June 14, 2024

Grand Canyon: Monument Creek Campground

“Monument Creek is my preferred place underneath the South Rim”, claimed a very long time Grand Canyon native and properly-recognised geologist as we hiked down the South Kaibab. This was certainly ample to peak my desire. After recently going to the South Rim we were being nervous for the climate to great off so that we could continue our exploration of the Interior Canyon in considerably much more detail. My spouse Wendy and I have been climbing in the Grand Canyon for practically 25 years with practically hundreds of descents off the Rims. Now that we dwell a handful of minutes wander from the South Rim, we determined that one or two backpack outings a month was totally within explanation. Our first vacation spot was Monument Creek Campground on Monument Creek for every our friend’s recommendation.

If you have completed any climbing in the “Corridor Trails” of the Grand Canyon, (Bright Angel, South/North Kaibab), the hike down to Monument Creek is certainly a significant stage up. The Corridor Trails are nicely preserved, compared to the Hermit Trail – are almost groomed. To start with off, for any right away tenting excursions down below the Rims you need to safe a backcountry permit by contacting the GCNP Backcountry Office environment at 928-638-7875. There are nominal fees related with the permit. Then arrange your equipment and put a new memory card in your digital camera for a excellent plunge into a extra remote portion of the Grand Canyon.

The trip down to Monument Creek begins at the Hermit Trail with a speedy 1000′ descent down to Waldron Canyon. From Waldron Canyon the trail heads thanks north previous the Dripping Springs Trail to a neat small rock pour off. The path up to this point is properly taken care of and gets pretty a number of working day hikers on their way to Santa Maria Springs, fewer than a 3rd mile absent. I mention the pour off due to the fact the path from below ahead turns into substantially far more hard. There are various rock slides masking the trail with quite a few locations of vertical publicity. All of this is completely doable with a backpack, you are just not likely to make terrific time.

Santa Maria Springs is an oasis adjacent to the Redwall development somewhere around 2.2 miles from the trailhead. This tends to make this location a preferred day hikers’ desired destination. There is a fantastic small spring seeping into a cattle trough wherever you can fill your water bottles. (Don’t forget to generally filter your water anyplace in the Grand Canyon.) Subsequent to the spring is a tremendous interesting rock hut with a bench and a way great double rocker with the words “Rest Bit” engraved into the back again relaxation. The check out west from within the rock hut is lined with hanging vines – feel me, Martha Stewart couldn’t have made a a lot more comfortable relaxation household.

Touring down the path hugging the Redwall formation with quite a few rock slides for the subsequent hour or so will deliver you to Lookout Position, an excellent spot to choose a break and take pleasure in the watch. Immediately west of Lookout Position across Hermit Creek Canyon is the Boucher Trail. It is very difficult to see and is quite rugged. This path is named immediately after the original hermit Louis D. Boucher. Yet another hour or so nonetheless hugging the Redwall development with a lot of rock slides and vertical exposure will deliver you to Breezy Issue. Breezy Level is 5.5 miles from the trailhead and is a wonderful put to have lunch. The commanding views to the north provide a preview down below of the Tonto Path operating southwest to Hermit’s Camp and to the northeast towards a compact saddle that potential customers to your desired destination at Monument Creek.

Winding earlier Breezy Stage and still hugging the Redwall with quite a few rock slides and extra vertical publicity will bring you to the Cathedral Stairs in around a half hour. Cathedral Stairs is the crux, or the most difficult part of the hike. Trail builders have actually carved a slender trail into this formation. It is steep and rocky, but brief, significantly less than a 1/4 mile. After at the bottom of the Cathedral Stairs a single feels relatively unveiled from the partitions of the canyon. There is a long traverse adjacent to Cope Butte and right after numerous switchbacks you will sign up for with the Tonto Trail at around 7 miles from the initial trailhead. Just one cannot help but stare again south at Breezy Position and the Cathedral Stairs and marvel at the ingenuity of the path builders.

The Tonto Trail heading east offers a wonderful respite from the rock slides and vertical exposure just after several miles of difficult mountaineering together the Redwall. One can essentially stride this part of the path and permit your muscular tissues to unwind. There are glimpses of the Colorado River down below as the Tower of Set 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 acquiring the trail can be difficult. There have been hikers in entrance of us that descended straight down into the creek, only to bushwack back again up. The path really hugs the rim and descends a bit, look for rock cairns.

The Monument Creek Campground spot is an oasis. You have now traveled roughly 9.5 miles into a well safeguarded drainage with a lot of mesquite trees for shade with easy entry to water flowing over multiple pour offs. There are most likely a dozen distinctive campsites though the nightly use permits presently only allow for 4 camps. So, it is effortless to obtain a “private” campsite to your liking. We select a properly shaded campsite amongst the mesquite trees to string up a rope to hold our back again packs, camp merchandise and most importantly the “rat sack”. A rat sack is a requirement for backpacking in the Grand Canyon, it is a wire mesh bag with a velcro closure that will retain critters, specifically ring tails away from your food items. Having said that hanging it is typically not enough all through the daytime several hours, the ravens will basically land on the sack and peck by way of at your food stuff. So, it is finest to cover the rat sack with a different bag. Your backpack will operate, but the ravens are also incredibly dexterous with their beaks and will quickly have all of your zippers open up as they rummage as a result of the contents. I have heard stories of ravens traveling away from backpacks with cash in their beaks! On this journey we satisfied a pair buddies of ours, purely by chance, and they lost a library reserve deal with to a especially very well read through raven – no, it was not created by Edgar Allen Poe.

As soon as settled into Monument Creek Campground you will likely want to investigate the Monument alone. This pinnacle towers over 200′ above the campground, standing like a sentinel guardian to Monument Creek. I have read through reviews of it being climbed in 4 pitches with a rating of 5.10A – well above my spend degree.

The Monument itself blends in with the rock around it, but can be considered from the Monument Creek Vista on the Hermit Highway some 3500′ previously mentioned. By considerably the finest day hike from Monument CG is the 1.6 mile excursion down Monument Creek to Granite Rapids. The sketchy trail descending to Monument Creek starts at the western facet of the Monument. There are quite a few steep switchbacks with loose rock, but inside a handful of minutes you are standing on the sand/rock drainage of the creek alone. There are simple to adhere to cairns for the first few hundred yards and then follow the all-natural drainage. It is exceptionally attractive. Monument Creek flows largely underground, but nearer to the Colorado River it is higher than ground and may perhaps be jumped when it hasn’t been raining. Make sure you just take detect of the climate prior to descending into Monument Creek, it will flash flood.

From Monument CG 1 can hike the Tonto Path back again to the west and expend time at Hermit’s CG and ascend the Hermit Trail or make your way east to Salt Creek CG, Horn Creek CG, Indian Gardens CG and up the Shiny Angel Path. We regarded as Monument to be a place of it truly is very own and cherished discovering the total area and then ascending again up the Hermit’s Path. A several several hours later we’re sitting in the “Rest Little bit” at Santa Maria Springs currently organizing our following Grand Canyon journey.

Eric is a real estate broker in Tucson AZ and managing properties in Southern AZ.
Make sure you visit my web-site: http://www.TheTucsonHomeHunters.com