Grand Canyon: Monument Creek Campground7 min read
“Monument Creek is my most loved vacation spot beneath the South Rim”, reported a very long time Grand Canyon native and perfectly-acknowledged geologist as we hiked down the South Kaibab. This was certainly more than enough to peak my interest. Right after not long ago moving to the South Rim we were anxious for the weather to interesting off so that we could continue our exploration of the Internal Canyon in considerably far more depth. My spouse Wendy and I have been mountaineering in the Grand Canyon for virtually 25 several years with actually hundreds of descents off the Rims. Now that we dwell a number of minutes walk from the South Rim, we resolved that just one or two backpack journeys a thirty day period was wholly in just motive. Our 1st desired destination was Monument Creek Campground on Monument Creek for every our friend’s recommendation.
If you have carried out any climbing in the “Corridor Trails” of the Grand Canyon, (Vibrant Angel, South/North Kaibab), the hike down to Monument Creek is certainly a significant stage up. The Corridor Trails are very well preserved, compared to the Hermit Trail – are basically groomed. Initial off, for any overnight tenting visits under the Rims you will have to safe a backcountry allow by contacting the GCNP Backcountry Workplace at 928-638-7875. There are nominal costs involved with the allow. Then manage your gear and set a new memory card in your digital camera for a wonderful plunge into a far more distant part of the Grand Canyon.
The trip down to Monument Creek starts at the Hermit Trail with a fast 1000′ descent down to Waldron Canyon. From Waldron Canyon the path heads due north past the Dripping Springs Path to a neat little rock pour off. The path up to this issue is nicely maintained and receives really a couple working day hikers on their way to Santa Maria Springs, considerably less than a third mile away. I mention the pour off since the trail from listed here ahead results in being considerably extra complicated. There are several rock slides masking the trail with many spots of vertical publicity. All of this is entirely doable with a backpack, you are just not going to make fantastic time.
Santa Maria Springs is an oasis adjacent to the Redwall development roughly 2.2 miles from the trailhead. This will make this location a preferred working day hikers’ place. There is a excellent very little spring seeping into a cattle trough the place you can fill your drinking water bottles. (Keep in mind to normally filter your water anywhere in the Grand Canyon.) Up coming to the spring is a super great rock hut with a bench and a way awesome double rocker with the terms “Rest Little bit” engraved into the back again rest. The watch west from inside the rock hut is lined with hanging vines – imagine me, Martha Stewart couldn’t have intended a additional snug relaxation home.
Touring down the trail hugging the Redwall development with quite a few rock slides for the up coming hour or so will deliver you to Lookout Point, an great place to take a break and appreciate the look at. Immediately west of Lookout Position throughout Hermit Creek Canyon is the Boucher Trail. It is very tricky to see and is very rugged. This trail is named just after the primary hermit Louis D. Boucher. Another hour or so however hugging the Redwall development with many rock slides and vertical exposure will provide you to Breezy Position. Breezy Level is 5.5 miles from the trailhead and is a fantastic position to have lunch. The commanding views to the north deliver a preview underneath of the Tonto Trail managing southwest to Hermit’s Camp and to the northeast to a modest saddle that leads to your place at Monument Creek.
Winding earlier Breezy Point and however hugging the Redwall with various rock slides and extra vertical exposure will bring you to the Cathedral Stairs in about a 50 % hour. Cathedral Stairs is the crux, or the most complicated part of the hike. Path builders have pretty much carved a slender trail into this formation. It is steep and rocky, but shorter, fewer than a 1/4 mile. When at the bottom of the Cathedral Stairs just one feels to some degree introduced from the partitions of the canyon. There is a very long traverse adjacent to Cope Butte and following several switchbacks you will sign up for with the Tonto Path at somewhere around 7 miles from the authentic trailhead. A person are unable to aid but stare back south at Breezy Level and the Cathedral Stairs and marvel at the ingenuity of the path builders.
The Tonto Path heading east presents a great respite from the rock slides and vertical exposure right after numerous miles of challenging climbing along the Redwall. A person can in fact stride this portion of the trail and permit your muscles to loosen up. There are glimpses of the Colorado River underneath as the Tower of Set dominates the northern skyline. In an hour or so you will uncover your self approaching the Monument Creek drainage. The descent into the drainage is rugged and acquiring the path 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 essentially hugs the rim and descends a bit, glance for rock cairns.
The Monument Creek Campground space is an oasis. You have now traveled around 9.5 miles into a very well secured drainage with a good deal of mesquite trees for shade with simple obtain to water flowing over various pour offs. There are potentially a dozen distinctive campsites whilst the nightly use permits presently only allow for 4 camps. So, it is straightforward to find a “personal” campsite to your liking. We opt for a well shaded campsite amongst the mesquite trees to string up a rope to dangle our back again packs, camp goods 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 hold critters, especially ring tails absent from your meals. Having said that hanging it is typically not sufficient throughout the daytime hours, the ravens will only land on the sack and peck by way of at your foods. So, it is very best to address the rat sack with a further bag. Your backpack will perform, but the ravens are also astonishingly dexterous with their beaks and will soon have all of your zippers open up as they rummage via the contents. I have read tales of ravens flying away from backpacks with income in their beaks! On this journey we achieved a pair close friends of ours, purely by chance, and they missing a library e-book address to a particularly very well read raven – no, it was not written by Edgar Allen Poe.
When settled into Monument Creek Campground you will probable want to check out the Monument itself. This pinnacle towers more than 200′ over the campground, standing like a sentinel guardian to Monument Creek. I have read through studies of it currently being climbed in 4 pitches with a ranking of 5.10A – properly above my spend amount.
The Monument alone blends in with the rock around it, but can be viewed from the Monument Creek Vista on the Hermit Road some 3500′ higher than. By considerably the most effective working day hike from Monument CG is the 1.6 mile excursion down Monument Creek to Granite Rapids. The sketchy trail descending to Monument Creek begins at the western aspect of the Monument. There are various steep switchbacks with free rock, but in a couple of minutes you are standing on the sand/rock drainage of the creek alone. There are simple to comply with cairns for the very first few hundred yards and then abide by the natural drainage. It is incredibly attractive. Monument Creek flows largely underground, but closer to the Colorado River it is previously mentioned floor and may perhaps be jumped when it hasn’t been raining. Remember to consider recognize of the weather prior to descending into Monument Creek, it will flash flood.
From Monument CG a person can hike the Tonto Path again to the west and expend 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 Shiny Angel Trail. We considered Monument to be a vacation spot of it can be have and cherished checking out the full location and then ascending again up the Hermit’s Path. A couple of hrs later we’re sitting down in the “Relaxation Bit” at Santa Maria Springs already setting up our up coming Grand Canyon adventure.
Eric is a true estate broker in Tucson AZ and handling attributes in Southern AZ.
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