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Grand Canyon:Hermit>Tonto>Bright Angel: 25-27 Jan 2015

 
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Mike P
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Joined: 02 Oct 2007
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Location: Glendora, CA

PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2015 10:57 pm    Post subject: Grand Canyon:Hermit>Tonto>Bright Angel: 25-27 Jan 2015  Reply with quote

I haven't posted a trip in a while... Gotta' get back in the groove of posting!

Anyhow, three of us headed out to the Grand Canyon last weekend and took on the Hermit Trail to the Tonto West Trail to Bright Angel Trail. GC hiking is an entirely different breed of backpacking when compared to mountain forest hiking! The Hermit Trail is advertised as not having any trail maintenance in the last 80 years. They are correct. We had a rugged and long 9.3 mile, 6 hour hike to get to Monument Creek Trail Camp. (We had originally planned on spending the night at the beach, 1.5 miles downstream on Monument Creek at Granite Rapids but the backcountry ranger advised against it as our water filter would clog quickly in the muddy brown Colorado River water. Since we had only one filter we decided not to risk losing it.)



One of the first views of Hermit Creek:


Part of the Hermit Trail along the canyon walls:


Typical views from the Hermit Trail:







Hermit Trail was mostly a long, steep, rock-filled, quad-quivering downhill jaunt. This is the top of the Cathedral Stairs:


Looking back at Monument Creek Camp, our first night's stop. The compost toilets are to the left of center while our camp areas were in the two small clearings under the leafless trees below center and just above the creek:


Before getting to Monument Camp we left the Hermit Trail and turned east onto the Tonto Trail. We thought Tonto would be a relatively level and restful trail. Not quite... There was about 2000' of ascent and 1500' of descent over the 10.3 mile, 7 hour second day's hike. Normally, those elevation changes would hardly be noticeable but after the beating of day one, those ups and downs were significant!

Typical Tonto Trail views:




A portion of the Granite Gorge below the Tonto:


A mild rainstorm hit during our second night at Indian Garden Campground. We planned on the rain, however, by sleeping on the picnic tables under the campsites roofs. The hike out on the Bright Angel Trail was spectacular amid light and intermittent rain showers.
The 4.8 mile trail on our way out:


After we topped out at the South Rim the trail was socked in with rain and clouds:


Overall, this particular three day hike was our introduction to hiking the non-corridor trails of the Grand Canyon. We would like to go in deeper and explore more of the Tonto and other trails in the area. This backpack trip was one of the most beautiful and challenging that we have ever undertaken. We would do it again in a second!


Last edited by Mike P on Sat Jan 31, 2015 4:22 pm; edited 1 time in total
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RichardK



Joined: 30 Sep 2007
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Location: Florida East Coast

PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2015 12:09 am    Post subject: GC Reply with quote

Super pictures! Thank you.
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JeffH



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Location: Claremont

PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2015 9:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great trip. Love GCNP, nothing like watching the sunrise from somewhere below the rim. One of these days I'd like to backpack in there too, rather than just dayhikes.
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Chicken Legs



Joined: 18 Oct 2007
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Location: Glendora, Ca.

PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2015 10:34 am    Post subject: Awesome trip report Reply with quote

Wow what a great trip report, it made me feel like I was there.
Thanks for posting.
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Mike P
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Location: Glendora, CA

PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2015 2:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Awesome trip report Reply with quote

Chicken Legs wrote:
Wow what a great trip report, it made me feel like I was there.
Thanks for posting.


Hmmm... was that trip too difficult for you, Chicken Legs? Smile Do you recall wearing a red shirt?

Here's the best photo I could find of you:
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tekewin



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Location: Aliso Viejo

PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2015 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awesomeness!
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tekewin



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Location: Aliso Viejo

PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2015 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awesomeness!
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Uncle Rico



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Location: Pleasantville

PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2015 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dude! You win the interwebs.
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