Luckily for us, we found three other people crazy enough to commit and we didn't even have to bribe them (don't take my word on that). If you wouldn't consider doing down and up of the GCNP, don't do this. At certain times of the year, the river water here is so blue that you could bottle it and pass it as Glacier Freeze Gatorade. My GPS put it between 5.5 and 6.5 miles one way. Then, we all began the hike up together, at about 9am. I sealed my food tightly in a garbage bag with my clothes and used it as a pillow. For more details, visit our Permit Information page. Our USGS friends immediately shared their lunch buffet of cold cuts and sandwiches that were the finest we could ever expect in such a place. In the Summer, the temperature exceeds 100F. It’s soo much easier than Salt, but it takes a day or two from there before you start reaching the blue water (the canyon is dry at the bottom of Horse). We were all pretty stoked to be able to see a hint of blue curving the furthest canyon walls; it was the Little Colorado River and it looked way closer than it actually was. (928) 638-2262 http://www.nps.gov/grca/index.htm, FREE TRIP PLANNERS Get news on vacation deals and lodging at mygrandcanyonpark.com. Backpacking Across the Santa Catalina Mountains Trip Report, 105 Miles in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks Trip Report. Most of the color was gone from her face and she was definitely not her normal self. Here's the deal: This 37-mile trip, connecting the Tanner and Beamer Trails to the Little Colorado River, is for seasoned, fit hikers with solid navigation skills. You might have to backtrack. Salt trail is an ass kicking, for sure, especially in the heat. This was bad news for us. He ensured us that the experience is worth it a million times over. I imagine this may not be the case after monsoon season, as some of the cairns and even parts of the trail could be washed out by flash floods. For reference, it takes me at least two hours for Flat Iron (up and down without a pack), whereas it takes me two hours with a 25lb pack to make it to the Little Colorado River. Take your time, drink plenty of water, and hope that you're blessed with the blue water flowing casually down from Blue Springs 7.5 miles upriver. If nothing else, they helped inspire confidence. Jason gets outside a lot and shoots beautiful landscapes. The first hour descends quickly through the Coconino layer then at mile 1.2 the trail eases near the base of Escalante Butte. That noise probably saved all of our food from being consumed before dawn. But the views down at the river were breathtaking. As plenty have mentioned, this is much longer than All Trails says. The trail often runs thin along ledges above the Colorado. A paved road would be constructed between State Route 89A and the Salt Trail Canyon where it emerges into the Little Colorado, and a new 20-mile-long transmission line … Started right at sunrise and was out of the canyon right at sun set. Backcountry Trails There are three principal tracks leading towards the much deeper lower canyon of the Little Colorado River. Without a proper fire, it was cold out there on the high plateau, but we made the most of it. Death averted. I had the entire area to myself for most of the day and came across three hikers on the way out. He told us that the trail is flat and easy the entire way from where we stood and there are only two places that you need to cross the river. So, here’s how you get to the Salt Trail, down to the Little Colorado River, and then to the confluence with the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. We got down in about 3 hours and out 4 hours. The fiery wreckage struck Chuar and Temple Buttes near the confluence of the Colorado and Little Colorado Rivers, killing all 128 people aboard. The trail heads down abruptly when you approach Palisades Creek. Shortly after this driveway, spot a road marked by 2 big rock cairns on each side of your current main road, 6133. On this day it was the famous turquoise. Sure enough, there was a way up and around. I have included some photos here of the confluence when the water was blue on my previous trip. At around 12 miles, start looking for a Navajo compound with a house, trailer and other buildings off the main road to the right. Not sure about using a tube to float down. I also posted to an Arizona hiking group on Facebook to see if anyone else had been there. It’s also where Marble Canyon officially becomes the Grand Canyon. This place is getting destroyed and we are going to lose access! Note: There have been reports that this trail is now closed. They offered me a warm banquet beer left behind by another group and suggested I cool it in the 44 degree Colorado River water at the Confluence for about 6 minutes to get it perfectly frigid. Click to join the healthy conversations on Facebook. In my haste, I failed to communicate with Jason and we turned off US 89 at different locations. Get a permit. Download application at nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/backcountry-permit.htm; then fax to (928) 638-2125. Expect to spend at least double the time climbing than descending. You’ll know you’re on the right road, about 5-6 miles in when you see a big pile of neatly painted, stacked, silver tires with a metallic horse statue sticking out of the top to mark a ranch entrance. I stuck a copy of our backcountry permit on the dashboard, locked up, and we headed for the trailhead. Thanks to his dad and the Boy Scouts, he was able to spend a lot of time hiking at an early age. The sun was beating down on us by now and all we had to do was navigate down a couple hundred feet of loose gravel to the beautiful blue water. We have since learned this blue is extremely temperamental and you have to go when there’s been a solid ten days of sunny weather (no rain), otherwise it’s a muddy, chocolatey brown. The trail was much better on the South side and I made good time to the confluence with the Colorado River, about 13.5 miles from Blue Springs and 57 from Cameron. NAVAJO NATION PERMIT REQUIRED Yet after only .5mi or so, we hit a road block (or should i say "trail block") when the trail seemed to come to an end at a large boulder. If you're one of the. The first mile of this was the worst, as our guide had mentioned. Occasionally hikes carrying a small toddler. The hike back was very intense fighting gravity up the 3000 plus feet of elevation gain. Our flashlights blasted light all around the campsite and we quickly spotted 2 cute little cats, eyes gleaming in the light and their long tails dancing in the shadows. I scared him away, but he just kept coming back. Using Topo Maps+, I plotted a 28-mile loop that would take us up Boulder Canyon and down La Barge Canyon. Trekking on, we passed a beautiful emerald pool deep down in the center of the canyon before finally coming up on a large cairn comprised of hundreds of rocks piled on top of a huge boulder. We knew Kellie and Peter would be harder to convince, especially due to how ill Kellie had been feeling but were prepared for them to tell us they would stay behind while we went and that's exactly what they told us. We stacked a few of the rock piles back into place for those that would pass this way later. I first learned of the Little Colorado River in 2015-2016 when I came across a news article about the proposed Escalade Project in Grand Canyon National Park. Driving north from Cameron, Arizona and the junctions of US 89 and 64, turn left between mile marker 486 and 487, onto Navajo Road 6133.
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