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Grandview Trail - Cave of the Domes - 34 members in 51 triplogs have rated this an average 4.7 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Oct 18 2019
SpiderLegs
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 Guides 2
 Routes 9
 Photos 42
 Triplogs 708

54 male
 Joined Jul 12 2012
 Tucson, AZ
Grandview TrailNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 18 2019
SpiderLegs
Hiking11.00 Miles 4,000 AEG
Hiking11.00 Miles   7 Hrs   30 Mns   1.47 mph
4,000 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Partners none no partners
This is my annual guy's weekend at the Grand Canyon and had people flying in from Idaho to join me. Scooped up two guys at Sky Harbor on Thursday afternoon and spent the night up in Flagstaff. Bright and early out the door by 4:30 AM had us at the trailhead and ready to roll by 6:30 which for us is a nice change of pace. Our last excursions into the Grand Canyon usually start in the dark. The goal on this trip was to do a lollipop loop down Grandview to the mesa and then loop back around via Tonto and Hance. But left it open to reassess once we got down onto the mesa.

Hike started in absolute perfect 35 degree temps with no wind. Started the drop down the trail and this certainly gets your attention. Really have to pay attention to footing on this descent. Took it easy today, this was a social & sightseeing hike for our group. So not like years past where we were men on a mission and need to hard charge to keep to our schedule. Got down to the campground area and looked around for a bit. Felt a bit off, so decided not to attempt to climb up to Horseshoe Mesa peak. Sat around for a bit, then went after our next objective which was the Cave of the Domes.

Forgot to download a route, so went blindly down a couple of drainages looking for the right trail, had fun bushwhacking along the edge of the mesa. Finally after about 30 minutes found the right drainage with a well worn trail down to the cave. We spent about 30 minutes poking around inside and got about 500 feet back in. With all the dust getting kicked up I bailed early to avoid any potential breathing issues. Hung out at the cave entrance for a quick lunch, hard to beat the views from there. While there we pulled out the map and figured out the next part of the day. I didn't have it in me to do the whole lollipop loop around Tonto & Hance. So made the decision to hike out to the western tip of the mesa.

The trip out to the mesa was fun, more killer views of the canyon. Then hiked back to the campground area where we had more snack time and waited for another member of our party who had left to explore the other side of the mesa. Found a nice shady tree and actually snuck in a quick catnap. Made a quick side excursion over the hill to look at the mining site.

Hiking out, this trail seems almost easier going up than down. Takes about the same amount of time to travel either direction. Can heartily recommend this as a solid day hiking destination.
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Sep 28 2019
rcorfman
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 Guides 1
 Routes 128
 Photos 1,440
 Triplogs 1,144

61 male
 Joined Oct 17 2008
 Phoenix, AZ
Grandview Trail - Cave of the DomesNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 28 2019
rcorfman
Hiking7.84 Miles 2,888 AEG
Hiking7.84 Miles   4 Hrs   42 Mns   2.03 mph
2,888 ft AEG      50 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I decided to take advantage of the free park admissions for National Public Lands day. I've been meaning to head down Grandview trail and check out Cave of the Domes for years since a buddy of mine hid Wherigo Geocache, Cave of the Domes. Wherigo is like a location based video game played on a Wherigo enabled GPS device. Basically, I had to go down to the cave, then answer some questions at specific locations to calculate the final coordinates for the geocache, which is located outside the park.

Left my house a bit past 6 this morning, was on trail a bit past 10. The weather was nice with a bit of a breeze. Lots of people at the Grandview Point Lookout/trailhead. Most were wearing pants and sweatshirts, I was in my shorts and sandals. Go figure. The trail is steep, so it was more work going down than anticipated. Passed a group of lady backpackers on the way down and a couple other people coming out after a night below.

Interesting trail work, especially above the Coconino Saddle with the cribs holding the trail off the edge. That and the "cobblestone" tread made for a steep descent and a lung/thigh buster on the egress.

Had a good laugh once I reached the mesa with the signs pointing to Page Springs directing one to the Radioactive area to keep away from.

I spent about a half hour at the cave. I didn't go too far in as I didn't feel like crawling around in all the dust. Especially with drop off between where I got to and where I would have gone. I mucked a shoulder up the other day and really was avoiding having to stress it climbing around. I did enjoy seeing some popcorn and bacon and a whole slew of handprints above. It's always a question of how old they are. Are they from indigenous people, miners, or others?

After the cave, I went back to the camping area near the rock cabin ruin and started answering the Wherigo questions. Got the questions answered and went back out and up to Grandview Point. That was tough, I was soaking wet from sweat at the top.
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Apr 20 2019
emilystardust
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 Routes 2
 Triplogs 403

39 female
 Joined Jun 23 2015
 Phoenix, AZ
Grandview Trail - Cave of the DomesNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 20 2019
emilystardust
Hiking7.70 Miles 2,616 AEG
Hiking7.70 Miles
2,616 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This was my first time off the corridor trails in the Grand Canyon - very impressive! Loved not running into people/trying to get around people/vice versa for the majority of the hike. The cave was very large and impressive, but it felt pretty swampy in the back. Grandview was beautiful but tough on the hike out in the sun.
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Mar 17 2018
ddgrunning
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 Guides 2
 Routes 230
 Photos 4,513
 Triplogs 378

50 male
 Joined Apr 13 2011
 Gilbert, AZ
Grandview Trail - Cave of the DomesNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 17 2018
ddgrunning
Hiking11.22 Miles 4,775 AEG
Hiking11.22 Miles   10 Hrs   7 Mns   1.78 mph
4,775 ft AEG   3 Hrs   48 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
I worked all Spring Break, but decided to take the day off on Friday for a quick overnight and Saturday hike at the GC with the family. Well, turned out my wife and oldest daughter had to work on Saturday, and my youngest daughter had a soccer tournament. So, it ended up being a father-and-son outing, instead. :D

We stayed at the Red Feather Lodge in Tusayan. After checking in mid afternoon, we headed into the park for a visit to the Yavapai Museum and to get a Picmimic of at 1963 photo of my Dad, with my son (who shares the same name)-- [ photoset ] . Thanks again to @Hippy and @Chumley and others, who played along and helped track down the precise location.

After photos and a quick tour of the museum, it was out to Grandview Point to check on trail conditions for our hike the following morning. Found a tiny bit of ice and remnants of a little snow on the upper reaches of the trail, but nothing that required any traction devices.

We stayed and watched the sunset, before heading back to Tusayan for dinner. Ended up eating at the Pizza Hut inside the IMAX theater building, and decided on the spur of the moment to see the film. $12 per ticket for 35 minute film. It was not bad, but probably won't go see it again. My favorite part of the place is a huge wall-sized map of the entire canyon with call outs for various historical events in the canyon's "recent" history with western civilization.

After the movie, we hit the hay, as we planned an early start the next morning.

Alarm went off at 5 a.m. Ate a quick breakfast, readied our day packs and then set out for the Grandview Trail. Had to scrape the frost off the windshield, but it actually wasn't as cold as I anticipated. Upper 20's at the TH. I was layered up, which felt nice at the top, but within a mile I pulled off a thermal shirt and stashed it along the trail, as I knew I would not be needing it.

We dropped below the rim 15 minutes before sunrise, and enjoyed watching sun pop over the eastern edge of the rim as we descended the cribbing-supported switchbacks. Those first two miles are like hiking down a slippery slide--2,000-ft drop. At one point, it seemed there were 10 or so long, steep, cobblestone covered switchbacks right in a row. It is quite the stair-climber on the way out. I can see why they recommend extra caution on this one when it's covered with ice/snow.

Just before we reached the old stone cabin on the mesa, the first remnants of the mining operation appear to the right of the trail. Signs all around the on-mesa portion of the mining operation warn of radioactivity in the area. The mine remnants are not particularly exciting in this area--an old addit, and a couple of remnants of what look like they used to be vertical entrances that have been imploded and now just look like relatively shallow holes in the ground. The more impressive mines are to be found below the mesa to the east, on the way to Page Spring. More on that later.

Just within a 1/4 mile of the first signs of mines, and at the base of the "horseshoe" lies the remains of the rock cabin. Lots of cans, nails, and other remnants of old mining life scattered around here. We explored the campground area in the area east of the cabin. There are some really nice sites, many with makeshift wind breaks, suggesting that it's often windy here. The sweetest spot, IMO, was a place right near the edge of the drop down to the next canyon level. Talk about a great view from your tent door! :DANCE:

After wandering around the campsites a bit, we headed to our primary destination--the Cave of Domes. I didn't realize earlier that you can actually see the cave entrance quite clearly, from Grandview Point itself. Anyway, we arrived around 9 a.m. and spent the next 3 hours exploring.

A quick duck under the entrance deposits you into the front room, where the cave register and a few bone fragments await. Off to the left are a cool set of 4-5 columns and a good-sized area covered with fascinating, small bubble-shaped formations.

There were no balls of string at the entrance, as other logs have noted, but I agree that the cave (or at least the primary parts) are not that complicated in terms of risk of getting lost. In general terms, the cave goes straight back with one large arm jutting out to the right at a very obvious flow formation. To be sure, there are several spots that require some belly crawling and inching through tight spaces, but for the most part, I wasn't ever worried that I didn't know how to get back.

There are several humps or "saddles" that you must navigate. It seemed that most of them offered a route you could go underneath instead of scrambling over the top. The one exception is the saddle before what @hippy dubbed the "Grim Reaper." It took a little doing to get up to the top of it, given the slick rock and lack of good hand/footholds. Then, getting down the other side presented a similar challenge. We had brought some rope and a sling, and found a very convenient anchor point at the tip of the saddle to tie in for an easier descent (and scramble back up on the way back).

After the Grim Reaper, there seemed to be more belly crawls and we got to a section that spidered out a bit and each area we explored seemed to bring us back to where we had been, or forced us to chimney up to various "domes." We concluded we had reached the "end," though we didn't find the second register, so perhaps we'll make another go of it next time .... Regardless, we thoroughly enjoyed the cave, and had it all to ourselves. After we exited and were having lunch at the entrance, another pair of hikers arrived, but other than than, no on in the vicinity.

After lunch we climbed back up on the mesa and explored out tip of the west branch of the shoe. Nice views along that stretch, including a view down to Hance Rapids, as well as up to Desert View Tower off to the East.

We contemplated descending the shoe to the Tonto and around and up from Cottonwood Creek, but decided we spent too much time in the cave for that side trip, since we had to get out and drive back down to Phoenix that night.

Instead, on the way back, we decided to take the "short" side trip down to Page Spring. It is indeed not that far, distance-wise, but involves a 600 ft drop in elevation on a more primitive trail, so it's not an easy little jaunt. Along the way, though, are three other mine openings to check out, including what I assume was the primary shaft of the Last Chance Mine. The two big ones still have cart tracks in them and a fair amount of mining remnants lying around. The third has a small opening and is signed as a protected bat habitat. They are all grated off, with the bigger ones allowing you to go in about 30-40 feet to get "a taste."

Page Spring was cool to see, with the pool at the bottom so clear that it was hard to tell it was full of water, absent the droplets hitting it and creating miniature ripples.

With the sight-seeing done, it was on to the work of the day--climbing up and out! As anticipated, it was quite a calf-buster, but we loved it, and the changing views along the way, courtesy of the afternoon lighting and shadows on the Canyon walls and drainages.

It was rather "breezy" throughout the day, and especially as we neared the rim. Yet, with the hard work of the climb, I remained comfortable with shorts and a long sleeve shirt.

We hit the rim around 4:40 pm and headed into the village with high hopes of a hot shower at Mather Campground, only to find services shut down due to a water issue. Even the Maswick Lodge bathrooms had no water in the sinks. So ..., we headed to Tusayan and for face and hand rinse at the Wendy's, before grabbing some grub and embarking on the scariest part of the trip: letting my permit-wielding son drive us back to the Valley. :scared: (just kidding; he did great :D )
Geology
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2 archives
Oct 08 2016
capcyclone
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 Guides 1
 Routes 3
 Photos 55
 Triplogs 81

49 male
 Joined Jan 26 2011
 Phoenix, AZ
Grandview Trail - Cave of the DomesNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 08 2016
capcyclone
Hiking11.70 Miles 2,616 AEG
Hiking11.70 Miles   7 Hrs      1.67 mph
2,616 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Nice day hike along the Grandview Trail in the GC to visit the kitchen, cave and the various mines in the area. Beautiful day and the trail is in great shape!
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Aug 06 2015
Hippy
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 Guides 8
 Routes 4
 Photos 1,834
 Triplogs 643

35 female
 Joined Dec 02 2009
 Grand Canyon
Grandview Trail - Cave of the DomesNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 06 2015
Hippy
Hiking7.70 Miles 2,616 AEG
Hiking7.70 Miles
2,616 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Lion scat and sign on the mesa. Sweet!
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Apr 25 2015
Hippy
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 Guides 8
 Routes 4
 Photos 1,834
 Triplogs 643

35 female
 Joined Dec 02 2009
 Grand Canyon
Grandview Trail - Cave of the DomesNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 25 2015
Hippy
Hiking7.70 Miles 2,616 AEG
Hiking7.70 Miles   5 Hrs   45 Mns   1.34 mph
2,616 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Its cold and windy and overcast and I think its time to buy new hiking shoes.

I'm pretty sure I woke up on the wrong side of the sleeping bag today! *grumble grumble*

Thought a little hike would help but Meh.
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Apr 23 2015
bballard
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 Routes 1
 Photos 347
 Triplogs 27

40 male
 Joined Nov 23 2007
 Tempe, AZ
New Hance TrailNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Backpack avatar Apr 23 2015
bballard
Backpack20.00 Miles 4,435 AEG
Backpack20.00 Miles4 Days         
4,435 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Fresh off our first trip into the canyon last fall- my friends and I could not resist the urge to plan another! This time BJ, Shep, and I descended the New Hance trail- a painful knee-buster! We ran into a couple large groups at Hance Rapids where we spent our first night and witnessed kayaks running the rapids. Beautiful beach-side spot to appreciate the river in all it's glory. The next day it was on to the Tonto heading west, where we ran into our first bout of rain. Sporadic at first and windy, it didn't bother us much. Second night was also busy at Hance Creek. Plenty of water and a great side excursion up the canyon. The wind that night was intense, knocking our tents around, but not too much rain. On our third day we made our way around to the beautiful Page Spring and loaded up on water for the excruciating trek upwards to our last camp on Horseshoe Mesa. After setting up amidst bouts of rain, we headed off to Cave of the Domes. What an adventure exploring a real cave for the first time! On the way back the real rain hit, and throughout the evening all night... Grandview Trail up the next day to our bike-shuttle.

Wonderful journey. The magic of the canyon once again cannot be described in words. The intense weather only added to the mystique- views of cloud formations and rain constantly filtering our views and perception of light, shadow, contrast, color, and depth. Cannot wait until we are lucky enough again to immerse ourselves in this world.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
beautiful and constant display of many wildflowers.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Hance Creek Medium flow Medium flow
flowing really well.
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1 archive
Jan 09 2015
Hippy
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 Guides 8
 Routes 4
 Photos 1,834
 Triplogs 643

35 female
 Joined Dec 02 2009
 Grand Canyon
Grandview Trail - Cave of the DomesNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 09 2015
Hippy
Hiking7.70 Miles 2,616 AEG
Hiking7.70 Miles
2,616 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Snow packed down until lower Supai. Spikes on! 4-6 inches snow on trail sides. Niiiiice!!

Bighorn on trail, ol' grandaddy!!

Gorgeous day. Tank top and a light jacket.

Didn't go to second register this time but did get some neat gopro shots inside!
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Jun 29 2014
Hippy
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 Guides 8
 Routes 4
 Photos 1,834
 Triplogs 643

35 female
 Joined Dec 02 2009
 Grand Canyon
Grandview Trail - Cave of the DomesNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 29 2014
Hippy
Hiking7.70 Miles 2,616 AEG
Hiking7.70 Miles   4 Hrs      1.93 mph
2,616 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked linked
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Rode to th with friends did a quick up n down plus the butte
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Jun 20 2014
Hippy
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 Guides 8
 Routes 4
 Photos 1,834
 Triplogs 643

35 female
 Joined Dec 02 2009
 Grand Canyon
Grandview Trail - Cave of the DomesNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Backpack avatar Jun 20 2014
Hippy
Backpack7.70 Miles 2,616 AEG
Backpack7.70 Miles
2,616 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
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Hiked down Friday at 5pm, set up my tarp and backpack on a smooth surface on the east side of a lovely thick juniper then settled in for dinner, some reading, solitude and a great sunset!

My juniper camp was at the point of the northern most ridge of the west arm of the mesa and the views were stunning!!!

From my camp I could easily see Hances's asbestos mine and Hance Rapids including that beautiful diabase on river right of the rapids! And as the sun set the colors or the Grand Canyon Supergroup stood out in such a way...well, I may have shed a tear.

Woke up with the sun, quick visit to Cave of The Domes then hiked up GV in time for free lunch!

First solo over night in the Canyon this year, Whoo!
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Apr 12 2014
Hippy
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 Guides 8
 Routes 4
 Photos 1,834
 Triplogs 643

35 female
 Joined Dec 02 2009
 Grand Canyon
Grandview Trail - Cave of the DomesNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 12 2014
Hippy
Hiking7.70 Miles 2,616 AEG
Hiking7.70 Miles   3 Hrs      2.57 mph
2,616 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Fellow bike guide asked me to lead him to the cave. Made it down in an hour and out in an hour n half with 1 hour in the cave and on Horshoe Mesa Butte.

He was a trooper!! He came up to me today asking what's next, sweet! I love getting new hiking partners.
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Oct 20 2013
Dave1
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 Routes 29
 Photos 1,548
 Triplogs 1,802

45 male
 Joined Jan 25 2009
 Phoenix, AZ
Grandview TrailNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 20 2013
Dave1
Hiking15.00 Miles 4,800 AEG
Hiking15.00 Miles
4,800 ft AEG
 
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Down Grandview, out to the end of the western arm of Horseshoe Mesa (with a pitstop at Cove o' the Domes), down to the Tonto and west to Cottonwood. Went down Cottonwood until the big (50'?) pour-off in the Vishnu Schist. Went to the top of the bypass but then turned around as it was getting late. Up Cottonwood and then back up Grandview. A little water flowing in Cottonwood. Nice day!

Someone mentioned on another forum that there was a camera at the entrance of COTD but I didn't see anything.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Cottonwood Creek Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
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Apr 24 2013
cactuscat
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 Routes 58
 Photos 2,604
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49 female
 Joined Oct 15 2002
 
Grandview Trail - Cave of the DomesNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 24 2013
cactuscat
Hiking7.70 Miles 2,616 AEG
Hiking7.70 Miles
2,616 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Culture
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Apr 24 2013
Hippy
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 Guides 8
 Routes 4
 Photos 1,834
 Triplogs 643

35 female
 Joined Dec 02 2009
 Grand Canyon
Grandview Trail - Cave of the DomesNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 24 2013
Hippy
Hiking7.70 Miles 2,616 AEG
Hiking7.70 Miles
2,616 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked linked
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Another jaunt into the cave, never a dull moment
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Apr 07 2013
Hippy
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 Guides 8
 Routes 4
 Photos 1,834
 Triplogs 643

35 female
 Joined Dec 02 2009
 Grand Canyon
Grandview Trail - Cave of the DomesNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 07 2013
Hippy
Hiking7.70 Miles 2,616 AEG
Hiking7.70 Miles   9 Hrs      0.96 mph
2,616 ft AEG   1 Hour    Break
 no routes
Linked linked
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I decided that, after dropping off 9L, LP, JJ3 & Dave1 for their hike, I would meet them after work along Grandview, they were coming up, I'd head down.
Which of course would mean a late start so I wasn't about to go alone so I recruited a friend from El Tovar (Joe) to join me.
We hit the trail at 5:30pm and ran into 9L about 15 minutes later, we briefly chatted and I was told to relay how far ahead 9L was to the Johns and Dave who were all barely 10 minutes behind him.

Joe and I seemed to make decent time down the trail, I should probably mention I'd never been on this trail before and everything I happened to know about it was from my Tomasi book and 9L's previous trip logs :D

So we made it within half a mile of the cabin as the last of the sun's rays vanished, I cartwheeled in front of it and we continued on in the dark. I repeated over and over as we hiked the many descriptions and 9L's words of direction to reach the "spur trail" that led to the cave, down a drainage on the left will wrap around and take you into the redwall, got it...we briefly explored a tiny trail that led to a campsite, if it were daytime we probably wouldn't have considered that one, so pass that and continue on up a tiny hill until you reach this knoll, drainage type thing there are 15 or 20 rocks lined up "blocking" off the path, yeah, make a left and it'll take you down the drainage toward the red wall, awesome!

It was easy going, the trail is a tad bit steep and pretty rocky, single track the whole way but very clear to follow, it leads you up a tiny ledge to a pair of "fake caves" which at first made me say "Oh man you've got to be kidding me!" I was really disappointed...until Joe spotted the trail sneaking up to the left and BAM! A Huge alcove with a small opening that my Uncle could surely enter without feeling too claustrophobic :D
After a quick shuffle it opens up and you immediately spot the register and tons of knotted up rolls of string...

Everyone told me to unravel the string...but honestly if you have ANY sense of direction you should be fine, the cave goes directly straight back it's very straight forward with a few rabbit holes and chimney sections. There are no looping side caves that can get you lost, not that I saw anyway, no matter how hard I tried each side section in the first part of the cave led directly back to the register, I set up a spare headlamp by the register and we doubled back to it 3 times, then I decided enough with these tiny holes let's explore THAT one, so we headed deeper in to the largest opening and as promised it takes you into the heart of the cave and beyond...

They don't call it The Cave of the Domes for nothing, the ceilings in each opening is a huge...well, dome!! It's beautiful! It's still a living cave for as dusty and dry as it seems we encountered many "living" features including some that looked like "cave bacon" and "cave popcorn" a few tiny "shields" and I even got a photo of a full, umm, "straw" Where a stalactite meets a stalagmite all the way through, it was awesome and in a very tight crevice, I had to chimney down into a little "pocket" to be able to climb up and see it, absolutely FUN!!!

There was one part where you have to climb up a very steep and slick section to reach what looks like just a random ledge, it's actually a thick saddle maybe only 15 feet deep, there is a 12 foot drop on the other side, Joe began his descent down the center facing in and I opted for a short-person route on his right side, I slipped a bit and luckily he grabbed my hand, I got one foot hold and we were able to swing me around behind him were I flung myself up on his other side, THAT was pretty freaky, I scrambled back up to the saddle to catch my breath, he made it down and helped guide my footing,

For someone taller than 5 foot this shouldn't be TOO hard, there is an obvious hand and foot hold, just match your feet, grip the "knob" with your right hand and there is a pocket for your right foot just below the knob, I had to pretty much chimney best I could but it's a wide section, maybe 4-5 feet so once I was halfway Joe had to pull me down, if you're taller and/or have better bouldering skills this should be much easier for you!

Just please don't try this alone!! And if you can't get down please turn back...get some rope or a guide or something, try again later!! It really is kinda hairy if you're not use to this kind of thing.

From the saddle, before you climb down you can see across this big cave and see what looks like a black pile of rocks, we called it the Grim Reaper, once you climb down you realize its another opening...AWESOME! This is about the halfway point of the cave....I won't describe after this because words can do it no justice. If you can safely get to this point and will respect the environment and not get lost or hurt, you might deserve to sign that register. It's no secret but it gets tight and I'd say 'scary" but in all honesty I thought it was hella fun!! Make smart decisions, be safe!

We signed the "End of The Cave" register and sat in the dark contemplating the darkness and silence...then headed out, as I mentioned climbing up that "halfway climb" was a pain, Joe had to boost me up so I could grab the knob and scramble up to the saddle, got my heart racing until I reached the rock cairn on the smooth part.

By the way, green party lights in a dark cave might be absolute awesomeness, there were moments when we walked silently only by the dim glow of my green lights.

We spent just over 2 hours in the cave, for a trip time of about 9 hours plus at least an hour of rest/breaks. What a blast! Made it back to the Subaru at the TH at 2:20am and I was home in bed by 3am, what a great adventure!!!
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Nov 07 2012
cactuscat
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 Routes 58
 Photos 2,604
 Triplogs 391

49 female
 Joined Oct 15 2002
 
Grandview Trail - Cave of the DomesNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 07 2012
cactuscat
Hiking7.70 Miles 2,616 AEG
Hiking7.70 Miles   8 Hrs   12 Mns   1.16 mph
2,616 ft AEG   1 Hour   35 Mns Break
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Got a bit of a slow start, leaving Grandview at 9:45.
Forgot what a knee-buster the trail down to the mesa is!
Faced my first challenge just below the coconino saddle ... the spot that I nicknamed the "red funnel of death" on my first visit. At the start of the Hermit Shale, is this sketchy side-hill across a slope of slippery red gravel that would neatly funnel you to your death a couple hundred feet below in a lonely spot in upper Cottonwood Creek Canyon if you fell. The path is barely wider than your foot, and not too deeply imbedded into the gravel. My first time facing it, I froze for a bit and had a hard time making myself cross it ... this time I just took a deep breath and forced myself to march right across - it wasn't too bad.
I had a group of three backpackers behind at this time, but I only heard them - they never caught up.
Below the saddle and the funnel, I cached 32 oz of water.
Reaching the beginning of the mesa, and the pleasant stroll there, was a relief.
Saw my first person up close at the junction with the Page Spring Trail.
Reached the cabin a few minutes later and had my first break. Just under two hours from trailhead to cabin. I sat in the shade on the north side of the cabin, since it was already warm - though very nice.
One of my main purposes for this hike was to soak up some sunshine and warmth before the temps plunge and the snow starts this weekend! I thought I might see some snakes doing the same, but no - still no grand canyon rattlesnakes for me. Plenty of lizards and a few birds were about all I saw for wildlife. I was happy to see a solitary verdin - one of my favorite desert birds, which I have not seen since leaving Phoenix.
From the cabin, I headed north then beared left at the sign for the group campsite to the right. I moseyed along, really enjoying the sweet trail across the mesa. When I came to the wash where the cave trail starts, there were absolutely no cairns or rock arrows like there sometimes are. I just knew it must be the spot - from the descriptions I'd read and info I gathered from friends at work - it looked right and felt right. I checked out the wash and found quite a few footprints heading down it, so I followed ... it soon turned into a distinct path, and within five minutes it took me to the west face of the mesa and started working north for a few minutes to the cave. 28 minutes from cabin to cave.
I eagerly crawled into the cave, into the first large room with the register. Stayed there for awhile, looking around and attempting to take photos. Found a stalagmite (is it "tite" or "mite" when they are coming down from the ceiling?) that was slowly dripping water ... couldn't really get a pic, but it was cool to see that the cave is still living and growing.
I signed the register and saw that sometimes 3-5 days go by withot anyone visiting. I wrote that I hoped someone else wold come along, so that I would feel more comfortable going deeper into the cave. Then I took a roll of nice sturdy kite-string and started in ... was barely around the first corner when I heard a group of three people arriving - yay! For once I was very glad to have other people arrive. :D
I continued on and quickly zigged up and left when I should have zagged down and right - ended up at that 20+ foot dropoff. As I started to squeeze my way back out of there, the others caught up. I said hi, and asked if they were coming up there ... the guy in the lead - he turned out to be a guide - said "uh, no - we're gonna go down this way" I had to laugh and say "yeah, that would be the right way huh?". I took my time backtracking and following them to give them some space. It was at this point that one of my flashlights failed, despite new batteries, making me glad I had followed the 3 light sources rule!
This part was so fun! It's not so tight that it's scary, or hard to breath, but you definitely know you are caving! Got to the next place where it opens up and saw the actual dome ceiling, some more stalagmites and formations (cave bacon, anyone?) and signatures of early visitors on the walls.
I turned back after that, while the others contined just a bit farther. I was still outside the cave when they exited. We all brushed and pounded off large amounts of cave dust, and chatted as we squinted in the now very bright sun and heat. The guide Shane and I quickly discovered a connection with only one degree of seperation ... he is good friends and hiking buddies with a guy I work with - actually the main guy I go to for info and directions on things I'm interested in. Pretty cool.
I took a short break back at the trail intersection, and eyeballed the butte as I had been doing all day. I found the beginning of a path that looked promising and considered trying to contour around the butte to get a good look from all sides, but I decided that I had had enough adventure, and I better just head back the normal way. I really didn't want any part of the Grandview trail in the dark!
57 minutes from cave to cabin. Another short break at the cabin - 80 degrees.
In the Hermit Shale, I was passed by a very fit couple finishing a dayhike around the mesa on the Tonto trail - the only people I would see until the trailhead.
Stopped at the coconino saddle - 60 degrees.
2 and a half hours from cabin to Rim. Finished just as it got really dark, 5:57 pm - 50 degrees.
Really nice day and fun hike!
Culture
Culture
Benchmark
Named place
Named place
Horseshoe Mesa
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Arguing with idiots is like playing chess with pigeons.
Sep 22 2012
Booneman
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 Guides 9
 Routes 33
 Photos 736
 Triplogs 3,636

40 male
 Joined Nov 25 2008
 Chandler, AZ
Grandview Trail - Cave of the DomesNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 22 2012
Booneman
Hiking13.00 Miles 4,677 AEG
Hiking13.00 Miles   6 Hrs   7 Mns   2.13 mph
4,677 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Hiked to the caves and explored them for a few minutes, then dropped down to cottonwood springs and made a loop around Horseshoe Mesa.
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Jul 22 2012
SuperUnleaded
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 Photos 26
 Triplogs 17

51 male
 Joined Oct 05 2012
 
Grandview Trail - Cave of the DomesNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 22 2012
SuperUnleaded
Hiking7.70 Miles 2,616 AEG
Hiking7.70 Miles   8 Hrs      0.96 mph
2,616 ft AEG25 LBS Pack
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Cave of the Domes is a serious of domed rooms connected by chutes and tunnels beneath horseshoe mesa. The Grandview trail is fairly rough in places, but one of my favorite trails in the Grand Canyon. (It was carved and built in the 1890's what do you expect? :) )

At 3 1/2 miles down youll reach the campgrounds where I stopped to pitch a tent and have a snack. After lightening my pack, I headed around the left side of Horseshoe Mesa. The left side of the horseshoe will point to a shallow wash which almost immediately turns into a trail. Follow this trail off of the side of the butte, to reach the cave entrance. Dont take the first entrance, its too small and littered with droppings. Take the second entrance and crawl under to enter the first dome. There youll find a trail-log and string, along with knee-protecting cardboard cutouts. Be safe... mark your route if you dont know this area and bring at least 3 light sources. I read about a kid who came in with one flashlight which he ended up breaking and he was stuck here for 3 days until NPS came down and got him out.

Ive been in this cave-system twice and have managed to explore every room that can be accessed without climbing gear. Sadly, there is light graffiti and damage, as its the only cave system in the grand canyon that can be accessed without a permit. Be safe, and carry at least 3 light sources.

After exploring the cave, I headed back to camp and then down to Page spring which is the only water source in this area. This spring carries traces of arsenic, but is assumed to be safe for limited use. Hey! Here are some pics for ya!!

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.3306249940001.2133123.1380622073&type=3&l=f011419d6f
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Jun 17 2012
John9L
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 Guides 6
 Routes 174
 Photos 5,294
 Triplogs 1,639

male
 Joined Mar 12 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Grandview Trail - Cave of the DomesNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 17 2012
John9L
Hiking7.70 Miles 2,616 AEG
Hiking7.70 Miles
2,616 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners partners
squatpuke
This weekend the Grand Canyon had the Star Party and this gave me the perfect excuse to drag Cheryl up there so I could sneak off and do some hiking! The plan came together perfectly and Larry (Squatpuke) was interested. He ended up bringing his son Tytus. On Saturday night, the four of us enjoyed the stars and learned a lot. We eventually turned in for the night with plans to hike down to the Cave of Domes. Cheryl would tear down camp and then meet us at the trailhead later that morning.

We got out of camp and made our way to Grandview Point and started hiking around 7am. Tytus is only 9 years old so I knew we had to set a careful pace. We made our way down and worked our way towards Horseshoe Mesa. Tytus did great and we maintained an even pace.

We arrived at the cabin and took a short break for pics and snacks. From there we continued out on the mesa and veered towards the west. The spur trail to the cave is well marked with a cairn and an arrow pointing the way. We picked up the trail and arrived at the cave a few minutes later. After crawling inside the cave opens up and there is a register book. I signed our names and we had a look around. Altogether we spent about fifteens minutes and only explored a fraction of the cave.

Our plan was to split up at this point. Cheryl was meeting me at the trailhead at a specific time and I wanted to get moving. We said our goodbyes and I started the return hike. I knew right away the temps and constant sun were going to make the hike out tough! I cruised over the mesa and past the cabin and started working my way uphill. My pace slowed as I grinded upward. This was my first time on the Grandview Trail and I realized its not easy...especially in the summer! I took numerous short breaks and kept at it and before long I was back at the top with all the tourist. I did not see one person on the hike out until the top. Cheryl was there waiting for me. I left a note for Larry on his car and we made our way home. Another wonderful trip!

On a side note, I scored some New Hance overnight permits for late September. The plan is to head in New Hance and out Grandview. I can't wait! And the Backcountry office was so easy to work with in person!
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average hiking speed 1.64 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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