Staff Members: Robin & Dean Paschall
Travel Dates: June 19-30, 2016
Route: Lee’s Ferry to Pearce Ferry Landing
DAY 1 – June 19 – Mile 0-20
Our put-in spot is Lee’s Ferry. Some of the group went out in duckies and the rest in the giant raft. We saw hawks and condors. There was nice jumping rock. Lunch was at the Badger Creek Rapid. House Rock Rapid was the largest rapid of the day. Camp #1 was at 20 miles across from North Canyon. A great spot to celebrate Father’s Day!
DAY 2 – June 20 – Mile 20-34
Today we went through the “roaring 20” rapids — fun and wet. Lunch was at Shinumo Wash, but we did not hike to the Silver Grotto. We stopped at Cave Springs, which some interesting artifacts including old miner’s pots, and we did a quick hike to Stanton’s Cave. The afternoon was spent in the shade of the giant Redwall Cavern, which is big enough for a large game of frisbee. Camp #2 was at Little Redwall.
DAY 3 – June 21 – Mile 34-53
Happy summer solstice! From the river, we were able to see the Anasazi Footbridge, crystals in the walls of the canyon, and the Bridge of Sighs (a natural bridge). We did a stop at the Marble Canyon Dam Site, which has 3 dark tunnels to explore. Then a hike to Saddle Canyon with its waterfalls and pool. Camp #3 was at Lower Nankoweap. From there, we hiked up to the Granaries for sunset views. We even had beavers swim across the river right at the camp.
DAY 4 – June 22 – Mile 53-69
Our big stop today was at the Little Colorado River. Beautiful blue and warm water with small rapids, which is great for swimming down in your life jacket. Plus a healthy mud bath. We stayed a long time, so lunch was on the boat. It was actually raining when we went through Furnace Flats. Camp #4 at Below Tanner Rapid. From there, we hiked to a butte in Tanner Canyon overlooking Unkar Rapids.
DAY 5 – June 23 – Mile 69-115
This was a big rapids day — starting with Unkar Rapids and all the way through the Gems. We scouted Hance Rapid and Crystal (ABC: Alive Below Crystal). We stopped at Phantom Ranch for a lemonade and gave a ranger a ride to the next boat stop. The next stop was Shinumo Creek with super warm water, waterfalls, and cave. Lunch was in a shady spot tied off to the wall of the canyon. Camp #5 was Upper Garnet. Everyone was happy to have a nice bathing spot!
DAY 6 – June 24 – Mile 115-134
Our first stop was at Elves Chasm. It has a lovely waterfall and pool, which is great for jumping. Lunch was at Blacktail Canyon. We hiked into the narrow, deep canyon to see the Great Unconformity. The afternoon hike was to Stone Creek with a beautiful waterfall but no swimming. The water was almost hot as were the rocks around it. Camp #6 was at Talking Heads.
DAY 7 – June 25 – Mile 134-137
Today we spent a full rest day at Deer Creek. The Patio has a lot of shade plus a stream, pools, and small waterfalls — great for relaxing. We also hiked up to the Springs and Throne Room, but there was no water at the Springs. Camp #7 was at Across Deer Creek.
DAY 8 – June 26 – Mile 137-149
We made more miles today, but it was another rest day at Matkatamiba. It was a lovely canyon with a stream and small pools (and good shade). Some of us hiked up the canyon where a flash flood had gone through in recent years. Camp #8 at Matkat Hotel. Tonight was our first golf tournament!
DAY 9 – June 27 – Mile 149-171
We got to Havasu today. Some of us hiked the 3.5 miles one-way to Beaver Falls (a dozen sheep seen). Some hiked the 17 miles round-trip to Mooney Falls and Havasu Falls. There are many spots along the river to enjoy the pools and waterfalls. Camp #9 at Stairway Canyon with wreckage from the Lee’s Ferry ferry. And another round of golf.
DAY 10 – June 28 – Mile 171-213
This was a big river day. We had two youngsters aboard to kiss the Vulcan’s Anvil before jumping into Lava Falls Rapid. We also saw 5 condors, lots of sheep, and a helicopter landing at Whitmore. Camp #10 at Pumpkin, which some interesting hot springs and a popular cliff jumping spot. We hiked to the potholes, which were fun to climb through.
DAY 11 – June 29– Mile 213-250
Our first stop was a 30-foot diving board rock for the adventurous. A group got in the duckies around mile 217 for the fun rapids ahead. We did a hike at Travertine Canyon with ropes and ladders to a lovely waterfall that can be climbed. Lunch was at Bridge City (239), which has an old dam establishment. On past Separation Canyon. Camp #11 was at Tomahawk, but it took some weed whacking to get it ready.
DAY 12 – June 30 – Mile 250-280
The last day! There are no more rapids as we approach Lake Mead. We could see the Sky Walk from the river, and the helicopters and jet boats were numerous. Our take out was at Pearce Ferry Landing. Fond memories of an amazing trip!