Grand Canyon hike      May 6 to 15, 2002

Fred, Emilee, Alan, Ian, Nancy, and Peter.

Photographs are by Peter, unless otherwise noted. Click on photo to enlarge

the group This was a ten day hike we did from the North Rim, starting at Indian Hollow campround and looping down to the Colorado River back to Sowats Point, north of our cars.
The group photo is of (l to r): Fred, Emilee, Nancy, Ian, Peter, Alan
Hiking in the Grand Canyon is all about the geology. The road to our trailhead was in the Kaibab Limestone and Toroweap Formation and was in trees. However, a ten minute walk took us out to the edge of the Coconino and views out over the terrain we were going to be hiking in. The drop through the Cocnino was dramatic, and then we were on the rubbly Hermit Shale. geologic cross-section Hermit Shale
dinner camp Most of the first day was on the Esplanade, which is quite delightful walking, especially on the slickrock of the Supai. We camped amidst the huge boulders and as usual, just rolled out our mattresses and sleeping bags on the rock.
On day 2, we dropped through the huge vertical Redwall layer and in the afternoon arrived at Thunder Spring, a cool oasis after the heat of Surprise Valley and our first water since leaving the car. A family of Dippers lived behing a cascade, entertaining us with their antics. Surprise Valley Thunder Spring dipper
Descent to Deer Creek Deer Spring Deer Creek valley Day 3: A walk across Surprise Valley and then we descended through the Muav Limestone and the Angel Shale to the valley floor of Deer Creek. Here was another wonderful waterfall, fresh water, and a shady place to camp in the cottonwoods
The next couple of days were the hardest. We started by going through the spectacular gorge of Deer Creek (Tapeats Sandstone) out to the Colorado River. From there it was two long "half days" of boulder hopping to Kanab Creek. There was very little shade and it was HOT! We camped halfway, in Fishtail Canyon, but even by morning the temperature hadn't dropped below 30 degrees. We saw several commercial rafts, whose occupants never thought our attempts to hitchhike were serious! Deer Creek gorge along the Colorado
Alan - camp at Kanab Ian - camp at Kanab Deer Creek valley The camp site at the mouth of Kanab Creek was a relief. sunset - camp at Kanab
The next part felt like a major change. After morning coffee, we started up the Kanab Creek canyon, where we would be hiking for the next three days. The walking varied from wonderful limestone ledges to huge boulders.morning coffee Muav ledges boulders
Kanab Creek Slide of Susurrus The pool at the Slide of Susurrus was almost too cold! By now we'd eaten enough food that our packs were significantly lighter, so the walking was easy enough to really enjoy the surroundings. Datura Scotty's Hollow
Kanab Creek The reliable water of Kanab Creek eventually got quite slimey and then vanished altogether. This meant that for much of Day 7 we were again carrying all our water, and in the evening filtering more for the next day. We got our water out of a large pool in the rock just before turning off into Jumpup Canyon, whose branches would take us back up to the Esplanade. filtering water
camp on Esplanade Moon and Venus Our last night was again up on the slickrock. We had a magical view of the alignment of the moon, Venus, Jupiter and Saturn (photo by Alan). The next morning, an early start got us up the Coconino before the sun hit us, and then most of us sat in the shade of a tree while Ian and Fred hiked the 22km to the cars. climbing to rim

 

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