username
X
password
register
for free!
help
GuidesRoutes
 
Photosets
 
 Comments
triplogs   photosets   labels comments more
Cape Solitude - 9 members in 14 triplogs have rated this an average 4.1 ( 1 to 5 best )
14 triplogs
login for filter options
Apr 09 2022
avatar

 Routes 4
 Photos 103
 Triplogs 22

female
 Joined Mar 26 2022
 Flagstaff, AZ
Cape SolitudeNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Backpack avatar Apr 09 2022
shelby147Triplogs 22
Backpack30.00 Miles 3,630 AEG
Backpack30.00 Miles2 Days         
3,630 ft AEG34 LBS Pack
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Sedona Loop Hike
Sedona Loop Hike
Partners none no partners
Headed out on this trip to avoid the heat of the inner canyon. I set off with over 8L (better safe than sorry, plus what's a little training weight?) It was very windy on the first day - no bugs, but I used a carabeener to secure my hat to my hair. I was underwhelmed with the route. It's scenic if grassy hills are your thing but looong and dusty, and follows an uninspiring jeep track. But, the view into the canyon from the point is incredible. Quite possibly had my best sunset yet there.

After it tried to blow off the cliffs (and slid too much for comfort with me inside) I ditched my fly and had some peaceful sleep. Lucky for me, it was warm enough that I wasn't cold without the fly. As I was packing the next morning I was surprised by a good-sized huntsman spider on top of my tent. Ughhhh. As lovely as the view was at the point, I don't think I'd head back out without company to keep me sane.
Oct 09 2021
avatar

 Guides 7
 Routes 160
 Photos 701
 Triplogs 198

39 male
 Joined Nov 30 2015
 Phoenix, AZ
Cape SolitudeNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Backpack avatar Oct 09 2021
ShatteredArmTriplogs 198
Backpack33.20 Miles 3,889 AEG
Backpack33.20 Miles1 Day   2 Hrs   52 Mns   
3,889 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
A couple weeks ago a friend reached out to me and asked if I would be interested in going to Cape Solitude, and I said, of course. I hadn't ever done any serious dry camping, but I figured it's just like wet camping, but with a heavier pack...

Saturday
Started out with 6L total water, but figured I wouldn't need that much since it wasn't going to be very hot. Relatively uneventful for the first 4.5 miles or so, then we dropped out packs for a side excursion to Comanche Point. Armed with my phone, GPS/topo, about 16oz of Nuun and absolutely zero research on the route (on my part at least), we headed out. I figured there were two possibilities: head up the ridge to the north and drop down to the drainage, or take the road towards the drainage and drop down where it's shallower. I suggested the latter since I had no clue how steep the drainage would be. The actual climb up Comanche Point was steep at first but very straightforward, with no real scrambling required. The side trip was extremely worthwhile, with Comanche Point being one of the more interesting views along the rim that I've experienced. It was a new perspective on the canyon, and I really appreciated the sheer amount of red in the area below.

We took the other route back to our packs, as the climb back up to the ridge looked easy once we saw it, and I'd agree with others who would suggest this is the preferred route. If I had a do-over, I'd have dropped the packs at the start of the climb at the point, and then followed the drainage all the way down to reconnect with the Cape Solitude trail at the Navajo Nation boundary.

After returning to the packs, we hiked a couple more miles and dropped some water under some juniper trees, which were few and far between the rest of the way. The 2nd half of the hike out to Cape Solitude is mostly flat and desolate, but also easier walking. We found a few juniper trees a quarter of a mile from Cape Solitude and decided to camp there, so we dropped our packs and wandered the rest of the way to enjoy the sunset at the overlook. What a sunset it was!

Went back to camp and got my tent set up in the last throes of twilight, and made dinner in the dark. As we were settling in, it started sprinkling, and soon after the wind gusts picked up. This kinda put the kibosh on any real evening socializing for me, as I was a little worried my tent would blow away. After ~4 sleepless hours, I had the crazy idea to actually take off the rain fly on my tent so as to make it less sail-like, and this actually worked, with the tradeoff being less heat retention.

Sunday
Got everything packed up and ready to go by 7:30am or so. Just before setting off, I saw some mud under my pack, and the bite valve on my bladder detached, and learned that I had accidentally dumped a liter of water. Fortunately I had a half liter left in a bottle (although there was plenty to spare in the group), so it really just meant that my pack was a liter lighter. But on a different day a silly mistake like this could be catastrophic...

The hike back was uneventful, slightly grueling, and we managed it in a little under 5 hours.

Overall it was a great little trip, although I'm not really in a hurry to go back to Cape Solitude. The camping isn't great and the hike there isn't super scenic. Honestly I thought Comanche Point was more interesting, and I'm really glad our trip leader had that on the itinerary.
Named place
Named place [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Cape Solitude
Meteorology
Meteorology [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Sunrise
_____________________
Mar 14 2020
avatar

 Routes 7
 Photos 1,735
 Triplogs 202

34 male
 Joined Mar 07 2009
 Phoenix, AZ
Cape SolitudeNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Backpack avatar Mar 14 2020
ultrazonaTriplogs 202
Backpack30.00 Miles 3,630 AEG
Backpack30.00 Miles1 Day   1 Hour      
3,630 ft AEG43 LBS Pack
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Road from Desert View is rough, high clearance 4x4 required. Made it around tight switchbacks in a 4 door 2500 truck. Spoke with a group who had driven in from the res side. They said the road wasn't bad and just had some steps to navigate. They were driving heavily modified overland style SUVs.
_____________________
Nov 08 2014
avatar

 Routes 1
 Photos 22,685
 Triplogs 1,150

42 female
 Joined Jan 18 2011
 In the Wild
Cape SolitudeNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Backpack avatar Nov 08 2014
LucyanTriplogs 1,150
Backpack30.00 Miles 3,851 AEG
Backpack30.00 Miles2 Days         
3,851 ft AEG20 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
VolcanoCLMBR
Distance: Difficult (30+ miles RT)
Elevation: Difficult (>3000ft AEG)
Wilderness: Difficult (no water, no cover)

The Cape Solitude Trail is an abandoned jeep road that starts at the Desert View Ranger Station.
After the trailhead you will need to hike approximately 15 miles to Cape Solitude. Permits needs to be obtained ahead of time from the Grand Canyon backcountry office.
The trail is mostly flat, but you will gain some elevation hiking over the hills.

Cape Solitude has arguably the best views of the grand canyon above the rim, it also doesn't have any water sources so come prepare. I carried 5 liters for myself which was just enough. The weather was very nice, sunny but mild temperatures (60-70F) during the day, chilly at night (Friday night around 15, Saturday in upper 30's).

The views of the confluence of the Colorado River and Little Colorado River from high above at Cape Solitude are impressive. Just a few hundred yards before reaching Cape Solitude is another fine area for looking down the Colorado River toward Palisades Creek and Tanner Rapids.

This is one of those trips when you hate the trail because is long and boring but once you reach your destination, you know it was well worth it. The views are breathtaking for sure. Colorado river and LCR were both running clean. You really get feeling of solitude up there which is very rare.
_____________________
1 archive
Nov 08 2014
avatar

 Routes 1
 Photos 2,050
 Triplogs 425

43 male
 Joined Sep 16 2011
 Phoenix
Cape SolitudeNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Backpack avatar Nov 08 2014
VolcanoCLMBRTriplogs 425
Backpack28.25 Miles 3,851 AEG
Backpack28.25 Miles2 Days         
3,851 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
Lucyan
Off I went for the second time with a group of friends to this seldom explored area of the Grand Canyon NP. Armed with 6L of water and 1L of coconut water we went into this great adventure and once again it did not disappoint. We came across the remnants of a couple elk bodies down to their bones, as far as any other significant "wildlife" that was it. There were plenty of birds flying all over the area. Mana, one of the girls in the group was excited about the "beer truck" which she read on the HAZ trip two years ago....sadly we had to tell her the truth that there was no such beer truck in the middle of nowhere with cold beer.
The weather was amazing, friday night we camped just outside the east side entrance and it was cold, low-mid 20s but saturday warmed up and on saturday night was a lot more bearable with temps in the mid 30s.
Hiked in and out in about 6 hrs each way.
_____________________
The world is my playground!
Apr 06 2013
avatar

 Guides 8
 Routes 12
 Photos 1,317
 Triplogs 491

57 male
 Joined Nov 15 2005
 Jackson, CA
Cape SolitudeNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 06 2013
toddakTriplogs 491
Hiking31.00 Miles 2,500 AEG
Hiking31.00 Miles   12 Hrs      2.58 mph
2,500 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The destination is very cool, but the long, monotonous hike to get there isn't much fun. I kept hoping the guy driving the refreshment truck would show up, but I guess it was his day off.
Fauna
Fauna [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Pronghorn
_____________________
Oct 06 2012
avatar

 Guides 6
 Routes 174
 Photos 5,442
 Triplogs 1,640

male
 Joined Mar 12 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Cape SolitudeNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Backpack avatar Oct 06 2012
John9LTriplogs 1,640
Backpack26.00 Miles 3,291 AEG
Backpack26.00 Miles2 Days         
3,291 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
HAZ - Event
chumley
Hippy
squatpuke
ultrazona
VolcanoCLMBR
writelots
This was a fantastic trip with an outstanding group of peeps! The hike out was long and rather dull but the views of the canyon are some of the best I've ever seen!

Our trip started on Friday night driving up to Desert View. Haley, Vince, Frank and I arrived at Desert View around 7:30pm where we met Larry and Wendy. They were settled in and had a campfire waiting for us. The highlight of the evening was spotting two shooting stars overhead. We woke Saturday morning and got all our gear prepared and then made our way down the Cape Solitude access road. I was a little stressed about road conditions but it was fine. You definitely need a 4x4 with high clearance and good tire tread. There were a few tippy sections and some rough sections but we got down the road fine and also had little trouble exiting the next day.

We arrived at the Cape Solitude Trailhead and were off. I started with over 11 liters of water. I would cache 5+ liters along the hike in two locations. The hike follows an old road through rolling hills. It's rather dull but we all moved at a good pace. At times we spread out but always seemed to come back together at various points along the hike. At around the eight mile mark I got out ahead of the group and I'm hiking along in my own little world when I come upon a sign that looks very new. I'm surprised to see it in fact. The first part said "Cape Solitude 5 miles". That sounded right but then below it was written "Cold Beer, Ice and Water 1/2 Mile". I thought what the pumpkin? I kept going and then could see a truck up ahead. This area is on the boundary between the national park and the Navajo nation. I thought to myself who would be out here? I continued on and got closer to the truck and saw there was a white man behind it. I was kind of upset because I'm coming here for solitude and don't want to talk to anyone outside my group. I got closer and then heard in a familiar voice "How's it going?" I look up and it's Chumley! I was absolutely blown away! I'm still in shock today. He gave me vitamin water and we chatted as the rest of the group caught up a few minutes later.

Now we had a group of seven and we continued on towards the Cape. With roughly 1+ mile to go, the road curves to the west and leads to the first epic viewpoint of the canyon. We all stopped in amazement! The view was absolutely breathtaking! It's quite possibly the best view of the canyon and I've seen a bunch from both rims. After admiring it for several minutes we made the final push for Cape Solitude. I was pretty much beat by the time we reached the Cape. We came 13 miles and it was worth it. Again the views are just spectacular! For the next hour or so we all wandered around and admired the views and took pictures and rested. I found a nice shady spot just a hair below the rim. I gazed north towards Marble Canyon and found myself lost in awe! Eventually we all gathered back at the Cape to discuss setting up camp. Chumley found a nice spot roughly a few hundred yards to the east. He said it was less windy and there was plenty of room for all of us. We headed over and set up camp. We wanted to be all set up before sunset.

After camp was set all of us walked back over to the Cape to enjoy the sunset. The canyon had the perfect glow in the setting sun. We hung out and took a variety of pictures. This was a great group and we really had the time of our lives out here. I wish the trip never ended! After the sun dropped out of site we all returned to camp and enjoyed a fire and some of us had dinner. Chumley was kind enough to bring beer and vodka and I was kind of enough to help him drink it! I was really smart and mixed the two together on an empty stomach and didn't bother to eat dinner. It did not take long for the alcohol to kick in and it hit me really hard. I passed out in my tent a few minutes later.

I woke Sunday morning and felt relatively fine. I downed a bunch of water and electrolytes and tore camp down. We all got prepared and then started the hike out. Our first stop was Todd's truck. Haley decided to take a ride out because her knee swelled up from an earlier injury she received before this trip. The rest of us continued and were back at the vehicles around 1pm. From there we met Todd and Haley at Desert View and then made the drive to NiMarco's in Flagstaff for pizza and wings. After that it was back to Phoenix.

This was such a fun trip with an amazing group! Everyone was a blast and I wish our trip was longer. Everyone should visit Cape Solitude at least once in their life. It's a long hike but the view is worth it!
Culture
Culture [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] HAZ Rides
Named place
Named place [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Vishnu Temple
_____________________
Oct 06 2012
avatar

 Routes 1
 Photos 2,050
 Triplogs 425

43 male
 Joined Sep 16 2011
 Phoenix
Cape SolitudeNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Backpack avatar Oct 06 2012
VolcanoCLMBRTriplogs 425
Backpack30.00 Miles 3,630 AEG
Backpack30.00 Miles2 Days         
3,630 ft AEG35 LBS Pack
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
HAZ - Event
chumley
Hippy
John9L
squatpuke
ultrazona
writelots
Wow what a weekend! Being this was my first time at the Grand Canyon I still cant get over how amazing this place truly is! I know that i wont want to stay away from the Canyon for long. The hike itself was nothing extreme and the trail was easy to follow most of the way, except for the first couple miles where we followed a dry wash but once we cleared the evergreen forest the jeep trail was easily followed. I was very surprised we didnt run into much wildlife having just seen a small rattlesnake. As a group we had a great time hiking together and sharing some sweet bonfire stories! Thanks to Squatpuke for putting this together! There are plenty of stories to be told but im not much of a writer so to that i say "Lets do a Wendy!"
Meteorology
Meteorology [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Sun
_____________________
The world is my playground!
1 archive
Oct 06 2012
avatar

 Guides 8
 Routes 4
 Photos 1,845
 Triplogs 649

36 female
 Joined Dec 02 2009
 Grand Canyon
Cape SolitudeNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 06 2012
HippyTriplogs 649
Hiking18.00 Miles 3,630 AEG
Hiking18.00 Miles
3,630 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
HAZ - Event
chumley
John9L
squatpuke
ultrazona
VolcanoCLMBR
writelots
When I first heard of Squatpuke's grand plan that was to be Cape (un)solitude i thought to myself..."Hmmm, this could be neat".

Neat? Oh honey, neat cannot even begin to describe the weekend we just had.

Vince, Frank, John and myself met up in Phoenix and headed out friday afternoon expecting a semi-long boring car ride...it was long and boring. it involved a lot of strange stories and messed up singalongs...the best sing a longs in my opinion are the ones that occur when the jeep and it's occupants reached a tiny "town" somewhere along the road on the navajo reservation named simply "Gray Mountain"

All radio signal was lost, I hit the seek button like there was no tomorrow and finally! A faint signal came in, a faint drum beat and a "humming" voice. The voices in the jeep fell silent, confused glances were exchanged. A man's voice rang out over the radio singing in a tone and language we were not familiar with. Vincent jokingly said "Come on Hippie this is where you translate" I laughed and was about to make something up when the voice started singing in a stop and go singsong voice "Happy birthday happy birthday" to the same native drumbeat...

We were dumbfounded, only a trip like this could begin with a "Navahopi" Happy Birthday song actually half sung IN the native tongue...it was fantastic, John and I actually caught on to part of it and it was stuck in our heads for days...still is.

Along the way into Desert View to meet Squatpuke and Writelots the boys and I discovered this navajo radio station was very similar to someone's Ipod being on shuffle...from happy birthday to bob marley to whitney houston, some "Twisted transitor" which made me giggle and some random techno dance mix...I want to party on the res that's all I have to say.

The evening at Desert View campground was fun! The shooting stars were lovely, the fire was warm, the breeze was refreshing, the friends new and old were great to be around! Although sleeping on the ground without a grandcover or pad wasn't too bad but I'll opt for one or the other next time...

The next morning we lollygagged, ate, packed up and made for the fun dirt road down to the "trailhead". Squatpuke's truck got stuck once and spun a tire out. The boys and I in the Jeep scrambled out obviously enjoying the thought of getting to push the vehicle forward, it wasn't as fun as you'd think...

The trailhead wasn't much, a sign saying we're not allowed to drive past it, yeah that's about it. We geared up, took our "Before" shot and headed down trail.
Not a tough trail, its rather easy actually. Frankie got lost somehow and in finding him I made great friends with some cholla and got yelled at for running.

It seems I've forgotten to mention that 2 days before this trip my right knee randomly swelled up to the size of a grapefruit...it was hot and pink and painful to move...yeah I still hiked. : rambo : thanks to John for letting me use his trekking poles! Would've been a goner without those!

The trail grows faint in a few places and the view isn't really that spectacular but still beautiful and nice to look at, We saw a few wickiups and almost no wildlife on the trail except a few lizards.

By the time we were roughly 5 miles from the Cape my knee was swollen and hot and really starting to bother me, I was popping asprin like sweet tarts! Up ahead we saw a sign and got so excited.
"Cape Solitude 5 Miles" :y: almost there!!!
The second line threw me for a loop I thought to myself "Some park ranger must have a great sense of humour"
The rest of the sign read "Cold beer, ice, & water 1/2 mile"
By the time I was at the sign the group was pretty well spread apart John was a quarter mile ahead of me, Frank and Vince a quarter mile behind me with Squatpuke and Writelots not far behind them.
I continued on trying to catch up, as I crested the hill there was a truck, a truck?! On the res side of the fence, why in the world is there a truck and why is the guy in the truck throwing John a drink...and how much did John pay for that...will he buy me one?!

I picked up my pace with the thoughts of ice cold water dancing on my tongue, the music from the truck echoed as I neared and lo and behold...Chumley. :o

Now that just blew our minds, by the time the group caught up, John and I had slouched off our packs and I unloaded some water into Chumley's ice chest and iced my knee. We had a huge laugh that still hasn't stopped. Best surprise you could ever get in the middle of nowhere. Especially since the crazy guy had to drive 22 miles on an unmaintained Res road to get there!!

And then we were off, loads were lightened and adjusted, our strange group of 6 had now become 7 and even stranger and things were only just starting.

The last 5 miles to the Cape were long and flat with few tiny rolling hills, very plain, only some lovely views of GOLD HILL ;) as I learned it was named. We came to "The False Cape" as I called it, we took a quick break, we had finally reached The Rim, enjoyed the views, got some beautiful photos and headed out one last time to reach the real Cape, settle in and stake out our campsite well out of the wind not far from the best view of the CR/LCR junct.

Saturday night, a night to remember, there was a fantasic display of irish drinking songs by our own lovely Writelots who happens to be my new best friend because she could name Mormon Tea by its proper title!! :y:
...a safely contained and control fire... :sl: *ahem*

and oh there was more, a tiny rattler with a sizzle for a rattle was shocked when we set up our tents in a perimeter around his home, we opted to let him stay where he was and I'm glad we did. Although I cannot forget hearing Chumley (no, he didn't shriek like a girl this time!) very calmly call out "Hippie I need you!" and John replies "Must be a critter" followed by my "Do I need to poke something?" Never a dull moment with this crew.

Some of us forgot where we were, some of us displayed amazing hands-free prowess, the navahopi birthday song was drunkardly recreated. And the shooting stars were amazing yet again, So much happened that night I can barely even begin to describe and keep it within normal terms. Campfire stories were told and topped and told again. An entire book could be written (and is being written) about adventures and outings such a this...

It was also saturday night that I realized I was out of water and my knee was stiff and hot and puffy still. I'd have to hike out with only one larabar for breakfast, because my slight dehydration wouldn't let me eat, and whatever what I could steal from the boys, at least until I got back to Chumley's truck and could reload the water I left there.


The boys and I hiked that 5 miles back to Chumley's truck at roughly a 3.2 mph pace : rambo : and I'm pretty sure my knee was cursing me the entire way, every tiny hill felt like a mountain, every rock was a boulder, every tiny cactus on the trail was a saguaro to be avoided at all cost. Finally after what felt like hours but was just over an hour the dark blue shiny inobject in the distance loomed nearer. Vincent reached it first and ran back up the trail with ice cold drinks for everyone behind him. :worthy:

I got to the truck, chugged my drink and sat down, iced my knee, probably didn't move a good ten minutes or so. :stretch:
Squatpuke with his 100 pound backpack loaded it into the truck along with mine and I crawled into the front seat and gave in to the disappointment of not hiking that last 8 miles out to the jeep...Chumley probably saved my knee and the vicodin helped too. Not sure how that fits with 22 miles of unmaintaned roads in a 4wd truck mid-day...but the drive was hilarious, every little hogan and wickiup on the side of that road was poked and prodded and semi-drugged cartwheels ensued. I remember we saw a deer and I caught a horned toad who was shedding, cute little thing.

We headed off to Desert View after 3 1/2 hours on the res roads, I must say standing at the highest point in the Desert View tower and being shown where we camped roughly 12 miles away...that was astounding. I was out there! I cartwheeled out there! And now I'm here, back with people. Surrounded by diverse languages and city scents and smiles and sun burns and dogs in strollers...

It's almost sad when you look out that window at the tip of that Cape where you spent a day and a night with amazing friends. You reach out to touch it and come out with dusty smudges on your fingertips...I almost felt let down...it was time to leave Desert View when we met everyone else, time to head home....but not before Pizza and Hummus in Flagstaff with our Dysfunctional Family of HAZzers...

I've never felt so close to a group of near strangers, so bonded and comfortable and content. I cannot wait to hike with you all again and explore canyons and get lost in ravines, dip in a the rivers and filter the waters.

As sad as it was to return home and be at work typing this up right now :-$ I will never forget it, I will always want to go back...and ya know what, I think I will someday soon. Thank you Squatpuke for putting this together!
_____________________
Canyon Freak Adventures!
Oct 06 2012
avatar

 Routes 7
 Photos 1,735
 Triplogs 202

34 male
 Joined Mar 07 2009
 Phoenix, AZ
Cape SolitudeNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 06 2012
ultrazonaTriplogs 202
Hiking30.00 Miles 3,630 AEG
Hiking30.00 Miles   48 Hrs      0.63 mph
3,630 ft AEG50 LBS Pack
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
HAZ - Event
chumley
Hippy
John9L
squatpuke
VolcanoCLMBR
writelots
We came. We occupied. We left no trace.
_____________________
Oct 06 2012
avatar

 Guides 84
 Routes 694
 Photos 17,480
 Triplogs 1,703

49 male
 Joined Sep 18 2002
 Tempe, AZ
Cape SolitudeNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 06 2012
chumleyTriplogs 1,703
Hiking10.65 Miles 3,630 AEG
Hiking10.65 Miles   4 Hrs   5 Mns   2.61 mph
3,630 ft AEG40 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
Hippy
John9L
squatpuke
ultrazona
VolcanoCLMBR
writelots
I flew over Cape Solitude in April 2011 on a Grand Canyon Helicopter Tour. (See http://hikearizona.com/photo.php?ZIP=190517). I knew right then that this was a place I wanted to go! So when Squatpuke posted this on the HAZ calendar, I was instantly interested. But upon reading about it, I was also a little bit apprehensive. A 30-mile overnight with no water is quite a challenge, and I wasn't sure I was up for it.

I remembered from my fly-by that there was an old road out on the cape, and as I did more research on the subject, I came to learn that there still is access to that old road. At least on the portion of land that is not National Park.

All my research didn't really tell me anything concrete. What I learned is that the road is really rough, and takes a long time to drive. But if my maps were right, it looked like it might be possible to get to about 5 miles from the cape. I decided that a 10-mile overnight without water was a much more manageable trip for me! So I decided to give it a try.

I spent plenty of time looking at maps and satellite photos, reading newsgroups and random website clippings. I felt good about the route, and knew that I wouldn't be able to know if I could drive to my alternate trailhead until I got out there and tried it. So I never did sign up for the hike. Nor did I tell anybody on the hike that I would be trying to meet up with them. I had considered it, since I could significantly lighten the load of water they would have to carry, but without being sure that I could make it to a rendezvous point, I didn't want them to rely on me.

Sometime during the week before the hike I decided that if I was able to make it there, it would be one really big surprise for the HAZ group to encounter me and my truck, with water and snacks, 7 or 8 miles into a 15 mile hike. Somewhere along the line I decided to double-down on the surprise, and devised a plan to put a sign along the trail advertising cold beer and water ahead. I occasionally wish for a mirage like that in the middle of my hikes, but alas, it never actually happens!

So I pulled some scrap wood out of my garage and got the router out. I knew approximately where I would put the sign, so I got my mileages right, and carved it up. I didn't have nice weathered wood, so I had to stain the bright pine darker to make it look a little less new. I threw it in the back of my truck with the coolers, ice, extra water, etc. and headed out.

Saturday morning, after I had successfully reached the alternate trailhead on the long, rough road, I got up and hiked out a ways and posted my sign, anxious to see the reactions of the group when they came by.

It was about two hours before a lone hiker appeared on the horizon, and I had been sitting in the bed of my truck doing some work on my laptop. I put everything away and got my pack out ready to join the group. When the lone hiker walked past my truck, head down, I simply yelled out "how's it going!?". At that point, an unrecognized man that looked a bit like grizzly adams turned to acknowledge my query. I was shocked that this was not somebody I recognized. Who else would be out here today!?

"Chumley!" followed by a few expletives of shock and awe and more than one good laugh followed as I realized that I did know this guy. But John had grown a beard since our hike two weeks prior and I didn't recognize him initially. Their hiking group had separated so I learned that each had experienced the sign on their own, with wonder and bewilderment. I was happy to have Punk'd them all! :)

Larry is still upset that he had to carry 4-gallons of water all that distance! So after a short break, I joined the group for the 5 miles or so to the cape from there. With a relatively short distance, I decided to load up on stupid weight ... a 6-pack of beer, and a bottle of vodka. Plus the extra water needed to offset the dehydration caused by those nectars. So with 24-lbs of liquid in tow, those 5-miles were a little rough too. The hike is unspectacular ... one might even say downright boring. And seemingly endless.

After about 2 hours, we reached the first viewpoint. Still about a mile from the cape, we all took a good break to take in the incredible views looking down on the Colorado and back toward Desert View. Finally I decided to press on, wanting to get to the ultimate destination. It's really difficult to describe. But we all spent at least the first hour there just exploring every different side. Every angle, and every view in all directions. Truly awe inspiring.

It had been very windy the previous night, and the cape is very exposed, so we decided to set up camp a couple of hundred yards from the edge in a slight bowl near a tree. As we were setting up our tents, and I was gathering some firewood, I nearly stepped on what I believe is a Mohave rattlesnake. (Edit: He was a Hopi). It slowly took refuge in a bush and refused to move. Or even really rattle or get mad. After a short discussion about trying to relocate him so we didn't stumble upon him at night, we decided it would be cold and he would probably just stay there all night. So we put a couple of hiking poles next to the bush as a reminder he was there.

Of course, an hour later, he was in another bush, and after dark, he was gone altogether, never to be seen again. I guess that's a good thing?

So our night was spent around the campfire passing around the beers and vodka. Wendy sang irish drinking songs for us, John forgot to eat anything, and Vince took some cool photos. I don't know about anybody else, but I slept like a rock until just before sunrise when I decided just to get up and enjoy this spectacular place. After watching the morning light illuminate the canyon, we all had some breakfast snacks and packed up and started the long trek back.

Haley reinjured her knee on the way in and it was becoming increasingly painful on the way out. My truck was the initial destination, and we all made it there in really fast time. Haley decided to endure the 3-hour dirt road drive with me rather than hike the remaining 8 miles on her knee, and I loaded up my truck with packs and tents and sleeping bags to help lighten the load for the rest of the group.

Haley took some pain meds and we took the drive slowly, stopping to enjoy some of the Navajo structures and history along the way. John texted when he got to his Jeep, and we still had 5 miles of driving to go. Luckily the rest of the group was further behind and we were able to get to Desert View before they did. That afforded time for a few good tourist photos and some cartwheels.

We all then headed back to Flagstaff for some good food before each heading our separate ways.

I'm pretty sure I will make this a destination again. Not for the terrible drive, nor the boring hike. But the end destination is truly something to behold!

Thanks to Larry for getting the permits and making the plans. It was great to hike with all these awesome HAZers again (even though Kyle didn't go. ;) )

out 5.49mi in 2:30
back 5.16mi in 1:35
_____________________
two scoops!
Oct 06 2012
avatar

 Guides 6
 Routes 6
 Photos 1,503
 Triplogs 173

55 male
 Joined Apr 04 2002
 Flagstaff, AZ
Cape SolitudeNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Backpack avatar Oct 06 2012
squatpukeTriplogs 173
Backpack28.00 Miles 3,630 AEG
Backpack28.00 Miles2 Days         
3,630 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
HAZ - Event
chumley
Hippy
John9L
ultrazona
VolcanoCLMBR
writelots
As you can read from the triplogs on this same date, we had a great time. This was my first public HAZ event and I'd like to thank everyone for making it awesome!! Big thanks to John for suggesting I open up this permit on HAZ and special thanks to chumley for 1) the VitiWaters on the trail, 2) making me carry 40lbs of extra water and 3) driving out GimpyHaley at the end.

I honestly didn't think many would sign up for the trip...what kind of psychos would wanna suffer through 26+ miles of boring, water-less, rocky double track on TOP of a Grand Canyon plateau?

Was great meeting Wendy and Frank - I'll hold a couple of dear memories of each; Wendy and her delightful manner of peeing only a bush or two away from me....TWICE (curse that peripheral vision) :oops: !! and Frank - - how 'Kevin Bacon' that there were TWO tiny degrees of separation on a couple of wild coincidences between us...crazy!

To any planning a trip out to this Cape...here is some sage advice:
1) 1/2 way across, never tip-toe into the Rez side of the fence...hike north along the park fence-line till you pick up the trail again about 50 yards north.
2) bring vehicle support/spare tires if chancing the rocky road down to trailhead
3) bring plenty of water/cache
4) best camping is the southeast depression about 1/4 mile from rim...
5) beware of veggies who hike with prunes
_____________________
squatpuke@gmail.com
Oct 06 2012
avatar

 Guides 19
 Routes 40
 Photos 5,624
 Triplogs 341

49 female
 Joined Nov 22 2005
 Tucson, AZ
Cape SolitudeNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Backpack avatar Oct 06 2012
writelotsTriplogs 341
Backpack24.80 Miles 2,719 AEG
Backpack24.80 Miles2 Days   11 Hrs   49 Mns   
2,719 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
HAZ - Event
chumley
Hippy
John9L
squatpuke
ultrazona
VolcanoCLMBR
What can I say of this adventure that has not already been said? It's like being a part of a NASA mission, each of us sitting in front of a row of microphones and giving our own version of events - trying to bring something new to the table without making anyone else feel left out.

Ladies and Gentlemen of the press...I am here to tell you it didn't happen at all like Hippy or John or Chumley said. Not even a little bit.

Well, except for almost all of it...

My adventure starts in February, when I hiked the Escalante Route and Beamer trail to see much of this territory from below the rim. We spent 3 days hiking below the imposing cliffs of the Palisades (palisades) of the Desert (...desert...desert...). Then in August I floated along the river past the same area - the river thick with monsoon runoff and the LCR only adding to the murk. My boat pilot pointed out Cape Solitude, and we debated about how far it was from the top of that point to the river, concluding that it was a really long way. Then in September, when I was at Cape Royal and Point Imperial, staring across the expanse at what seemed to be an utterly flat and featurless landscape of the South Rim. I could see Cape Solitude from there, and I could see how it would get that name.

So, then, it's time to put boot to dirt and get my butt out there! I was so glad that Larry put together this trip - a great group of hikers headed out to one of the more isolated and lonely points in the canyon. Well, that is, if you don't count helicopters and sight-seeing airplanes. Oh, and ravens. If you count all those, we'd have to rename the spot 'Cape Flyover'. :?

The next major chapter in my pilgrimage to Cape Solitude was my drive. I think it bears mentioning that in addition to the three trips mentioned above, I have two more Grand Canyon adventures planned this year (plus this one makes 3). The drive from Tucson to the South Rim is about 5 hours with change, multiply that by 5, then by 2 (for the back and forth), and I'll spent 2 whole days of 2012 just driving to the canyon. Now - I know Sirena's got me beat with all of her river work, but I think you can't really count it if it's a part of your job!

It was great to hook up with Larry (Mr. Puke) in Flagstaff, and we swapped great hiking stories the whole way to Desert View. We arrived just in time to find our campsite and take in the sunset at the tower. Then we made it back for a campfire, some dogs on the grill and good company joining us (John, Haley and Vince) later. For some reason, it has really stuck with me that Vince ate 2 whole honeydew melons that night for dinner. Maybe it's because I'm not a honeydew fan - but that seems like enough melon to make me hate life for a few days after. He's much more man than I, it seems ;)

The next 'chapter' if you will involves getting down the first hill to the actual trailhead. Our plan had always been to drive this portion, and save our feet and legs the climb out. I was happy when Mr. Puke volunteered to take his 4wd down the hill. We'd talked earlier about using Mr. Wendy's big-ol-truck http://hikearizona.com/photo.php?ZIP=208680, but the cost of the extra gas to get Nismo to Flagstaff added to the heartache Mr. Wendy was experiencing upon trusting his loyal steed to his wife - well, lets just say that it was starting to look like an expensive trip, financially and emotionally. Larry's car did great on the rocky hill, though I certainly see why the trip write up says that most hikers spare their cars that 3 miles... It's rough, the rocks are sharp, and it really makes your brakes work. Larry's expert driving and his vehicle's obvious experience were an excellent team, both uphill and down. Next time, though, Mr. Wendy's going to have to man up and let me take the Nissan...I think Larry's done with torturing his ride. ;)

For those of you who are worried that this is going to be another of Wendy's eternal and insanely long trip logs...fear not. I figured I'd fill in on a few of the details that the others either missed or didn't mention. That way I don't re-tell stories (even the really good ones) and hopefully I can keep this triplog to a reasonably long diatribe.

So, we're hiking. Some have called the 12 miles out to Solitude boring, but for a through hiker, it's actually quite pleasant. You've got constantly changing landmarks and incredibly open views. Although once off the first high part of the trail you lose all site of the canyon itself, you can see this amazingly flat plateau surrounding you in all directions - interrupted by the occasional little hill and gully. It's impressive, and with the puffy whites that we had overhead on the first day, it's quite attractive. The trail is good enough that you can really step out - which is exactly what we did. Even with the 8 liters of water in my pack and the (??OMG I don't even want to think about how many) liters in Mr. Puke's pack - we made good time.

Blah .... blah...blah... We hiked and hiked - oh, and then I decided it was time for lunch (which I announced just after we 'lost our way' on the Indian Res). Then we hiked some more...and found the sign. I think it's safe now to call it the 'Infamous Chummley Chuckwagon Sign'. My first thought "Some hiker had too much time on their hands" (if only I'd kept to my first instinct). My second thought "Well, I suppose the Navajo could have someone holed up there, hoping to sell ice and water to entice more $$ out of the biligaana." Then I moved at last to "Well - whatever, I'll cache water at the sign because it's easy to spot an remember".

When Volcanoclimber and I came over the hill and saw the rest of our group gathered around a truck and drinking, have to admit I went back to the Navajo theory. Then Frank recognized Chummley's truck, and finally the trickster himself, and then we were all set. Thanks for the ice cold drink, Chum!

Then we hiked some more before I realized we'd never stopped for lunch. I get grumpy without my lunch breaks, so Larry and I took 10 under a nice juniper on a piece of smooth limestone. it was nice to just sit and listen to nothing for a few minutes, not the stomp of my feet or the slosh of all that water in my pack...

Walk, walk, walk... Yeah, we thought that the peak of Char Butte was Solitude...and we were VERY glad it wasn't. Walk, walk, walk.

Okay - so I have to be honest here. There are very fine views from Cape Solitude - and some that are unique (such as the confluence from above). But, is it worth 13miles of hiking relatively flat plateau carrying 2 gallons of water? Maybe. Is it worth doing that when it's hot as hell out? Not really. I'm glad I went, that I saw what I did, and was with who I was with, but on the long (long, long) list of canyon destinations you MUST see - put this one a lot further down on your list than it is now. There are better views and better hikes and better hiking with views.

Nuff' said. I did love scrambling about the edge, though my fear of heights picked a terrible time to rear it's ugly head and I didn't get out as far as I wished. Our camping spot was choice, amid the junipers of the little gully, with an unending view out past the LCR gorge. I loved the campfire and the company - it was a pretty perky night for me, so I guess I've been backpacking with fellow old-people too long! The rattlesnake was a big highlight - he was so sleepy, that when Larry and I came back after the sunset photoshoot, he'd moved about 3', and very slowly slithered back into a bush when I almost stepped on him. Poor guy - I think we were really stressing him out ;) (though truth be told, he was stressing some of our party out too!)

The hike back actually felt shorter, and I hardly took a single picture. We just hauled butt across the plateau...my GPS clocked me at 2.2 overall and 2.9 moving (which for me is booking it!) By the time we got back to the car I was jonesen' for some ice cream hard, which we satisfied once we were at Desert View. Oh, and I bought some pink undies because I'd forgotten to bring extras (and pink was all they had). Larry had to make sure he told the cashier that they weren't his. As if he'd buy undies in a bunch (gawd, I crack myself up!).

Back in Flag, I changed my undies (since my pee habits were topic of conversation on another triplog, I figured undies were fair game here), and got pizza with the gang. It was so nice to hike with such kindred souls! Each one of us loved the canyon enough to go to great lengths to enjoy such a secluded and otherwise gawd-forsaken place.

To the canyon! Cheers!
_____________________
-----------------------------------
Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.- Barack Obama
Oct 09 2011
avatar

 Photos 46
 Triplogs 10

60 male
 Joined Apr 23 2007
 Phoenix, AZ
Cape SolitudeNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 09 2011
hyker401Triplogs 10
Hiking30.00 Miles 3,630 AEG
Hiking30.00 Miles
3,630 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Ok, this is one trip I have looked at on my topo map and always thought to myself, I do not think I will ever do this hike, it seems way to tame and easy. In comparison to the rest of the canyon, yes, it is easy. But I found in reality, it is not as smilple as one would think. There are several factors that make it so. First of all, the milage (15 miles) reaches that point of, well endless. Next is, there is no water, at all. So what you want to drink you will carry yourself (6.5 liters=14 pounds). There is nothing to see but endless emptiness (which on its own really is beautiful), and finally if something happens you out there, you are on your own, they do not call it Cape Solitude for nothing. But, this was a journey for exactly that, sweet, pure, and utter solitude. Two days and not even a sole on the horizon...I was in heaven :y:

So, what is so alluring about this trip? The final destination. After six hours of hiking and since leaving my truck on the side of the road (there really is no true trailhead), the first half mile were the only canyon views, other than that I had the sense the canyon was close by, but like a spector it was unseen. But once I reached my the Cape, there is was in more glory and beauty then I had seen from my six years of GC exploring!!! This is a birds eye view of the confulence of the Little Colorado and the Colorado Rivers. It gives you a sense of, if you have ventured deep into the canyon, just where you have hiked. It is the South Rim and the North Rim like you have never seen before...reach out, you just might be close enough to touch it. For the Cape being so small and not much area to roam and explore, I spend the rest of the day and part of my second day just going back and forth seeing things I had not seen before. I sat for hours just staring and drinking in the beauty like a parched hiker in the desert drinking from a cool oasis. The best part, it was a full moon. You know, those full moons where your tent is so lit up you think there is stadium lighting all around. I kept getting up during the night and walking outside just to see the canyon from high up bathed in such a magnificent light.

It was bitter sweet to leave on day two. The bitter part was knowing I had 15 miles to reverse back to my truck, the sweet part, three liters of water as opposed to 6.5 :GB:
By the way, if anyone finds my favorite had that I dropped...

If you ever get the bug to see the canyon from a unique angle, this is the hike to do.
Named place
Named place [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Temple Butte
_____________________
Tim
average hiking speed 1.94 mph

WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

helpcommentissue

end of page marker