November 30, 2012

Hike Review: Grand Canyon Tonto Trail

Tonto Trail Sign
Add caption
Title: Grand Canyon - Tonto Trail (portion Hermit Trail to Bright Angel)
Distance: 11.5 miles
Difficulty: 6 out of 10 (10 being the most difficult)
Elevation change: net change is zero, but there is a lot of up and down; in and out of side canyons
Best Time of Year: All year (very hot in the summer)
Recommended Map: Trails Illustrated Grand Canyon East #262

Summary: The Tonto Trail follows the mighty Colorado for more than 70 miles.  The section hiked here was a mere portion of that.  The trail is approximately a thousand feet above the river (tattooed into the Tonto Plateau) and offers many viewing opportunities of the churning waters.  Feeding the Colorado are numerous drainages, washes, creeks, and rivers.  The 11.5 mile section that connects the Hermit Trail and the Bright Angel Trail crosses at least four of these obstacles: Monument Creek, Cedar Spring, Salt Creek, and Horn Creek.  Each provides unique beauty and adventure and a back-country campground.  Monument Creek is the deepest and largest.  Overall the trail is well marked as it has consistent albeit light use.  Other than the climb out of Monument Creek, the trail is fairly easy.  The catch is that you have to hike 3,000 feet down and back out of the canyon to get here.

For a detailed trip report on the entirety of the Tonto Trail: Read Here.

Other Grand Canyon Reports
Previous Grand Canyon Backpack Trip

November 8, 2012

Grand Canyon: Colorado High River Flow Event

Grand Canyon High Water Flow

Received this in my email today:

Date: November 8, 2012

To: Grand Canyon N.P. Backcountry Permit Holders

From: Grand Canyon N.P. Backcountry Information Center

Subject: High flow event in November of 2012

You are being contacted because you are a Grand Canyon Backcountry Permit holder and will be in the canyon during a time when river levels will be higher than normal. The Department of the Interior, through the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR), will be conducting a high flow event. It is scheduled to begin on the evening of November 18th with Glen Canyon Dam ramping up to full power plant capacity (approximately 27,300 cfs). At midday on November 19th, bypass tubes at Glen Canyon Dam will be opened and releases will continue to increase up to full power plant and bypass capacity (approximately 42,300 cfs) by the evening of November 19th. Releases will be maintained at peak release for 24 hours and then begin ramping down. Releases will return to normal operations in the evening of November 23rd.

“Normal” river flows through GCNP over the last several years has been from 8,000 to 25,000 CFS. A flow over 40,000 CFS produces significant changes to the rapids as well as river campsites. While our campgrounds will not be affected, if you plan on hiking or camping along the river, you need to be aware of this higher than normal flow. Information on the high flow event can be obtained on the following website:

 This webpage includes links on how the high flow event may affect river campsites. If you have any questions regarding the high flow event, please reply to this email or contact the Backcountry Information Center at: (800) 638-7875.

Backcountry Permit Office Grand Canyon National Park 928-638-7875 (phone) 928-638-2125 (fax)