“Monument Creek is my beloved vacation spot down below the South Rim”, stated a extended time Grand Canyon native and well-recognized geologist as we hiked down the South Kaibab. This was certainly plenty of to peak my curiosity. Following a short while ago shifting to the South Rim we had been anxious for the weather to neat off so that we could continue on our exploration of the Inner Canyon in significantly more element. My wife Wendy and I have been hiking in the Grand Canyon for pretty much 25 decades with basically hundreds of descents off the Rims. Now that we stay a couple of minutes wander from the South Rim, we made a decision that one or two backpack excursions a thirty day period was absolutely within just cause. Our very first spot was Monument Creek Campground on Monument Creek for every our friend’s advice.

If you have carried out any mountaineering in the “Corridor Trails” of the Grand Canyon, (Brilliant Angel, South/North Kaibab), the hike down to Monument Creek is surely a major step up. The Corridor Trails are well maintained, vs . the Hermit Trail – are nearly groomed. First off, for any overnight camping excursions beneath the Rims you must safe a backcountry permit by calling the GCNP Backcountry Workplace at 928-638-7875. There are nominal costs affiliated with the allow. Then organize your equipment and place a clean memory card in your camera for a wonderful plunge into a far more remote section of the Grand Canyon.

The trip down to Monument Creek commences at the Hermit Trail with a speedy 1000′ descent down to Waldron Canyon. From Waldron Canyon the trail heads thanks north past the Dripping Springs Trail to a neat tiny rock pour off. The trail up to this place is effectively taken care of and receives pretty a few day hikers on their way to Santa Maria Springs, significantly less than a 3rd mile absent. I mention the pour off for the reason that the trail from below forward results in being considerably far more tricky. There are various rock slides covering the path with quite a few regions of vertical publicity. All of this is completely doable with a backpack, you’re just not going to make terrific time.

Santa Maria Springs is an oasis adjacent to the Redwall development approximately 2.2 miles from the trailhead. This can make this location a beloved day hikers’ place. There is a amazing very little spring seeping into a cattle trough the place you can fill your h2o bottles. (Bear in mind to generally filter your drinking water any where in the Grand Canyon.) Up coming to the spring is a super awesome rock hut with a bench and a way awesome double rocker with the words “Rest Bit” engraved into the back again rest. The check out west from within the rock hut is included with hanging vines – believe me, Martha Stewart couldn’t have developed a extra at ease rest house.

Touring down the trail hugging the Redwall formation with numerous rock slides for the subsequent hour or so will bring you to Lookout Issue, an exceptional spot to take a crack and take pleasure in the see. Directly west of Lookout Point across Hermit Creek Canyon is the Boucher Trail. It is really challenging to see and is extremely rugged. This trail is named immediately after the initial hermit Louis D. Boucher. Yet another hour or so continue to hugging the Redwall formation with several rock slides and vertical exposure will deliver you to Breezy Position. Breezy Place is 5.5 miles from the trailhead and is a good put to have lunch. The commanding views to the north deliver a preview below of the Tonto Trail operating southwest to Hermit’s Camp and to the northeast in direction of a little saddle that sales opportunities to your spot at Monument Creek.

Winding past Breezy Place and nevertheless hugging the Redwall with a lot of rock slides and additional vertical publicity will convey you to the Cathedral Stairs in about a fifty percent hour. Cathedral Stairs is the crux, or the most difficult portion of the hike. Path builders have practically carved a slim trail into this formation. It is steep and rocky, but small, less than a 1/4 mile. When at the bottom of the Cathedral Stairs just one feels to some degree launched from the partitions of the canyon. There is a extended traverse adjacent to Cope Butte and just after numerous switchbacks you will be a part of with the Tonto Trail at close to 7 miles from the primary trailhead. A single cannot help but stare back again south at Breezy Point and the Cathedral Stairs and marvel at the ingenuity of the path builders.

The Tonto Path heading east offers a great respite from the rock slides and vertical exposure right after numerous miles of challenging mountaineering alongside the Redwall. A single can essentially stride this portion of the trail and allow your muscle tissues to chill out. There are glimpses of the Colorado River below as the Tower of Established dominates the northern skyline. In an hour or so you will discover on your own approaching the Monument Creek drainage. The descent into the drainage is rugged and getting the path can be challenging. There have been hikers in entrance of us that descended straight down into the creek, only to bushwack again up. The path really hugs the rim and descends a bit, look for rock cairns.

The Monument Creek Campground region is an oasis. You have now traveled close to 9.5 miles into a properly guarded drainage with plenty of mesquite trees for shade with simple accessibility to h2o flowing about numerous pour offs. There are probably a dozen distinct campsites though the nightly use permits presently only make it possible for 4 camps. So, it is simple to find a “non-public” campsite to your liking. We pick out a nicely shaded campsite amongst the mesquite trees to string up a rope to dangle our back packs, camp goods and most importantly the “rat sack”. A rat sack is a necessity for backpacking in the Grand Canyon, it is a wire mesh bag with a velcro closure that will retain critters, primarily ring tails away from your food items. Nevertheless hanging it is commonly not adequate throughout the daytime hrs, the ravens will basically land on the sack and peck as a result of at your foods. So, it is greatest to include the rat sack with yet another bag. Your backpack will perform, but the ravens are also amazingly dexterous with their beaks and will shortly have all of your zippers open up as they rummage by way of the contents. I have read stories of ravens traveling absent from backpacks with income in their beaks! On this journey we met a couple close friends of ours, purely by possibility, and they misplaced a library e-book deal with to a specifically nicely read raven – no, it was not published by Edgar Allen Poe.

After settled into Monument Creek Campground you will probable want to check out the Monument alone. This pinnacle towers around 200′ above the campground, standing like a sentinel guardian to Monument Creek. I have read reviews of it remaining climbed in 4 pitches with a rating of 5.10A – well earlier mentioned my spend degree.

The Monument by itself blends in with the rock close to it, but can be viewed from the Monument Creek Vista on the Hermit Road some 3500′ higher than. By considerably the greatest day hike from Monument CG is the 1.6 mile vacation down Monument Creek to Granite Rapids. The sketchy path descending to Monument Creek starts at the western aspect of the Monument. There are various steep switchbacks with free rock, but within a number of minutes you are standing on the sand/rock drainage of the creek alone. There are easy to observe cairns for the first pair hundred yards and then adhere to the natural drainage. It is incredibly stunning. Monument Creek flows primarily underground, but closer to the Colorado River it is higher than ground and could be jumped when it hasn’t been raining. Make sure you get recognize of the weather prior to descending into Monument Creek, it will flash flood.

From Monument CG one can hike the Tonto Trail back again to the west and commit time at Hermit’s CG and ascend the Hermit Path or make your way east to Salt Creek CG, Horn Creek CG, Indian Gardens CG and up the Brilliant Angel Path. We regarded Monument to be a destination of it really is have and beloved discovering the entire place and then ascending back again up the Hermit’s Trail. A several hours later on we’re sitting in the “Relaxation Little bit” at Santa Maria Springs by now preparing our up coming Grand Canyon journey.

Eric is a serious estate broker in Tucson AZ and dealing with homes in Southern AZ.
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