Day 44, 13 miles, amazing beach site near Colorado River
I slept great it’s nice to be warm. I’m still not very energetic in the morning and with the day ahead should really have been starting an hour earlier. I guess I’m adjusting to Arizona time too well.
My tent site turns out to have been in a small pocket of non burn, soon I’m hiking through a burnt area again and only when I’m near the Nankoweap trail do I see live trees. The climbing is slow this morning. All these miles and I still don’t have any speed up hill. I’m also pretty congested which doesn’t help at all. The trail isn’t all too clear but mostly I can find if just fine.
I get some extra water from a pothole in the creek bed and there is actually a decent amount of water flowing a bit higher up. I bet that’s not always the case though.
Finally at the start of the Nankoweap trail I walk to a viewpoint and have an awesome view in to the canyon. I’m actually here! Wow!
Seconds after I continue hiking I meet a group of older hikers who have just hiked the trail back up. They camped at Marion point and hiked down to the river as a day hike. It seems they have some trouble believing I could hike all the way down today.
From reading journals I expect the trail to be tough. And it is. It’s very exposed with loose gravelly tread. I hate this kind of trail, you have to be so careful not to slip. I’m super cautious and it takes me forever to make some progress. I’m also getting way too much sun, there is not much in the way of shade. Luckily I’m carrying enough water with me.
The trail is on one of the ledges in the above picture. Yup!
The other thing that slows me down is that the views are stupendous. I want to take pictures every time I round a corner. It’s so cool! A little ways in I can see a bit of the Colorado River, very exciting!
Below is a picture of the view behind me including trail I just walked.
Even with the great views, the trail stays up high way longer than I’d like. And when it finally starts descending it’s not much easier. The footing is still loose and gravelly. I am so relieved when I arrive at Nankoweap creek! And I’m hungry too! I’d just been eating some bars since I couldn’t relax enough up high to do lunch. Here at the creek it’s heaven and I pull out my Z-rest for a nice long break. Food, water, shade and no sheer drop offs hurray!!!
The walk along the creek is pretty. Unfortunately I’m not enjoying it enough since there is no real trail to follow and I’m still too hot. I keep putting water on my face but can’t seem to shake the heat. And it’s not even that hot right now. Just too much exposure today.
At the initial crossing I manage to drop one of my trekking poles in the creek and I see it quickly go downstream. Noooo!! I have to step in the stream to retrieve it. So at least my feet are cool and my shoes are clean.
Near the Colorado River I pick up a trail towards the granaries and it’s lovely. Good tread and great views. I see the granaries up high and have a spectacular view of the Colorado up ahead. There are numerous yellow flowers which make it all even more beautiful. I’m enjoying this part of the day for sure and keep following the trail until I see a perfect beach campsite. I hear the river and it sounds like I’m at the ocean. I’m in a little nook with some trees super comfy on the sand. It’s so warm still. I wonder how much it will cool off. So far it’s the warmest night I’ve had.
As I’m writing this the idyllic camp site is being disturbed by a little mouse. Mmmm… what to do about my food.
Ps the noise of the helicopters and sightseeing planes is so annoying I actually put my music on to drown it out.