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Escalante Route - 18 members in 50 triplogs have rated this an average 4.6 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Feb 27 2020
derpsquad
avatar

 Routes 2
 Photos 64
 Triplogs 10

30 male
 Joined Sep 09 2015
 Tucson, AZ
Tanner to Grandview GC, AZ 
Tanner to Grandview GC, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Feb 27 2020
derpsquad
Backpack30.00 Miles 9,400 AEG
Backpack30.00 Miles5 Days         
9,400 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Day 1: Tanner to Cardenas Creek
Ice down Tanner for the first mile. Good thing we all had microspikes. Super steep trail with beautiful views all the way down to the river. Pretty good campsites at Tanner beach and a vault toilet. We filled water and pushed on to the beach at Cardenas creek for the night. Could definitely see running into a large river trip here but there is a lot of room.

Day 2: Cardenas Creek
Chilled at the beach all day. I have to give a shout out to Water Wizard flocculant. Just a few drops from an eye dropper bottle flocculates all the silt in under 5 minutes. Much easier than alum. Saw two small rafting trips float by. Two guys hopped out and gave us beer which was awesome.

Day 3: Escalante Route, Cardenas to Hance Rapids
What an adventure this trail is. Every corner provides a different perspective of the Colorado. Highlight of the trip for sure. Seventy-five mile canyon was pretty special. The Papago Wall and Slide aren't that bad at all.

Day 4: Tonto Trail, Hance Rapids to Hance Creek
Pretty decent elevation gain but nothing too crazy. Good views from the Tonto plateau. Hance creek is a special place to camp with clear, running water. I could see it being popular when in season. Up to now, we only saw a solo hiker and a group of three.

Day 5: Hance Creek to Grandview
This is quite the climb but you are rewarded with excellent views of the canyon the whole way up. About a mile from the TH we started to run into a few people.

Overall, I was surprised by the solitude - is it always like this in the winter? Can't wait to explore more of the GC - anyone have some more routes they could recommend?
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May 17 2019
BiFrost
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 Guides 4
 Routes 356
 Photos 7,614
 Triplogs 907

51 male
 Joined Nov 20 2012
 Phoenix, AZ
Wontans Throne Attempt, AZ 
Wontans Throne Attempt, AZ
 
Backpack avatar May 17 2019
BiFrost
Backpack41.60 Miles 11,494 AEG
Backpack41.60 Miles3 Days         
11,494 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners partners
Dave1
We made the drive up to Tanner trailhead Friday morning and started about 9am. The plan was to hike down Tanner Trail to the beach on the river and then continue on the first part of Escalante Route downstream towards our destination Unkar Creek. However, instead of hiking the 3 miles of Escalante Route to Unkar we ended up pack rafting that distance from just below Tanner Rapids to Unkar Rapids. Most of the current between rapids is fairly calm with only a few riffles.

Once we were in Unkar Creek we headed upstream to find a camp. We were surprised by a pleasant flowing stream in Unkar that Dave had mentioned last time was nearly dry. Eventually we found a good camp spot about 6 miles upstream to set us up for the summit attempt.

Next morning started hiking around 6am up canyon towards Freya Saddle which was top of the red wall. The red wall break to Freya included two bypasses around pour offs but they were fairly short and easy to navigate. We made the saddle by 830 and then continued on the traverse over to the Supai layer which was the next obstacle. The traverse is very long rough terrain so it took us a few hours to navigate to the Supai. From this point we didn’t have good data on the Supai route so we had to figure it out and piece together the route. There were some cairns that assisted getting through several layers but eventually we cliffed out on the top Supai layer. We looked around and tried several different approaches but could not find anything that looked like the right route or could work for us. After several hours trying figure out the puzzle we decided that a summit was no in our future.

We took a break before heading back on the traverse to Freya Saddle. The trip was faster going back and the down climb from the saddle back to camp also went fairly quick as well. Once back at camp we decided to pack up and hike the 6 miles back to the Colorado to make the last day shorter. We made camp late around 730 but still some light to setup.

Next day we just had to hike out from Unkar up the Escalante Route back to Tanner beach and then up Tanner Trail to the vehicle. The clouds rolled in on the hike out so the temps were cool and towards the top it started to rain and actually quite cold on the rim with wind and rain. Despite not making the summit it was a fun weekend in the canyon and we learned more about the route. Just need better data and research to make the summit more likely.
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1 archive
Apr 20 2019
GrottoGirl
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 Guides 3
 Routes 311
 Photos 11,581
 Triplogs 1,356

45 female
 Joined Sep 18 2009
 Tucson, AZ
Escalante RouteNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Backpack avatar Apr 20 2019
GrottoGirl
Backpack32.61 Miles 9,995 AEG
Backpack32.61 Miles3 Days         
9,995 ft AEG
 
Partners none no partners
It’s fun to do a trip you did a while ago to see how much you’ve progressed. If you have time go read my first triplog before reading this one. [ photoset ]

Day 1: I joined the trip at the last minute since I didn’t have anything else going on. We drove up to Flagstaff the night before so we could have a relative early start on the trail. Since I’ve done the Tanner trail a few times I decided to add Cardenas Butte which sounds like an easy Butte to do (no one else on the trip had done off-trail in the Grand Canyon). Most of my party wanted to conserve their energy so I only got one taker on the journey. The trip up to Cardenas had a few easy climbs. Soon we were at the top and the views were glorious! There is something about summoning a peak within a canyon that gives deep satisfaction. We hurried to catch-up with the group before they got to the beach. The hillsides lower down were littered with Mariposa lilies, Beavertail prickly pear, and what I think was Parry Tackstem. Simply beautiful! We found a camp at the far edge of Tanner beach. I cooled my cider as we cooled off playing in the water. Dinner was tacos of different varieties. Thanks to Brian I’ll have a new item to add to my usual menu. As I laid in my comfy bed, I got to see a shooting star - hope I didn’t wake anyone up as I’m sure I had an exclamation.

Day 2: This officially began our Escalante Route. There was cool bee colony in Cardenas Drainage. We hiked up and saw Hillside Ruins. The traverse wasn’t scary any more. We went all the way to Papago for camp. I scoured the climb. Saw people are doing a different route - it wasn’t a clean as the classic route at the mouth of the canyon so I picked that one.

Day 3: We climbed up the Papago wall. The Slide was still scary but I knocked it out quickly and waited for the others below. Then after tanking up on water, I headed out. I had to get back to Tucson and wanted to do so in a reasonable amount of time. I was able to complete the New Hance trail in 5 hours. At times the Supai got annoying because it seemed like it was landslide after landslide. Then the Coconino tried to kick my pumpkin. But in the end I persevered.

I’m so glad I repeated the trip. Company was great!
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
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Apr 10 2019
azbackpackr
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 Guides 27
 Routes 413
 Photos 5,109
 Triplogs 772

67 female
 Joined Jan 21 2006
 Flagstaff AZ
Seventy-five Mile Canyon, AZ 
Seventy-five Mile Canyon, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 10 2019
azbackpackr
Hiking1.20 Miles 200 AEG
Hiking1.20 Miles
200 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
This was a hike from a river camp called "Upper Nevills," just above Nevills Rapid. We hiked up Seventy-five Mile Canyon to the Escalante Route trail. Walking along the trail, we went out to the rim of the platform it's on and got a nice view of Nevills Rapid, and up and down the gorge. Since I have hiked the Escalante Route, I had been to that canyon before.

It was just a quick afternoon hike. I had to get back to camp to help with cooking dinner for 27 people--this was a commercial river trip. I thought I had GPS'd the hike. (In fact, I thought I had GPS'd all of the hikes on my trip, but some of them are missing.) Oh, well. Looking at the map, I guesstimated the distance and elevation gain.

Some of our guests went further up the canyon after topping over the ledge and said there was a nice waterfall there, but I was on dinner duty that night. My notes say that I made apple crisp in the Dutch oven. Yum! I do remember making the apple crisp, but I didn't write down what else we cooked for dinner.

It was a remarkably nice camp, in the trees. It had been pretty windy, with some rain, and we were tired of the wind, and were glad to fit our many tents into small spaces amongst the tamarisk trees.
Geology
Geology
Shinumo Quartzite
Named place
Named place
Nevills Rapids
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
Mariposa lilies, beavertail cactus, brittlebush, etc. etc.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Seventyfive Mile Creek Light flow Light flow
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There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.
Oct 27 2018
friendofThundergod
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 Guides 24
 Routes 300
 Photos 8,534
 Triplogs 804

38 male
 Joined Jan 21 2013
 AZ
Tanner TrailNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 27 2018
friendofThundergod
Hiking21.14 Miles 6,076 AEG
Hiking21.14 Miles   16 Hrs   58 Mns   1.75 mph
6,076 ft AEG   4 Hrs   53 Mns Break
 no routes
Linked linked
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BiFrost
Vishnu was the goal and I had a permit for a night in Unkar, but nothing seemed to be going in the direction of that happening, so I suggested a lazy day on the river and some much needed packrafting practice for the both of us. Luckily, this plan B turned out pretty well, well except the part about carrying full packs back to the trailhead after several hours of packrafting and a little hiking (sorry Karl).

We got a nice early start, but due to my own stupidity we did not get any sleep the night before and it started to cross my mind on the way down that we might put in a ton of work only to get denied by a lack of day light hours. I think Vishnu is definitely a three day summit. I am intrigued about maybe going back and doing it as part of an ambitious backpack from like Tanner to Phantom and out S.K.

Our plan B was working with our packrafts in the Colorado River and making an attempt to cross over to Basalt Canyon. I had heard that Basalt was a worthy destination from some boaters on my last backpack, so I was kind of intrigued about what the Canyon might have to offer. The river is quick at Basalt and it took us three times to figure out how we were going to cross it, but we eventually made it. Although at one point, I did think that Karl was heading for the big rapids after we both got caught in some rougher and faster water than what we should have been in. After making the crossing we could not break through the brush choked islands on the way to the mouth of Basalt, so we went back and got in our packrafts and just floated the river to the mouth of Basalt. We did not hike very far up Basalt, but were semi impressed by the short section of narrows we did hike to. Although, I know that Canyon holds more attractions. Crossing back to the south side was a bit of an attention grabber and kind of exhilarating. We did not have the benefit of the curve in the river, nor the use of the little eddy we used to assist our crossing to the north side. Instead we had a fast choppy crossing that required some pretty exhausting paddling to clear the current in the middle of the river.

After packing up our gear and taking a little bit of a break, we started back towards the slog that is the climb up Tanner. The climb though the redwall on Tanner has to be one of the more difficult trail climbs in the park I feel.
Named place
Named place
Vishnu Temple
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Oct 27 2018
BiFrost
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 Guides 4
 Routes 356
 Photos 7,614
 Triplogs 907

51 male
 Joined Nov 20 2012
 Phoenix, AZ
Tanner TrailNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 27 2018
BiFrost
Hiking21.14 Miles 6,076 AEG
Hiking21.14 Miles   16 Hrs   58 Mns   1.75 mph
6,076 ft AEG   4 Hrs   53 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked linked
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friendofThundergod
We headed into the GC down Tanner Trail with high aspirations of climbing Vishnu but as it turned out we decided to practice our packrafting skills instead. Starting hiking, a little after 2am on almost no sleep did not help our cause either and by the time we were nearing the Colorado Lee came up with the alternate plan of packrafting and exploring a side canyon on the north side. After doing the math on a Vishnu summit and the level of difficulty based on the amount of daylight required plan B seemed like a better option.

Once down on the Colorado we picked out a spot near Basalt Canyon to practice and hopefully cross. The goal was to cross and then check out Basalt Canyon on the north side. After some test runs and getting used to the current we finally made a run at crossing. It wasn’t too difficult and we made it across at the spot we wanted. We dealt with some brush and then floated some more getting to Basalt Canyon where we grabbed our daypacks for a short hike. Basalt Canyon had some short narrows and interesting rock coloration with a small trickle of water. Unfortunately, the water was just salty enough we didn’t want to filter. Eventually we headed back to the river and the packrafts.

Going back across was a bit more difficult with the current working against us but we gave ourselves plenty of runway to cross and hit the beach on the other side. I think that was my biggest takeaway from the practice to always give myself more runway than I think is needed just to have some margin of error. Back on the south side we took a break and re-packed everything. Lee had convinced me to hike back out that day which I can say wasn’t too excited about especially with full backpack. But it did get us out early and with all the packrafting practice the day turned out to be a nice alternative to Vishnu.
Named place
Named place
Basalt Canyon

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Basalt Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Water is salty so I would not recommend drinking it.
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1 archive
Nov 11 2017
gunungapi
avatar

 Photos 67
 Triplogs 9

50 male
 Joined Mar 17 2014
 Tucson, AZ
Tanner - Escalante - New Hance, AZ 
Tanner - Escalante - New Hance, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Nov 11 2017
gunungapi
Backpack27.00 Miles
Backpack27.00 Miles3 Days         
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
My friend Sam and I, along with my 15 year old son, hiked this route over three days. What a beautiful hike. This is now definitely one of my favorites in the Grand Canyon.

The hike definitely has a few challenging places. My topo map designates trail intensity with letters: E=Easy, M=Moderate, D=Difficult, and for extra difficult, DD. All three legs of this hike have “large chested” stretches on my map.

The views on the descent down the Tanner are spectacular because of the relative openness of the terrain all the way to the river. I can’t think of another trail where you’re within sight of a single spot on the Rim for the whole descent to the River. (In this case that spot is Desert View tower.)

I wish that I had read the triplogs on this website before the hike because we would have taken the detour up Escalante Butte. We certainly would have had plenty of time, since we reached Tanner Beach by early afternoon. We explored and relaxed for the rest of the afternoon. The upper cliffs of the South Rim illuminated by the setting sun were gorgeous, and the cliffs reflecting in the Colorado made for some nice photos.

As soon as the sun went down our camp was besieged by mice. Those little devils are fast. You could hardly raise your arm to throw a rock before your target had darted off under a rock or log. We emptied our packs of food and hung the food off an overhang, but even that wasn’t good enough: I awoke in the middle of the night to the sound of Sam whacking his empty pack with his hiking stick in order to knock off a couple of mice that were busy chewing on it.

The second day of the hike, the Escalante Route, was my favorite leg because of the variety and beauty of the terrain. The only part of this leg worthy of its “Route” designation was the last couple of miles, from the mouth of Seventyfive Mile Creek to Hance Rapids. Otherwise it’s an easy-to-follow trail.

We stopped partway up Dox Hill because one of us had to dig a hole, and while we sat beside the trail, I spotted Angel’s Window out near the end of Cape Royal on the North Rim. My son and I had visited it a couple of years ago, so it was fun to see it again, but from a different perspective.

Later on, it was a thrill to lean over the east edge of Seventyfive Mile Canyon looking for the creek bed below, not be able to see it, and then have to lean even farther over the edge before finally seeing it. Less than an hour later, we were walking down that very creek bed, looking waaay up to the canyon’s edge far overhead.

The trail definitely gets more route-like after Seventyfive Mile Creek. It was a bit daunting to arrive at the bottom of Papago Wall without really knowing what it was, and seeing the cairns at the bottom and top. We really have to climb that? But upon closer inspection, it turns out that it’s not so bad. We were able to climb it without even removing our packs.

The mice were even bolder and more numerous at Hance than they were at Tanner the night before. At one point in early evening I looked down and found a mouse sitting right beside me in the sand.

The mice stole a couple of things from us in the night too: Sam’s sock (taken to be used in a nest?) and the small leather keeper from his hat strings. A mouse also chewed a hole in my son’s water bladder bite valve. I was relieved that they didn’t chew a hole in my tent.

What can I say about the hike out on the New Hance? It’s steep, especially since the first couple of miles in Red Canyon gain almost no elevation at all. That being said, I enjoyed the hike up more than our hike down a couple of years ago – definitely easier on the knees and hips.

Now I’m itching to get back here again sometime – maybe try out the Tanner-Beamer-Salt trails?
_____________________
1 archive
Oct 21 2017
DallinW
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 Guides 1
 Routes 105
 Photos 1,740
 Triplogs 228

28 male
 Joined Feb 26 2015
 Gilbert AZ
Tanner - Escalante - New Hance, AZ 
Tanner - Escalante - New Hance, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Oct 21 2017
DallinW
Backpack25.91 Miles 8,150 AEG
Backpack25.91 Miles3 Days         
8,150 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners partners
rcorfman
Russell invited me to come along on a 3-day backpacking trip in the Grand Canyon on the Tanner - Escalante - New Hance "loop". He had one extra spot available so I invited my friend Alex to come along too. This was all new territory for me in the canyon so it was impossible to say no.

Day 1
Alex and I met up with Russell and Craig on Saturday morning around 8 A.M. just off the highway on the road you use as parking for New Hance. After some breakfast, we all piled into Craig's truck and headed for Lipan Point.

We started down Tanner Trail making good time despite how steep it was. This is the first "primitive" trail I've been on at the Grand Canyon and I like the feel. Just enough cairns and use to be navigable without much thinking, but you're still on you're toes because it's steep and you might need to use your hands for stabilization.

About 2.5 miles in, Alex, Craig, and I diverged from the Tanner Trail and headed for Escalante Butte via the north ridge. There are a lot of really fun scrambles, and some small climbs before the summit. The views into the canyon from the ridgeline are awesome!

Once at the split summit boulder, we all looked at the spot where you have to make the leap and didn't like how exposed it was. Alex and Craig spent some time trying to find a way to climb the eastern face of the gap. They would always get one or two steps away from being able to pull it off but there wasn't anything secure to grab on top to pull yourself up. I'm not a climber, so for me it was the jump or an assist.

Alex assisted Craig to the top of the summit by letting Craig use his shoulder. I did the same for Alex. While they sat on the summit and signed the register, I re-climbed the western face, positioned myself on the ledge of the gap and re-evaluated the jump. I decided I was going to go for it. I assisted Craig back down from the summit before making the jump so we all wouldn't get stuck up there.

I focused only on where I was going to land, and where my other foot was going to go to pull me up off the ledge which is tilted back towards the gap. Then I shot the gap. Easy peasy!

On the summit, I quickly signed the register and snapped a couple of photos. Russell had probably been waiting an hour by this point. I decided to take the assisted down climb from the summit rather than jump back to the western ledge. That jump looks even scarier. :scared:

We met back up with Russell, had some lunch, then continued down Tanner to the Colorado. Once there we spent some time loitering on the beach before setting up camp. Later in the day @sirena rolled through our camp on one of her Canyon adventures. Nice to meet you!

Day 2
We woke up and started walking a little before 8 A.M. I started a little chilled but quickly warmed up as we hit pockets of sun that had made their way into the canyon already. Once we worked our way across the flat sandy banks of the Colorado to where we would climb up and away from the river, I was over the sun and seeking shade.

Great views along the Escalante route from where you climb away from the river to Papago Creek. Route finding is pretty straightforward all along the route with well placed cairns and in some places a pretty well worn tread. The highlights for me were Seventyfive Mile Creek and the Papago Wall.

Once we reached New Hance Rapids we all got in the river for a little bit while it was hot. The water is really cold at first but it feels refreshing after you get out and let the sun warm you back up. Beach life along the Colorado seems pretty nice.

Day 3
After a not so satisfying night of sleep it was time to exit the big ditch via New Hance. This trail starts out at a really nice grade as you follow the bottom of Red Canyon, but you pay for it later once you leave the bottom of the creek and start a relentless climb up the side to the Rim. There is some overgrowth along this section of the trail and you may need to pay a little more attention for route finding, but it is still pretty straightforward.

I brought a liter and a half of water with me which I had almost completely burned a little over half way up. I started feeling pretty woozy on the last 2 miles, probably because I was starting to get dehydrated. I entered snail mode to crawl up the final 2000ft. From New Hance Rapids to Rim I believe it took us a little over 4 hours. Whew, that climb is a doozy!

Thanks again Russell for the invite!
Named place
Named place
Escalante Butte Escalante Creek
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Light
Some yellow here and there in the drainages.
_____________________
Oct 21 2017
rcorfman
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 113
 Photos 1,398
 Triplogs 963

60 male
 Joined Oct 17 2008
 Phoenix, AZ
Tanner - Escalante - New Hance, AZ 
Tanner - Escalante - New Hance, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Oct 21 2017
rcorfman
Backpack26.62 Miles 8,090 AEG
Backpack26.62 Miles3 Days         
8,090 ft AEG20 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Partners partners
DallinW
I grabbed the distance and AEG from Chumley's route.

I had a couple openings on my permit so I contacted DallinW to see if he and a friend wanted to come along with me and my longtime hiking friend, Craig.

Day 1 - Tanner Trail:

Craig and I met Dallin and Alex at the New Hance Parking Saturday morning where we had pancakes and eggs for breakfast. Unfortunately, I committed the mortal sin of leaving the bacon at home. :o

After breakfast, we headed to Lipan Point and were heading down Tanner Trail around 9:00. The first part is fairly steep but was easily managed. Dallin mentioned how he wanted to peak bag Escalante Butte. On the way down I slipped on my pumpkin, part I of my penance for my bacon transgression. I had a bit of a headache when we reached the turnoff to Escalante Butte, so I decided to take some vitamin I and close my eyes for awhile while the others ran up the hill.

After a time I got a bit antsy so I wandered around the area and started to climb a small nearby hill. I stood on a rock with a bunch of cactus in front of me figuring out where to step next when the rock rolled out and I fell chest first towards the cactus patch. I sacrificed my right hand and was able to stop my chest from landing hard in the spiny hell. I spent the next half hour saying Hail Marys and Glory Bes pulling out spines from my arms, legs, chest, and mostly from my hand. Interestingly enough, my head no longer ached. :? Thankfully, the rest of the hike down the Tanner went without incident, my penance complete.

Once at the Colorado River, we hungout at the beach for a good long time. The river water was really clear; the clearest I have ever seen it; there was essentially no silt in it. Craig was on the river at South Bass last week and he said it was the muddiest he'd ever seen it then. Things cleaned up nicely this past week.

We finally got up and decided to find a place to camp for the night. The more usual spots were taken from hikers that came in while we were lazing on the beach, but we found a good and sandy spot farther down.

As the sun was setting, @sirena walked through. We all introduced ourselves and had an enjoyable chat over dinner. It's always nice to meet a fellow HAZer. :)

Day 2 - Escalante Route:

I'd been down Tanner and out Beamer before but the Escalante Route and New Hance Trail were new to me. I was looking forward to today! We started the route a bit before 8. It was shady and brisk at first but the tread was easy to follow and easy walking so we kept a good pace and warmed up.

This is described as a route but it's really a pretty decent and easy to follow trail most of the way to Red Creek. There are some more difficult sections, but in general, I was surprised with how easy it was to stay on track throughout.

For some reason, I thought there was no water from Tanner to Red Creek, so I left with about 3.5 liters of water. That was a mistake as the route goes right by the Colorado at Escalante Creek about 8.4 miles out. We stopped there for a lunch break and watched some rafts run the rapids there. This would be a nice place to camp.

It seemed to have warmed up a lot after our break at Escalante Creek and the climb up from there was hot. Despite that, the rest of the day's walk was the best of the route. I really enjoyed walking above 75 mile creek then dropping into the creek bed and following it back to the Colorado. That was my favorite part of the whole trip. From there, the traverse to Papago Creek was a bit tedious with the rocks followed by the steep descent down the Papago Slide to Papago Creek.

My big unknown was how difficult the climb up the Papago Wall would be. It was actually fairly straight forward for the four of us. I was last up and my only difficulty was finding a hand hold on the top part. I'm the shortest of us four and wasn't able to see it like the others. Once Dallin pointed out the hold, I finished the climb.

From there, it's not too far to Red Creek, the latter part through brush along the river.

Once at the river, we went for a dip to cool off and rinse the grime away. How refreshing. Afterwards, we found a nice camp spot under some mesquite trees. We were hanging out at camp and thought we were the only people camping in the area when two Chippendale Dancers and, I suppose, their agent walked through camp carrying Tenkara rods to go fishing. Okay, I don't know if they really are Chippendale Dancers, but they are two really buff guys with smooth shaven bodies, only wearing shoes and tight short shorts. What would you think?

Day 3 - New Hance Trail:

I was the first one up to perform the requisite pee in the river ritual. We weren't in a rush to get going, but Alex needed to get home early evening so we weren't too slow either. We started the walk up Red Creek a bit before 8. The first couple miles up the creek were pretty easy and my thoughts were wandering around and I started contemplating how fast shoes would wear out walking on the rocky creek bed.

Once the trail left the creek bottom, it started climbing with a vengeance. That was one pumpkin steep climb. Dallin wanted to make it to the top in one push and was a bit ahead of Alex and me but after almost two hours I decided I needed a quick snack break. Alex kept trudging on. I stopped at the top of the first steep pitch and shortly after I started going again, decided to wait for Craig who had just come into view. Craig saw a couple Bighorn Sheep we had scared towards him. The trail descends back into the wash (hate that) then follows the wash up through the red wall. Craig and I took another short break there before the last push up to the rim. That last push was super steep too. I'm not sure it would be any better going down.

We had shade most all of the way up to the rim. Once we got in some sunny spots, we were high enough that it wasn't hot and they were never for very long.

Once on the rim, I continued to highway 64, then followed the it to where Dallin's truck was parked. To my surprise, Dallin and Alex weren't too far ahead of me and I caught up to them. We reached the truck just past noon and Craig followed us in a couple minutes later.

Thoughts

I really liked this GC trip itinerary and think it is a great three day trip. It would be easy to add a day and camp at Escalante Creek too. That would give two easy days to cover the Escalante Route.

Tanner Trail is steep, New Hance Trail even more so, so I recommend packing as light as you are able. A light pack also helps when climbing the Papago Wall.

Bonus

Craig put together a short YouTube video. There're stills for about 25 seconds before the video kicks in.
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Light
Mostly over, some yellow leaves near the top of Tanner Trail and the upper portion of New Hance Trail.
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May 26 2017
Dave1
avatar

 Routes 29
 Photos 1,548
 Triplogs 1,802

44 male
 Joined Jan 25 2009
 Phoenix, AZ
Almost Vishnu Temple, AZ 
Almost Vishnu Temple, AZ
 
Backpack avatar May 26 2017
Dave1
Backpack44.00 Miles 12,400 AEG
Backpack44.00 Miles3 Days         
12,400 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Almost. I made it to within about 150-200 feet below the summit.

Started out from Lipan Point loaded down with camping, packrafting and rappelling gear. Got a late start at 10am so it was quite warm when I reached the foot of Tanner Trail. Followed the Escalante route for about 4 miles and then cut off trail until I reached my river crossing spot, just before Unkar Creek. Aired-up my Buoyancy Operated Aquatic Transporter (BOAT), donned my wetsuit and PFD, said a prayer and got into the cool water. The crossing went well as it was on an outside turn and so centrifugal force basically deposited me right where I wanted to be. The return trip wasn't so pretty. Stashed my rafting gear under some brush then went and took a quick look at some of the ruins on Unkar Delta before starting up Unkar Creek. There's a marked trail that runs through the delta. I just did a short part of it. Most of the sites were re-burried by the park service after study. I followed Unkar Creek about 5 miles until I reached the side canyon I would need to reach Freya/Vishnu Saddle. By then the sun was gone so I found a big flat rock to camp on. Extremely windy all night. I probably slept 2 hours. There's running water in Unkar but from all the white residue around it it must be heavily mineralized. And in some sections it was running orange. So I only took water from the Colorado.

Once on the saddle the next morning, I followed the route description from Grand Canyon Summits Select towards Vishnu's summit. I spent about 2 hours hemming and hawing at what the Tomasis called the Supai crux. A 30 foot class 4 climb in the upper Supai. I must have put my backpack back on and walked away only to turn around again at least 5 times. The climb really isn't bad, its just that I hate downclimbing and this climb requires you to commit to finish once you start. Finally found the nerve to get up it and then headed up to the Coconino. All kinds of scrambling, route finding and some class 3 there that was easy but reminded me of Cathedral Rock on Lemmon with the exposure. Up into the Kaibab I got to the "tough boulder move" and that's where I called it. Again, not a difficult climb but I guess I was done at that point, for many reasons. Here's a short list: low on water, getting late and I still had to get back to my camping gear in Unkar, already had one rapel weighing heavy on me and didn't want another, too many moves to remember just to get back to the saddle, and I was higher than I expected I would get so was still satisfied. These temples never go down on the first attempt anyway.

Back down to Unkar, spent another night in the creek and then crossed the CO on the morning of my 3rd day. That crossing took two tries as the river really wanted me to stay on the north side. Long 5-hour slog up Tanner to finish off.

This hike put me just past 3,000 lifetime miles at the canyon.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Unkar Creek Medium flow Medium flow
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2 archives
Apr 10 2017
Barrett
avatar

 Guides 14
 Routes 9
 Photos 1,311
 Triplogs 283

56 male
 Joined Dec 20 2002
 Phoenix, AZ
Tanner - Escalante - New Hance, AZ 
Tanner - Escalante - New Hance, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Apr 10 2017
Barrett
Backpack27.00 Miles 8,090 AEG
Backpack27.00 Miles3 Days         
8,090 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
On April 10th the full moon rose 17 minutes before sunset, and set 5 minutes before dawn. Give or take a few minutes, this happens every spring and has become a tradition with me when trying to get a permit. Stars look the same anywhere dark, so I gladly trade the Milky Way for a Moonlit Canyon.
Day 1 - 10 miles
Arriving at Lipan Point, I made my way down into the wooded ravine for my first trip down Tanner, enjoying the cool breeze among the trees along this beautiful trail. I would say the first section is less exposed than Grandview, but more challenging than SK. Once I hit the redrock geology of the saddle and the views opened up I was on cloud nine. Finding a bit of shade, I set up my chair and had my PB and J burrito lunch and took it all in. From there it was on to the spur leading to the Redwall overlook, noting the killer campsite for next time, and then down the switchbacks to begin the relatively less amazing trip to the river. Having reached the wonderful white sand beach, I enjoyed another tradition - full immersion in the Colorado. I hate being cold for long periods, but short, sharp shocks can be quite enjoyable. Freshened, I continued on toward Dox Hill's ruins, amazed at how lush the flora was. I've never seen so many flowers blooming at every elevation here. Arriving at the ruins was even better than I expected, stunning views in every direction 30 minutes before Sunset and a Full Moon rise! :y:
I kicked back in my chair and could hear the rafters below and miles away in the stunning silence of the canyon as the last warm light left the walls above. I howled (terribly) as the moon rose, and heard a few below do the same. There's just enough room for one tent, and I had my first night with my new REI Flash inflatable mattress. I actually got tears in my eyes when I lay down - it's that good. Of course, having the canyon visible by full moon through my mesh tent wall didn't hurt much.
Day 2 - 13 miles
Followed the ridge south and down to meet back up with the Escalante Route, blown away by the hillsides of Brittlebush in full bloom. Morning light made the trip to Escalante Creek picture perfect, and when I reached Seventyfive Mile Creek, I ended up following the Shinumo all the way back to drop in, not even seeing the harder, shorter route down. I'm glad I did, because seeing more of the winding slot was awesome. Watered up again at the river, and headed toward Papago Creek, where I confronted the Papago Wall. It looked doable with my pack, so I headed up, using my GoPro bite mount for some video. I got stuck for a minute right at the top, before noticing a cairn to my left and down a bit that led me right up. I wouldn't want to down climb this, but coming up was a blast. The views from the short section before the Papago Slide are a fine reward for both the wall and the scramble down. The route along the river to Hance Rapids was the faintest yet, but by staying close to the river I was soon at the mouth of Red Canyon and back on familiar ground. It was only 4 pm, so I opted to shoot for the camp I saw last time up New Hance with 148 oz. water for the night and next day. Exactly 2 hours later I arrived at camp (33.017735 -111.929436), once again 30 minutes before sunset, leaving me time to explore a bit and find a small mine due north before settling down to dinner. The wind was pretty strong, so I lost my tent view to a heavily anchored fly, but otherwise a second perfect night.
Day 3 - 4 miles
The morning light, as usual, made the start up a feast for the eyes, and I was pleased to find the trail easier than I had remembered. I may have gone off trail somewhere in the final switchbacks last time, it really does get pretty wild. The Trailhead sign arrived and I was soon at my Taco, which I took to the first overlook parking west of Lipan Point. There is a perfect slab 100 yards east along the rim where I set up my Zero-gravity lounger, cracked a Trappistes Rochefort 10 (Beer Advocate 99 score, 11.3% ABV), and settled in for the best beer I have ever had, reflecting on a ridiculously perfect trip into the most amazing place on Earth.

P.S. Don't ever show your spouse GoPro footage of even an easy climb - it will look really dangerous and make it harder for you to get loving support for your next trip. :doh:

P.P.S Oh, and here's that video. [ youtube video ] I know about the glitches - I'll get around to it when I figure it out. DVD works fine, but YouTube sticks.

P.P.P.S. And one I have been putting off for the 25 years I have owned a video camera. [ youtube video ]
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Extreme
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It was tense.
3 archives
Feb 24 2017
knmurphy
avatar

 Photos 281
 Triplogs 222

40 male
 Joined Aug 03 2008
 Chandler, AZ
Escalante RouteNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Backpack avatar Feb 24 2017
knmurphy
Backpack29.60 Miles 8,100 AEG
Backpack29.60 Miles3 Days         
8,100 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Tanner trail had some minor ice on it but additional traction was not needed. Temps in the 20's and windy at the top. The Escalante route itself turned out to be more trail like than Tanner or New Hance, although having the gpx was still handy. New Hance is a rough trail, recent storms have made it just a little more so.
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2 archives
Oct 29 2016
chumley
avatar

 Guides 78
 Routes 679
 Photos 14,842
 Triplogs 1,535

47 male
 Joined Sep 18 2002
 Tempe, AZ
Tanner - Escalante - New Hance, AZ 
Tanner - Escalante - New Hance, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Oct 29 2016
chumley
Backpack26.62 Miles 8,090 AEG
Backpack26.62 Miles3 Days         
8,090 ft AEG26 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Partners partners
clairebear
John9L
Tough_Boots
zukerrach
This is a beastly loop!

John and I set up the shuttle while the others got a head start down Tanner with Karl and Kathy. We met those two as they were starting up Escalante Butte, and convinced them to join us for another mile and head up Cardenas instead, which they did.

We finally spotted the others at the redwall break, but it took us all the way to the bottom of the break before we finally caught up. From there we hiked together to the beach which was actually a bit crowded, with a handful of different groups camped in a few places. We found a nice spot and settled in for the afternoon.

In the morning we began our long traverse across the Escalante Route. This route has it all: riverside sand, scrambles, climbs, huge views, narrow canyons, and a lot of solid work!

We were happy to arrive at Red Creek to find our favorite camp spot unoccupied. In fact there was nobody else there, which was a nice change from the night before!

Monday we got up early and made steady progress up New Hance. I had only been down this one before, and all I can say is that ascending it is relentlessly steep and it takes a toll!

We couldn't have had better weather all weekend. Cloudy and mild. Never too cold at night, and never too warm during the day. The clouds were a gift, and the cool breezes made it tough to beat.

It was great to meet Jared, and good to see Rachel again. Thanks for putting this one together! (Kudos to 9L for the assist) :)
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Isolated

dry Cardenas Creek Dry Dry

dry Escalante Creek Dry Dry

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Papago Creek Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Just a trickle coming over the falls to the beach. Would have been difficult to get anything from it.

dry Red Canyon Dry Dry



dry Tanner Canyon Dry Dry
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2 archives
Oct 29 2016
Tough_Boots
avatar

 Routes 67
 Photos 2,708
 Triplogs 755

63 male
 Joined Mar 28 2008
 Phoenix, AZ
Tanner - Escalante - New Hance, AZ 
Tanner - Escalante - New Hance, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Oct 29 2016
Tough_Boots
Backpack26.62 Miles 8,090 AEG
Backpack26.62 Miles3 Days         
8,090 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners partners
chumley
clairebear
John9L
zukerrach
Apparently all of HAZ descended into the Grand Canyon this weekend and I was lucky enough to be in one of those groups. The weather and temperature couldn't have been more beautiful and the trails couldn't have been rockier and steeper.

We ran into Karl and Kathy at the east entrance and they came along for the first part of our day. Tanner is steep steep steep. I don't think my calf muscles ever recovered-- the downhill hurt all weekend. Camp at the bottom was a little crowded but we managed to snag a sweet spot after Chumley scared off some youngsters.

On day two, we hit the Escalante Route. I loved this trail. It was tougher than the sections of the Tonto I've done but much more interesting with some great "wow" moments. 75-mile Creek was definitely a highlight and the Papago Wall and Papago Slide were good "oh crap" moments.

That night we stayed at everyone's favorite camp spot. Its nice to revisit places I've camped before. I went to bed early dreading the climb out the next day. I remembered how rough New Hance was coming down and was not looking forward to that hike. I tried to remind myself how cool that trail is-- I don't think it helped.

We headed out in the morning. I did my best to enjoy the section in Red Canyon before the real ascending began. I think this ended up being my worst climb out of the canyon. I was broken off by the time I made it up the redwall. I sludged up the rest of the way up. It seemed like every time I looked at my GPS, I still had 2,000 feet to go. I was going slower than planned and realized I would need to conserve my water more than I had originally thought. I finally hit that last 500 feet and the end was in sight. I reached the top, turned around to give the canyon a couple single digit salutes, and went to meet the rest of the pack. Great trip, though :D
Named place
Named place
Comanche Point
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Isolated
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Oct 29 2016
John9L
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 Guides 6
 Routes 174
 Photos 5,073
 Triplogs 1,632

male
 Joined Mar 12 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Tanner - Escalante - New Hance, AZ 
Tanner - Escalante - New Hance, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Oct 29 2016
John9L
Backpack26.62 Miles 8,090 AEG
Backpack26.62 Miles3 Days         
8,090 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners partners
chumley
clairebear
Tough_Boots
zukerrach
This all started with Rachel contacting me earlier this year asking about a 3-4 day Grand Canyon adventure. My first suggestion was Escalante Route and all the details unfolded from there. Time flies and next thing you know the six of us are driving up Saturday morning arriving at the east entrance around 10am. To our delight we spotted Karl & Kathy. They had to change their original plan so they joined us for the start of our hike.

Chumley and I set the shuttle while the combined group of six started the hike down Tanner. We started down around 11am and gradually descended. Tanner is steep off the start and the relatively heavy backpack doesn't help. We continued down and caught up to Karl & Kathy near the base of Escalante Butte. They decided to continue down to Cardenas where the approach was easier. The four of us continued from there. They eventually broke off for Cardenas while Chumley and I continued down to the spectacular view at the top of the Redwall. The Canyon never gets old!

Next up was the Redwall and we started down spotting the others near the bottom. The descent through the Redwall is steep and loose but not too bad. It took some time and we caught up the others. From there our group of six completed the last few miles to the river. Once down we selected a great campsite to the left. It was mid-afternoon and we all settled in doing camp chores like setting up camp and filtering water.

We woke on day two and took our time tearing down camp. We hit the trail around 8:30am and started the Escalante Route. I kept telling everyone it's an easy 12 miles with a few obstacles. I way undersold it! The route is a beast and really wears you down. We took several breaks along the way and lunch at Escalante Creek. From there we climbed the Papago Wall and then down the Papago Slide. I don't remember the slide being so steep! The last mile to Red Canyon was a slog.

All of us were beat as we walked into camp. I was delighted to see we scored the prime campsite under the Mesquite Tree. It was more camp chores as we settled in for evening. It will be another beautiful night. We would have wonderful weather for the entire trip. Everyone was achy and turned in early knowing the hike out is going to be a huge elevation day!

Our final day started with a quick morning. Everyone was up fairly early and began prepping for the hike out New Hance. This was another one I said wasn't a big deal. I guessed we'd fly out and I was wrong. The first two miles are fairly mild in a creek bottom. From there it's just about all up as we headed for the top of the Redwall. The Supai traverse was slow as you needed caution while you work your way across. Once we hit the gully it's more climbing over the final two miles. I would guess our pace at less than a mile an hour through here. It was a tough climb and I was glad to finally top off at the New Hance sign. From there the six of us packed up and headed for NiMarcos in Flagstaff!

This was a fun trip but really took some effort. I forget how difficult the Grand Canyon can be. Anyways thanks everyone for coming out for this one. This was the first time I met Jared and he was a lot of fun & solid hiker. It was great hiking with Rachel too. Let's plan something for 2017!
Fauna
Fauna
Great Blue Heron
Culture
Culture
Campsite
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1 archive
Apr 02 2016
ECEGatorTuro
avatar

 Triplogs 27

38 male
 Joined Mar 04 2006
 Gilbert, AZ
Tanner - Escalante Route - Grandview Circuit, AZ 
Tanner - Escalante Route - Grandview Circuit, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Apr 02 2016
ECEGatorTuro
Backpack32.00 Miles 9,000 AEG
Backpack32.00 Miles6 Days         
9,000 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
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1 archive
Mar 19 2016
ultrazona
avatar

 Routes 7
 Photos 894
 Triplogs 181

33 male
 Joined Mar 07 2009
 Phoenix, AZ
Escalante RouteNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 19 2016
ultrazona
Hiking12.00 Miles 2,200 AEG
Hiking12.00 Miles
2,200 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
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ultrazona.com
Nov 01 2015
sirena
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 4
 Photos 3,873
 Triplogs 362

46 female
 Joined Feb 12 2008
 Tucson, AZ
Tanner to Grandview, AZ 
Tanner to Grandview, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Nov 01 2015
sirena
Backpack35.00 Miles 4,600 AEG
Backpack35.00 Miles6 Days         
4,600 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
November 1-6th

I had three events to work for the Arizona Trail Asociation- two in Tusayan and one in Page. Six days in between and I was determined to spend every second of it in the Grand Canyon. Late Sunday morning, we had a beautiful ceremony for the placement of a memorial bench dedicated to the Father of the Arizona Trail, Dale Shewalter and then I was off to finish writing up the event and last-minute packing. I parked at Grandview and looked for a ride. I didn't have to look long, parked right next to me was a fellow Grand Canyon enthusiast who had just finished a trip.

Day 1

I didn't get hiking until 3:30 pm on the Tanner Trail, but I wasn't planning on going very far. A mile and a half away is 75-mile saddle with good camping spots. The trail was steep, dropping 1700 feet and rocky through the Kaibab, Toroweap and Coconino. My pack was heavy with six days of food and 5 liters of water- enough to dry camp and have plenty for the descent to the river the next day.

It was a warm and windless night, even up at 5600 ft. and I found the perfect spot overlooking 75-Mile Canyon. I could see O'Neill Butte and Horseshoe Mesa and Desert View Watchtower loomed above. Camped under the stars, happy to be back in my beloved Grand Canyon again.

Day 2

The next morning, I had a bit of level trail in the Supai to start my day, contouring under Cardenas and Escalante Buttes. At the Redwall break, there is a short spur trail that goes up to one of the most fantastic views of the Palisades of the Desert, Comanche Point and the Grand Canyon Supergroup area upstream of Tanner. I spent almost two hours looking at the different landmarks and taking pictures.

It was so hard to leave, but the day was heating up and the river was still a long way away. I made quick work of the Redwall and the Muav, happy to have my umbrella for shade. The Dox Sandstone is soft and the trail is mushed into the side of the hill, making the left leg higher than the right. I reached Tanner Beach at 2pm and got in the chilly water to cool off.

The river was running brown from the last round of storms in an unbelievably wet year. It didn't look too silty (whitecaps instead of browncap waves), so I tried it through my Platypus gravity filter. That thing rocks. Filtered with no problems and is a cinch to backflush. Plus I can set up and eat, watch boats go through the rapids and my water is done.

I was getting ready to leave a couple of hours later to start the Escalante Route and hike to Cardenas Beach for the night when a man appeared and said he'd be hiking to the Hermit Trail for the next 11 days. I ran into him a couple of times, and was the only person I saw for the first five days. I had a couple miles to Cardenas, small ups and downs through various ravines. Hit the beach just as I was losing daylight. This is also part of the Hayduke Trail, an 800-mile circuitous route that goes from Arches to Zion.

For the last four summers I have worked as a river guide in the Grand Canyon with Arizona River Runners and Grand Canyon Whitewater. I've run the river over 20 times and hiked pieces of the route I'd be traversing, but it was totally different experience to be here solo. Cardenas is always one of my favorite camps, how blissful to have it all to myself on a warm autumn night (and to not have to get up at 4:30 am to make coffee for 30 people). I did some long-exposure photography and set my bed up on the beach.

The winds kicked up in the middle of the night and I was glad I'd borrowed a tent from a friend. Sleeping under the stars, as much as I love it, was not going to work for most of the trip because of the incoming storm.

Day 3

The next morning the skies were blue above, but as I made the climb to the Hilltop Ruin, I could see dark clouds downstream. Decided to skip the Unkar Overlook spur and keep moving because the rains had started. I put on my rain jacket and my trash-compactor bag rainskirt.

As I hiked along the Unkar Wall, I looked back and saw one of the most amazing rainbows I've ever seen! Dropped the pack and scrambled to get my camera, trying to take shots without getting the camera soaked before the rainbow disappeared. My heart soared- this is why I hike, for the privilege of seeing exquisite moments like this.

I moved on, hiking in the intermittent rain toward Escalante Creek. The trail winds and climbs toward a high saddle and I got another rainbow, a little less intense than the first, but still gorgeous. In Escalante Creek, I found running water and took several liters so I wouldn't have to settle the increasingly silty Colorado. I took a break at Escalante Beach before my last climb up to access 75-mile Canyon. The route climbs and then turns to give a great view of the slot canyon below. I contoured back to the access point and scrambled down into the canyon. It made me uneasy to break the rule of not being in a slot canyon while it's raining.

The cream-colored Shinumo Quartzite slot canyon is a gorgeous place to be. I remembered back to a river trip where I visited not once, but twice in one evening on a full moon. The canyon opened up near the river and I camped at Nevills Beach. Soon after my dinner, it started raining and I got in the tent and fell asleep early.

Day 4

I woke at 4:30 in the morning after plenty of sleep. It was warmer and had stopped raining. Spent some time taking long-exposure pictures and writing in my journal. Yet another thing I love about solo hiking. I can do whatever I want, whenever I want and am never bored.

There are two routes to the Papago Wall, a low and a high route and I stayed low on the slabs above the water. There is a 30 foot scramble up the wall and then the route climbs to a rubble-choked gully called the Papago Slide. I didn't have any problems with the wall, but I took my pack off to hoist it up for one part and it would have been easier to keep it on. At the top of the wall, I saw the backpacker I'd met at Tanner below and he climbed up to join me.

The Papago Slide is a loose and nasty descent filled with every size of rock and I led the way, keeping plenty of room between me and him to avoid rockfall. There is a good route through it and it just takes being thoughtful with your movements. We got to Hance Rapid just as some boaters pulled in to scout from the opposite bank. It was super-fun to watch them go through. I hiked on to spend some quality alone time with Hance.

Hance Rapid is the first "10" on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. The powerful waves churn through many rocks and holes and it is one of the most technical rapids on the river. To stand beside it on the rocks was incredible and I spent a long time thinking about my summers working as a river guide. I had decided at the end of this season that I will not be returning next summer- a bittersweet decision, but I am glad for all the things I learned, people I met and the opportunity to teach people about this amazing place. I've got some things in the works- a new website and lots of writing to do and part of that plan is to spend more time in the Grand Canyon on foot.

The rain was coming in again, so I put my trash compactor rainskirt on and got going. Red Canyon marks the beginning of the Tonto Trail, following the Tonto Platform as it began to rise from the river. The trail climbed and I got a good view of the historic Hance Asbestos Mine and the Granite Gorge. It rained on and off and when the clouds lifted there was a dusting of snow on the upper reaches of the Canyon.

I was trying to get to Hance Creek, my next water source, but all the time spent at the rapids was starting to catch up with me. I was probably going to have to roll into camp by headlamp. The trail contoured through Mineral Canyon and at the dry creek crossing, I heard the most wonderful sound- running water! Up a side ravine from the crossing was an ephemeral waterfall and I made my way over to it. This water meant that I didn't have to push to Hance Creek and that I could do a dry camp on the Tonto Platform, one of my favorite types of GC camps.

Even as I filtered water, the waterfall went dry. Right place at the right time, I guess. I Tontoured out of Mineral Canyon, looking for a place to camp and found the perfect spot complete with a little wall for a windbreak and nice sitting rocks. The views were outrageously good of Vishnu Temple, Wotans Throne and Angels Gate. It was the coldest night yet and very windy.

Day 5

The next morning, I was treated to an incredible sunrise and I spent hours writing, taking pictures and looking at maps for an upcoming adventure.

I got going around noon and hiked to Hance Creek. Upstream from the creek crossing are some lovely Tapeats ledges and I settled in for a day of not doing a whole lot. More writing, a short exploration up and downstream, and a nice chat with the other folks that were camped in the area. It was great to have a day to relax.

Day 6

I'd made a habit of listening to Miles Davis Kind of Blue in the morning while I got packed up and got hiking around 9:30 toward Page Springs. In most seasons this shady, fern-lined place would be a welcome place for a break but today it was so chilly I had to put several layers on while filtering. I enjoyed the historic trail construction in the Redwall ascent, especially the portion that has a giant quartz vein going through the trailbed. Got to Horseshoe Mesa and took a long break.

As I hiked up off the mesa I could see the area I'd traversed the last six days and downstream toward Zoroaster and Brahma Temples. Made it through the Supai and it was cold enough to need a fleece and hat while hiking uphill. I love the trail construction in the Coconino- riprap cobblestone and log cribbing to keep the trail on the hillside.

Patches of ice and snow appeared in the Toroweap and Kaibab, but not enough for me to put my traction on- if I'd been going downhill I'd have put them on for sure. I reached the parking lot feeling a lot better than I'd anticipated and made it over to Desert View Watchtower to see the sun set on my latest adventure.

It is hard to express how good this trip was for me. I've had a lot of great backpacking opportunities this year, but I haven't gotten as much solo time as usual. To move through the Canyon for days on foot with time to contemplate life, feeling like I have the whole place to myself- there is nothing better.
Culture
Culture
Mascot
Named place
Named place
Unkar Creek Rapids
Meteorology
Meteorology
Rainbow
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Isolated
_____________________
"May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view."
-Edward Abbey
http://www.desertsirena.wordpress.com
Feb 06 2015
charlomechfry
avatar

 Routes 78
 Triplogs 93

male
 Joined Nov 11 2011
 
Tanner to Grandview, AZ 
Tanner to Grandview, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Feb 06 2015
charlomechfry
Backpack32.70 Miles 9,148 AEG
Backpack32.70 Miles3 Days         
9,148 ft AEG
 
no photosets
1st trip
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Dec 01 2014
hikeaz
avatar

 Guides 5
 Photos 341
 Triplogs 216

64 male
 Joined May 13 2002
 Tempe, AZ
Escalante RouteNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Backpack avatar Dec 01 2014
hikeaz
Backpack12.00 Miles 2,200 AEG
Backpack12.00 Miles6 Days         
2,200 ft AEG
 no routes
Partners none no partners
As part of a Tanner - Escalante - Tonto - Miners - Grandview backpack.
Weather was, for the most part blustery but warm - not much rain fell, so it made for near-perfect GC hiking conditions. Excluding 1 mile from each trailhead we saw but 3 hikers the whole while... nothing like 'winter' in the Canyon for thinning the herd - gotta like it.
Route is seeing much more travel as there is much more foot-travel evident than in years past. While Tanner is notoriously rough in spots it does not seem to have worsened in the last few years. Tonto was a breeze and Miners(Page) although steep, is in good shape. Grandview is in really good shape. No snow/ice present. (Note date of triplog - your results may vary).
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Autumn Foliage Observation Isolated
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"The censorship method ... is that of handing the job over to some frail and erring mortal man, and making him omnipotent on the assumption that his official status will make him infallible and omniscient."
GEORGE BERNARD SHAW
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average hiking speed 1.75 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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