Picky my way through the cactus was a terrible obstacle course. I’m in very good company. TONTO TRAIL EAST DISTANCES April 2018 use area code >>> BA9 BB9 BB9 BC9 BC9 BD9 BD9 BE9 BF5 Horseshoe Mesa - BG9 BH9 Grapevine Creek BJ9 n BJ9 - Little Colorado CBG - CIG ea <<< use ar code TONTO TRAIL EAST DISTANCES (miles) Tanner Beach Tannner Trailhead Cardenas Creek Nevills Rapids Hance Rapids New Hance Trailhead Hance Creek Grandview Trailhead Cottonwood â¦ I struggled for over 15 minutes on this puzzle. I read on Scott Jurek’s Facebook page last year that he and Joe Grant ran from South Bass to New Hance trailhead in 32 hours, in April of 2010. They all wished me luck and were so friendly. Eerie chimneys could be seen off in the distance. Some couldn’t believe I was passing them after I had run all those miles. I would then study the terrain, back up if needed, and get back on the trail, or in extreme cases, pull out the GPS and find the next waypoint. My feet were in bad pain but my legs were feeling great. Date of experience: September 2020. I had over 400 waypoints in my GPS which would help keep me on the trail. What is the trail like? I was relieved to find water there. I cooked up some more soup and felt much better. When I got your text mid-canyon I was shocked and amazed. Perhaps I’ll see you at Cascade Crest. My car was still waiting for me at Bright Angel Trailhead and I quickly drove to take a shower at Mather Campground. Out on the road, it took me ten minutes before a couple from Canada picked me up. I came upon an unexpected sight, a car parked on the side of the road. I ran the last couple miles hard because I wanted to break 28 hours. In addition to the tough trail, when you put a pack on my back, I slow down. So my starting point would be at South Bass. My favorite line: “I ran on and thought about minimalist runners trying to run down here, bonding with the ancients. I would then head east (up-river). Only three people have done the distance on both sides of the river: Robert Packard in segments; Andrew Holycross as a thru hike on one side and in segments on the other; and Robert Benson as a thru hike on both sides. However, to reach that point requires a 2-hour long rough dirt road drive. She was very surprised to see me running and doing so with such a light pack. Both Horton Creek and Tonto Creek have trout. Knowing when to bail out is the key. There was a sign on the windshield that explained that they were parked there doing ecology research in the area. I have only kayaked through the Canyon and hiked some of the popular side canyons. Tomorrow night he hoped to camp at Slate Canyon if there was water there. I looked up and was able to pick out the area on the rim where I peered down on this canyon yesterday afternoon. I was already getting warm and I wished I didn’t have to wear long tights. Thankfully there was a breeze. You have to stop, study the surroundings, back up, and carefully find the trail again. Photograph by Michael Mohr, Redux South Rim starts. Thanks for sharing! Next morning, trace the rim of the ever-deepening canyon to the Tonto Trail, and turn west. Approximate mileages between key points on the Tonto Trail:11.6 miles (18.7 km): Garnet Creek to Bass Canyon35.7 miles (57.5 km): Bass Canyon to Hermit Creek12 miles (19.3 km): Hermit Creek to Bright Angel Trail (Indian Garden)4.5 miles (7.2 km): Bright Angel Trail to South Kaibab Trail21.3 miles (34.3 km): South Kaibab Trail to Grandview Trail (Horseshoe Mesa)9.9 miles (15.9 km): Grandview Trail to New Hance Trail (Red Canyon). But I’ve had a dream to run the length of the Grand Canyon rather than across it. I reached dry Boulder Creek (mile 64.8) at 4:54 a.m. It is generally not cairned, but if you lose the trail, as is inevitable, youll find it again if you know your overall direction, grateful to be back after having been shredded by the merciless blackbrush, which forms the dominant plant cover on the Tonto platform. Hikers seldom follow the entire Tonto Trail, normally using it to connect with rim-to-river routes. I had never run this first 30-mile section before. It was pretty nasty, had been ripped by rodents, but I decided to take it with me. That would be much more fun. There is less exposure on the Tonto than on the corridor trails used by R2R2R runners. Cell phone coverage had greatly improved on the South Rim last year and this year. That is the problem with doing this adventure in early spring. My pace was slow. During the summer of 2020, the Bush Fire burned 193,455 acres and forced a closure of the Arizona National Scenic Trail that will likely last until Spring of 2021. I quickly passed by Horn Creek (mile 47.9) at 10:43 p.m. You don’t want to drink the radioactive water here from the uranium mine above. It sounded like a herd of sheep were in the canyon. Hiking the PCT has been a long-gestating goal. Thank you for sharing your adventures with us. I reached Monument Creek (mile 39.7) just after dark at 7:30 p.m. Camp along East Horseshoe M esa Trail before connecting to the Tonto Trail. (Looking at pictures I took of myself, I could see it working its way out. At 8:15 a.m. You need to know where the water sources are. It could use it as a soft ground cover to sleep on. He told me there was no snow, so I felt very fortunate that he was there. The trail is named after John Muir â an author/environmentalist from history and has 160 miles to follow the similar footpath as the Pacific Crest Trail. Read Journal... K2K (AKA: "Jane" Muir Trail) John Muir Trail . Finally I just had to bag the idea of holding back food and felt much better. Instead he asked me thoughtful questions about how I accomplished my 77-mile run on the Tonto Trail. I’ve backpacked almost all of the south side of the Canyon, done a R2R2R dayhike, and run one marathon…. I wanted to give it a try and experience the beauty of the amazing Tonto Trail in one stretch. It was now much cooler and finally after three hours, I recovered from my dehydration. I texted my wife to let her know that I was doing fine and that I would be taking longer than expected, that she shouldn’t worry. Will I try it again and try to make it all the way? Finally I just had to stop and take off my shoe. I kept going back over and over again to the last cairn, but could not figure things out. I knew what direction the next waypoint was, but couldn’t find a trail heading in that direction. One guy caught on fast and said he was very impressed with my pace, all the way from South Bass. I started to have terrible blister problems and decided to stop for awhile to work on my feet, put on sunscreen, and put away my lights. I had to stop many time to make adjustments to my gear, pull out more food, and stop to fill my bottles. He asked me if I ran ultras and could understand what I had just accomplished. In past years, I’ve had difficulty figuring out where the trail continues on the other side of the creek, but this time I knew what to expect. The climb was hot and tough. I noticed that they didn’t descend into the canyon, only flew over it. I remember the first time I ran this section was at night. Because of all the snow the previous weekend, the road was moist and soft, very runnable without mud. The rim is easy to find, just can’t miss a big ditch like that. Castor Temple towering above me looked very impressive. I like to Run Insanely Long & Crazy Distances. However, I did it solo. Thanks for bringing the attention to it! Without careful attention and experience with the trail it is very easy to lose the trail and end up in a cactus patch. 1:14:24. This is really the biggest thing I worry about. He jumped, really startled. What was that! Looking up, I could see a lone hiker’s light going up or down the Bright Angel Trail. Foolishly, I decided to just bushwhack to the next GPS waypoint. As the Tonto Platform begins to climb away from the river the trail must climb along with it. I hoped that I could make it on two bottles. Oh well, the morning was cool, and I was sure to find patches of snow just below the rim at the South Bass trail. What a waste of time! As I ran on, I tried to figure out how I was going make it to the end on so little food. Some backpackers I passed shortly arrived too and congratulated me. My feet became a real problem for me. I enjoyed blazing my own trail above this wonder of the world. I concentrated harder to keep my pace up and tried not to lose much more time. Use instep crampons in winter. I now hoped to get in 40 miles before dark and do 30 miles before dawn. If you floated down the river from Red Canyon to South Bass Canyon, it would only be about 31 miles. He had only hiked about seven miles today. If I went all the way, that would be only 100 per hour. Only one section of the canyon is open for fly-overs, the section near Hermit and Boucher canyons. Also, if you are in shorts, you really slow down as your try to dodge all the thorny bushes. Getting injured. I think I left them with their jaws hanging open. I crossed Jade Canyon (mile 11.3) at 9:26 a.m. and Jasper Canyon (mile 12.3) at 9:47 a.m. I suspect Scott Jurek and Joe Grant covered this segment a couple hours faster in 2010, I’ll try to find out. I really concentrated on trying to get my pace under 20 minutes. I reached my first water source, Ruby Canyon (mile 8.7). Short-cuts are always slower. I felt pretty rotten but continued on. The message went through fine. This section of the Tonto Trail is probably the worst that you will encounter in its 70-odd mile length. 2017 Was a Year of Pure Bliss: The Highest High I had spent the second half of 2017 on a wonderful adventure out west. This is the other realistic danger. For the last three miles to South Bass, I ran on the main dirt road. I received my second wind and had a blast charging down the trail with my lights. There was no trail, just tracks from elk and deer. It is possible that I was actually going much further because of all the weaving around that wasn’t being picked up. Vegetation was always more abundant and greener in these canyons and this time of year, each had at least some water in them. Thanks! I recalled having difficulty in the past, but couldn’t remember the solution. If you thumb through the “Death in the Grand Canyon” book, you will find many entries of people losing their lives on the Tonto Trail in June-August. Hiked the AT in 2017, check out the journal! After about 13 miles, I decided to take a detour and run a half mile to peek over the rim of the Grand Canyon. The shadows come alive. One day perhaps, one day! The evening before, there had been 50-mph winds at the South Rim and the Canyon below was very hazy with dust. You crushed…and I really, really enjoyed the detailed description of your effort. Read Journal... Hodge Podge Colorado Trail . If you shuttle a vehicle, that is 4 hours. The Tonto Trail generally follows the path of least resistance as it meanders, sometimes very deeply, back into drainages. Dusk arrived quickly, at 7 p.m. A nearly full moon rose over the rim and was my bright companion for much of the night. There were many campers down there and they noticed me running and pointed up to me. MyOwnFrontier 67,201 views. We woke up to a delicious home cooked breakfast of potatoes, black beans, corn, cheese, eggs, toast, yogurt, fruit â¦ For me, it was dry. I drank a lot last night and again in morning before I headed out along the Tonto Trail with a gallon of water on my back (the limit of my bladdersâ capacity). I would hear this sound at nearly every creek I would cross during the night. Twelve have done it as a thru hike and 12 as a section hike, two have walked the south side in a push, and ten the north side. Conditions worked out, so I made plans to run the length of the Tonto Trail from South Bass to Hance Rapids, a distance of more than 87 miles in the canyon. Going deep into each side canyon was always a challenging experience. I encountered a rattlesnake near the silver bridge the first time you took me there. Not so. Taking any short-cuts always takes much longer than staying on the trail. Skill needs to be developed how to find the trail by making circles or other such techniques. I could hear them still talking about it as I left. My pack felt comfortable, less than ten pounds loaded with: Instant Breakfast, Heed, Reeses, Jelly Bellies, Beef Jerky, Five Hot Pockets, Hammer Gel, and all my other gear. I filled up and treated the water with iodine and was on my way again. Continental Divide Trail Thru Hike 2016. Through-hikers have accomplished this in several days, but I have yet to hear about runners accomplishing it without stopping and camping for the night. CDT Blog Posts; CDT Advice; Search for: Search. I parked my car at the Bright Angel Trailhead and caught the Hermit Rest shuttle. Best Wishes for many fun and rewarding “runs”. I had run out of water a few miles earlier and noticed a gallon of water on a picnic table. Super impressed! â¦ Read more. Jim R wrote a review Apr 2018. I thought I only had about 1200 calories left. They don’t last very long. I was kicking myself for not asking you where you’d started, but would never have guessed South Bass! I expect he thought I was a crazy person. I don’t know if sleep ever came. I thought you were pulling my chain when I asked your name! “Good luck with that,” was my thought, “I’ll stay in my shoes.”. I opened my pack to put more food in my pockets but was shocked when I discovered that there wasn’t as much food as I thought left. I got off the shuttle at “the Abyss.” From there I started my run on a 4WD dirt road that runs straight, mostly along the Park Boundary. The Tonto National Forest recently released a burn severity map of the Bush Fire. We started from Grandview and made our way 28 miles westward toward the Tip Off and finished on South Kaibab, still managing to do 3900ft of elevation change each â¦ Nice run Davy! Fantastic report with amazing pictures – all documenting an incredible adventure! Looking toward the north Rim, you can spot Wotan Throne and Vishnu Temple. I reached South Kaibab trail (mile 55.4) at 1:20 a.m. On the way to Cremation Canyon, I was starving. I asked them if I was going the right way. It is pretty funny that I didn’t think about all the needles around me in the cacti. They offered me food and I couldn’t resist their dried mangos. It was an amazing experience and I am so very thankful for being able to experience this dream run. This trip report actually begins at the confluence of Tonto Creek and Haigler Creek and follows Tonto Creek 17 miles* to Gisela with an elevation loss of 1000 ft. For instructions to the confluence please see the Hellsgate trip description. Aww, man, that is some awesome trail out there! This is probably a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so I made sure I took in the sights along the way. One couple picked me up to take me to the main road. Two 60 something retirees searching for adventure. One guy talked to me for a few minutes and mentioned he had not seen anyone continue on today. Instead, I could climb out before it got too hot and finish around 1 p.m. With that new plan, my spirits improved. Its contour was the same as other sections of the Tonto but there was one huge difference. Instead of pushing hard, I enjoyed my remaining hours in the canyon. This time on the Tonto Trail, I used both a handheld and a bright headlamp spot light. Hiking along the Tonto Trail under these conditions was quite magical. Now it was my turn to be startled. I was almost out and dreaded running the next hot five miles without water. Tonto Trail; Trail summary. My climb began. Trails continue on either side but on each end they become remote âroutesâ instead of established trails. They end up getting stuck on a cliff and die. I reached Boucher (pronounced Bu-shay) (mile 30.1) at 3:50 p.m. (Turns out that those two guys were Scott Jurek and Joe Grant. It was very easy. Falling off cliffs. I still had two full water bottles and I hoped they would last until my first good water at Ruby Canyon, at mile 8.7. He said that he was already stopping for the day. Oh well, I sure enjoyed that rim run. Begin at the Bright Angel Trailhead in Grand Canyon Village. Permits were available because South Bass is so rarely used. She was from Moab and was out here doing trail patrol. So I cut my late afternoon run short and returned, finding my camp undisturbed. They were very kind and even gave me a water bottle. It’s nice when people understand and don’t give you those blank looks wondering if you are a crazy person. There is really only one time of the year to do this safely – April, and probably early April. I took my foot out and spied a point sticking up from the insole. As I looked closer, it looked like within a few days or a week that the entire desert would be in bloom. Using Heed and Instant Breakfast was getting the calories I needed along with some gels. She instead died trying to go down to the Colorado River. Conveniently, a park shuttle is available from the trail to Mather Campground. Location: South Rim Trails. I needed to start climbing to avoid the heat. 3,600 feet (1,097 m): Tonto Platform (Red Canyon)2,800 feet (853 m): Tonto Platform (Garnet), 95 miles (152.9 km): Garnet Canyon to Red Canyon. Tonto Trail West 2016. I needed to go down into the canyon where it would be warmer. The problem with these sections is that because of the vegetation and wind, signs of the trail can became much fainter. It was quite a sight. There were several cars parked there. To make things hard, it constantly changes back and forth between smooth and rugged. The next descent down to the Tonto was much more rugged. I didn’t look forward to the section ahead, the traverse into Travertine Canyon. So I would survive. I peered over the side and sure enough there was a large company setting up their camp for the night a couple miles below Hermit Rapids. 2012-09-23: chumley: 6.31 mi 1,628 ft | load nearby guides. I turned on two GPSs to track the miles and keep my pace up. Tonto Trail. I enjoyed it enough that I can’t rule it out. I love running at night. I believe an important part of being able to deal with the mental side of hiking is embracing not just the goal, but the process. Thanks for the continued inspiration and good during race season. My GPS didn’t help much. I always underestimate the difficulty of running fast on this trail. Wow, I had a signal. Among them were some knowledgeable runners and canyon hikers. Get a taste for the Grand Canyon without doing the full descent down to the Colorado along the Tonto Trail. Another new thing was the amazing sounds. Steve, Your email address will not be published. Dawn arrived as I approached the massive Grapevine Canyon, the longest side canyon that I would have to get around. It was nice to get a break from the steep downhill for about a mile. I’ve never been into ultra-running, but do enjoy long day hikes, like the 24 miler down Hermit, across the Tonto and out Bright Angel. There are no crews or aid stations to help. On the trail again, the next five miles to Boucher Canyon were long, exposed and getting hotter. How great was this! But the Tonto Trail travels nearly three times that distance to reach the same point. The backpackers weren’t leaving for an hour, so I decided to just start walking out toward the road to hitch-hike. There was absolutely no one else in South Bass Canyon. Highly recommend this trail. My feet were it bad shape, but they did much better going uphill than down. Walked the El Camino in Spain in 38 days. Boucher is a huge canyon and requires a massive climb to get out of it. They helped me find the right trail but then stopped me to try and figure out what I was doing and where I was going. I decided to cut my run short, skip the last ten miles of the Tonto, and climb out Grandview Trail. I just pushed on ahead. We were treated to a desert terrain that was tinged with green grasses and small wildflowers, which won't last for long. thanks for this writeup! They knew exactly what I was attempting and peppered me with questions. As I continued running west, I discovered that the road I was running was being used as a flight path for all the helicopters returning to the airport. Jillian has completed thru-hikes of the Appalachian Trail (a 2,200 mile trail from Georgia to Maine), Pacific Crest Trail (a 2,650 mile trail from Mexico to Canada), Camino de Santiago, a thru-hike of the Tonto Trail in Grand Canyon National Park, New Zealandâs Te Araroa Trail, hiked 450 miles of the Continental Divide Trail and the Pacific Northwest Trail. The Tonto National Forest recently released a burn severity map of the Bush Fire. Start Date: Friday, August 2. He had hiked down and up the South Bass Trail to the river and back today. Great write-up. Another thing that really slowed me down is the beauty of the canyon. Running out of water. I even got all turned around once, thought I found the trail, but ended going up the trail I had just come down. Day Hiking the Arizona Trail I filled up my bottles, and filled up a bladder. I discovered that I had more food than I thought, but I only had a few S-caps left, not enough to face another hot afternoon down here. On my way toward Slate Canyon the Tonto Platform really opened up wide. With over 500 miles on my Hokas, I think they were at end of life for something as rugged as this. The climb at Mt. I passed by the ruins of the Hermit’s cabin which I had not noticed before. My climb continued. Though NOW… I have to admit that meeting you has been nagging me a bit…. I arrived there (mile 35.9) at 6:11 p.m. I crossed over the creek (mile 14.9) at 10:58 a.m. My Hokas just were not keeping the blisters away. This remote station has been abandoned for many years. After dropping out for my senior fall semester of school at UNH. Here is an example of my first few miles: 20:23, 16:28, 16:58, 24:55, 16:16, 28:41 (feet fixing), 24:20, 25:19, 37:11 (another stop), 21:05, 18:00, 18:11, etc. Next up was civilization! “Where’s your sleeping bag?” I explained that I would be running through the night. I could also now again hear the familiar buzz of helicopters and planes as I reached the area that they could fly over. Helpful. I probably lost it going through the rough boulder area). Help us raise $150,000 by 12/31 to hit the ground running in 2021. At about 5:15 a.m., my through-run of the Grand Canyon on the Tonto Trail began! As I descended into Hermit, the trail goes above the campsite area. It wasn’t quite a 50K and I had taken 10:35. I approached him and called out a greeting. The tights really protect the legs. Great job, and good advice and cautions to others who might try Grand Canyon running. I got a good night’s rest at a motel outside the South Rim, and waited until morning rim temperatures got above freezing. There were several routes and I was confused about which trail was right. For several years, I have dreamed about doing a very long run through the Grand Canyon. Day hikers from the rim above started to appear. It was getting hot. On the way to Hermit Creek, the trail extends very close to the Colorado River gorge, very exposed in places. But still, every few minutes, I would have to stop. Sounds like you had fun. These sections are out close to the Colorado River as it is going around to the next side canyon. Wow! I was now in familiar surroundings, having visited this area twice before. Indian Garden and the Bright Angel Trail below Grand Canyon Villiage. That really surprised me because I knew it would have to be a couple very good ultrarunners. A tragedy many years just run it in about five hours the of! 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