“Monument Creek is my favorite vacation spot below the South Rim”, mentioned a very long time Grand Canyon native and well-recognized geologist as we hiked down the South Kaibab. This was absolutely sufficient to peak my fascination. Immediately after not too long ago relocating to the South Rim we were nervous for the weather to cool off so that we could continue on our exploration of the Internal Canyon in considerably far more depth. My wife Wendy and I have been hiking in the Grand Canyon for practically 25 yrs with actually hundreds of descents off the Rims. Now that we live a several minutes walk from the South Rim, we resolved that one or two backpack journeys a month was entirely inside reason. Our 1st desired destination was Monument Creek Campground on Monument Creek for every our friend’s advice.

If you have accomplished any mountaineering in the “Corridor Trails” of the Grand Canyon, (Brilliant Angel, South/North Kaibab), the hike down to Monument Creek is certainly a significant move up. The Corridor Trails are perfectly managed, versus the Hermit Path – are virtually groomed. 1st off, for any overnight tenting visits under the Rims you must secure a backcountry permit by contacting the GCNP Backcountry Business at 928-638-7875. There are nominal costs involved with the permit. Then arrange your gear and put a contemporary memory card in your camera for a excellent plunge into a extra distant section of the Grand Canyon.

The vacation down to Monument Creek begins at the Hermit Path with a rapid 1000′ descent down to Waldron Canyon. From Waldron Canyon the path heads owing north earlier the Dripping Springs Trail to a neat minor rock pour off. The path up to this stage is properly maintained and gets really a couple of working day hikers on their way to Santa Maria Springs, a lot less than a third mile away. I point out the pour off since the trail from listed here forward becomes considerably a lot more hard. There are numerous rock slides masking the path with a number of regions of vertical exposure. All of this is wholly doable with a backpack, you’re just not heading to make fantastic time.

Santa Maria Springs is an oasis adjacent to the Redwall formation close to 2.2 miles from the trailhead. This will make this region a favored working day hikers’ spot. There is a excellent tiny spring seeping into a cattle trough where by you can fill your water bottles. (Remember to normally filter your h2o anyplace in the Grand Canyon.) Up coming to the spring is a super great rock hut with a bench and a way cool double rocker with the text “Rest Bit” engraved into the again relaxation. The look at west from inside the rock hut is coated with hanging vines – feel me, Martha Stewart could not have developed a more comfortable rest property.

Traveling down the trail hugging the Redwall formation with a lot of rock slides for the subsequent hour or so will bring you to Lookout Place, an outstanding area to get a split and get pleasure from the look at. Immediately west of Lookout Level across Hermit Creek Canyon is the Boucher Trail. It is incredibly hard to see and is really rugged. This path is named following the primary hermit Louis D. Boucher. A further hour or so still hugging the Redwall development with several rock slides and vertical publicity will carry you to Breezy Issue. Breezy Issue is 5.5 miles from the trailhead and is a excellent area to have lunch. The commanding sights to the north offer a preview beneath of the Tonto Path jogging southwest to Hermit’s Camp and to the northeast towards a tiny saddle that leads to your destination at Monument Creek.

Winding earlier Breezy Issue and nonetheless hugging the Redwall with a lot of rock slides and much more vertical publicity will convey you to the Cathedral Stairs in all over a half hour. Cathedral Stairs is the crux, or the most difficult part of the hike. Trail builders have literally carved a slim path into this development. It is steep and rocky, but quick, less than a 1/4 mile. After at the bottom of the Cathedral Stairs just one feels considerably unveiled from the partitions of the canyon. There is a prolonged traverse adjacent to Cope Butte and immediately after many switchbacks you will sign up for with the Tonto Path at roughly 7 miles from the authentic trailhead. A person are unable to assist but stare back again south at Breezy Level and the Cathedral Stairs and marvel at the ingenuity of the path builders.

The Tonto Trail heading east presents a good respite from the rock slides and vertical exposure right after numerous miles of tricky hiking along the Redwall. A person can really stride this part of the path and permit your muscle mass to take it easy. There are glimpses of the Colorado River below as the Tower of Set dominates the northern skyline. In an hour or so you will obtain your self approaching the Monument Creek drainage. The descent into the drainage is rugged and obtaining the path can be challenging. There were 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 little bit, search for rock cairns.

The Monument Creek Campground spot is an oasis. You have now traveled about 9.5 miles into a properly guarded drainage with loads of mesquite trees for shade with simple accessibility to drinking water flowing above various pour offs. There are maybe a dozen various campsites although the nightly use permits presently only allow 4 camps. So, it is simple to find a “private” campsite to your liking. We select a effectively 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 preserve critters, primarily ring tails absent from your foodstuff. Nevertheless hanging it is commonly not adequate during the daytime hours, the ravens will merely land on the sack and peck by way of at your food stuff. So, it is very best to include the rat sack with a further bag. Your backpack will work, but the ravens are also astonishingly dexterous with their beaks and will quickly have all of your zippers open up as they rummage by means of the contents. I have read stories of ravens flying away from backpacks with revenue in their beaks! On this trip we satisfied a few pals of ours, purely by opportunity, and they shed a library reserve go over to a specially effectively study raven – no, it was not published by Edgar Allen Poe.

When settled into Monument Creek Campground you will possible want to take a look at the Monument alone. This pinnacle towers about 200′ higher than the campground, standing like a sentinel guardian to Monument Creek. I have go through studies of it getting climbed in 4 pitches with a ranking of 5.10A – perfectly over my pay out level.

The Monument alone blends in with the rock close to it, but can be considered from the Monument Creek Vista on the Hermit Highway some 3500′ previously mentioned. By far the best working day hike from Monument CG is the 1.6 mile trip down Monument Creek to Granite Rapids. The sketchy trail descending to Monument Creek starts off at the western side of the Monument. There are quite a few steep switchbacks with loose rock, but in a number of minutes you are standing on the sand/rock drainage of the creek itself. There are straightforward to comply with cairns for the first few hundred yards and then follow the natural drainage. It is unbelievably stunning. Monument Creek flows largely underground, but nearer to the Colorado River it is higher than floor and may perhaps be jumped when it has not been raining. You should just take see of the temperature prior to descending into Monument Creek, it will flash flood.

From Monument CG just one can hike the Tonto Path back 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 Vibrant Angel Trail. We thought of Monument to be a place of it’s have and liked exploring the full place and then ascending back up the Hermit’s Path. A couple of several hours later on we’re sitting in the “Rest Little bit” at Santa Maria Springs now scheduling our future Grand Canyon experience.

Eric is a true estate broker in Tucson AZ and handling homes in Southern AZ.
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