good reason ... wouldn't find out until many miles later, when I ascended the BA.
I made it to Cedar Ridge in 27 minutes and took a four minute break.
Below CR, I started to encounter the infamous Spring mud ... varies in consistancy from wet and sloppy to thick and goopy. Saw my first people in the form of a small muletrain.
From CR to Skeleton Point took 35 minutes - took an eight minute break.
From SP down the red and white switchbacks, I would pass by a dozen or so female backpackers on their way up - they seemed to be part of a group, but I didn't talk to them. Also on the red and whites, I shed my fleece layer and went to swap my beanie for a baseball cap - and discovered I had forgotten it! This would become very annoying for the 3/4 of the day that it seemed I was hiking into the sun.
From SP to the Tonto junction took me 32 minutes. Stopped for break and to fuel up, and was surprised a moment later to see a woman - a ranger, as it turned out - approaching on the Tonto. She said hi, then went over by the toilets to take her break. I finished eating, used the restroom and took off my thermals ... hiking in shorts now! :)
I started the Tonto westbound, and looking back a few minutes later saw Ranger Betsy headed my way - obviously hiking back to IG. As much as I adore rangers, I really didn't want anyone a few minutes behind me on what I had anticipated would be another glorious solo stroll across the Tonto, so I slowed down and eventually stopped to let her pass. I was taking photos and she offered to take one of me, but I said no thanks, I have plenty!
From the start of Tonto to Burro Spring took 44 mins, then about 14 more to reach Pipe Creek.
I descended to the creek and enjoyed exploring the slickrock area just above the pouroff - the water was running clear and cold through small falls and pools, and it was so beautiful and peaceful I wished I could have stayed all day. Took a 38 minute break and reveled in the sunshine and warm temps ... about 70 degrees!
Hiking time from Pipe to Indian Garden was an hour and two minutes.
IG was completey deserted - nobody in the day use area or the campground. 35 minute break.
From IG up Jacob's Ladder and to 3 Mile Resthouse took 43 minutes. 13 minute break, put baselayer back on top.
Saw two backpackers headed down below 3 Mile, and a solo female bakpacker above it. The only people I would see on the entire BA!
From 3 mile to 1.5 mile, the trail was a disgusting mess of mud.
Stopped at 2 mile corner for an 8 minute break to eat and send some texts - got my fingers cold.
From 3 mile to 1.5 mile took 40 minutes. Stopped there for ten minutes to use restroom, put on my fleece, strap the Microspikes on, and put handwarmers in my gloves.
From 1.5 mile to the top was 95% ice and packed snow ... was glad I had carried the spikes all those miles after all.
Reached the trailhead 53 minutes, at 5:59 p.m. Texted Kristi for a ride back to the SK to pick up my car, and made it home just after dark.
Fantastic day! Just a tad sore today.
:D
Flora
Flora
Cottonwood
Culture
Culture
Cactuscat Pose

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Burro Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Same small, but steady flow as in September.

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

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Pipe Creek Light flow Light flow
Same as September.
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average hiking speed 2.24 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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