[< Previous Day]
[page 1] [page 2] [page 3] [page 4]
[Next Page >]

Backpack, Day Five
Return to Civilization
Friday, April 9

I woke up at 3:50am and went around to wake everyone else up. (I know, a wee bit before 4am, but it wouldn't hurt anyone who'd been getting eight to nine hours of sleep every night recently, like we were). We had breakfast and packed up under darkness, which slowly progressed to a very dim twilight by the time we were ready to head out at around 5:30am. With headlamps still glowing, we marched out of the Salt Creek campsite, down and across the creek, and up and onto the Tonto Trail. All around was a quiet and gently lit Grand Canyon.
Pre-dawn at Salt Creek
Extra early start
Pre-dawn in the Canyon
I'd wanted an early start for many reasons: firstly, this was to be our longest distance covered in a day - over 18 kilometres (11.5 miles), and we were given warnings from the park service about the 'excessiveness' of covering this distance in one day (because the route was extremely straightforward and not rough, I wasn't worried - but it didn't hurt to get a head start). secondly, we had to be back in Las Vegas this evening, and the drive from the South Rim to Las Vegas is on the order of five hours -- meaning we had to drive south out of the park at a reasonable hour. thirdly, I didn't know exactly how fast we'd be on the long uphill of the Bright Angel trail, and wanted to hedge my bets against possible extra slowness. fourthly, we had dry camped the night before, and would not have access to water until Indian Gardens, so hiking in the cool of pre-dawn and morning meant less water consumption (although this was a minor consideration - it wasn't generally that hot out anyway). In short - I was factoring in extra time to make sure that we achieved our goals for the day.
Dawn's first light
Flowering Agave and Moon
Sunrise on Shiva
It was delightful to hike in the cool shade of pre-dawn, and then to see the first rays of fiery light strike the higher towers and mesas above.
Sunrise against Eremita Mesa
Maricopa Point
Shadows of the Buttes
Granite Gorge at Sunrise
Backlit Hikers
Temples in Relief
We emerged into full sunlight as we crossed the divide into the next side canyon : Horn Creek. Horn Creek is a large, multi-pronged drainage that also has a backcountry campsite -- one where the water supply is supposedly radioactively tainted by the remnants of a mine high above on the cliffs.
Emerging into the sun
Wild Deer
Mike and Pu in the Morning
courtesy PChen
courtesy PChen
courtesy PChen
Mike is in form
Approaching High Point
Early Morning Rest Break
courtesy PChen
courtesy CPickering
Break time
Wide Tonto Platform
The Four Easterners
As we approached Horn Creek, there was some unusual super-straight sections of Tonto Trail (straight like someone had laid it out using a ruler), followed by a long contour around multiple sub-drainages. We crossed through the Horn Creek Campsite, which is at the most easterly of the sub-drainages. There were a few campers scattered about here, just getting up for their day.
An exceptionally straight stretch
Horn Creek Canyon
Horn Creek Canyon
[< Previous Day]
[page 1] [page 2] [page 3] [page 4]
[Next Page >]

[ Grand Canyon 2010 home page | Introduction | Death Valley | Backpack Prep | Backpack Day 1 - Boucher Trail | Backpack Day 2 - Boucher Creek & Rapids | Backpack Day 3 - Boucher Creek to Hermit Rapids | Backpack Day 4 - Hermit Rapids to Salt Creek | Backpack Day 5 - Salt Creek to Bright Angel Trailhead | Epilogue | Video Clip Index | Supplemental - Flowers | Supplemental - People | Route Description- The Waldron Trail | Route Description- The Boucher Trail | GPS Data ]


Send feedback or leave comments (note: comments in message board below are separate from those in above message board)
(7 messages)
(last message posted on Mon Dec 07, 14:52 EST 2020 by Andrew)
Web Page & Design Copyright 2001-2021 by Andrew Lavigne. (Privacy Policy)