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Trail Description : Miner's Spring Spur of Grandview Trail

The text of this is taken from an E-mail message that I received on 6-Feb-1996 from Tsai-Chu "T.C." Cheng (tcheng@td2cad.intel.com). Here is his experience with the Miner's Spring spur...

I and 3 other guys went backpacking the the GC for the first time, a 4 night trip. The time frame was mid June in 1995. The first night was spent at the Horseshoe Mesa. We were not exactly seasoned hikers, having back packed about 3 or 4 times before that. But we were mostly fit young men in our early 20's who just fell in love with the hobby.

After an exhausting day hiking down to the mesa, most of us ran out of water because only one person was anal enough to carry 4 liters. The plan was to return to the rim the day after and hike down the Bright Angel, but that's another story. So we decided to take spur trail down to the Miner's Spring, with minimal gear (just an empty pack to hold the water filter and bottles).

The initial parts of the trail is mostly rocky, and from the top (of the mesa) you can not quite see where the actual spring is, except a patch of shady green plants where we guessed the spring is. The descent requires a little more than usual effort at the beginning. There was one spot I remember where a little hopping was required to jump over a washed out part of the trail on a steep hillside; it not dangerous, but perhaps requires some caution if loaded. Another little descent required me to turn face down and climb down, but other more agile members in the party simple jumped down.

After that rocky part the trail heads west and is easily hikeable. You pass by a mining cave entrance with a water defunct, rusted pump. The trail then cuts east, through some grassy areas and finally reaching the Miner's "Spring." The area is very shady and cool, and the spring is accompanied by plenty of moss and vegetation. The spring is about 4 feet by 3 feet, and at most a couple of feet deep. It is mosquito infested, and filled with green plants. There was a slight trickle that flows down the side, and we had to settle using our filters there (although it took forever) to get the water we need. It's not a water source that I would as excellent, but that was the only water source in the area in June.

Going back up to our camp at the mesa was fairly simple, after we finally had our water and peace of mind that we weren't going to die of dehydration on our first trip into the canyon.

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