Grand Canyon, Thunder Falls Trail, May 2-8, 2010May 18
We were tired of shovelling snow in Laramie, so decided to take a little trip south to find the heat. Mary, my sister-in-law came along. She’d never been to the Grand Canyon.
The only problem is the snow followed us down there…..
We started down on May 2nd with all our clothes on. Mike Coughlin drove down from Bend , OR to join us.
The Canyon was quite moody and photographic.
Our first camp was on the Esplanade. We had packed down an extra 15 liters, as this was a ‘dry camp’.
The next morning, after doing a pastel and having breakfast, we headed down to Surprise Valley.
Here’s Mary, and my sister Felicia on their way down the Red Wall. Felicia had driven out from San Diego to join us.
Some desert flowers…. Indian Paintbrush
Then we stared down towards Thunder Falls.
Thunder Falls comes out of the bottom of the Red Wall, which extends 1500 feet above. It is the shortest River in the world, as it takes less than a mile for it to reach Tapeats Creek.
Both Thunder River and Tapeats Creek were raging with Spring run-off. Still Mike and I tried our hand at fishing and caught a few. Here is the creek when we crossed it last time, May of ’06.
The trail down to the Colorado normally crosses the creek several times. The Park Service Guide said there was a trail the stayed on the west side, but that it was exposed, hard, and “should only be used as a last resort…” We had no other resort, the creek being at flood stage.
Naturally that was a bit of hyperbole, as one might expect from the Park Service…
We finally got warm on the Colorado, and enjoyed some more fishing.
We spent our third night on the Colorado and I got a nice pastel done of this view.
The next morning we left before dawn to avoid the heat.
One more night on Upper tapeats, where there was more fishing, pastelling and just generally enjoying life.
Then it was back up to the Esplanade.
And on the sixth day we went out.
All in all a marvelous trip.