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Trip Report - March, 1999 - South Kaibab, North Kaibab, Clear Creek, Bright Angel

Well, this trip did not go off exactly as planned and now I am finally getting to the point where I don't believe that any trip ever does. That's just part of the adventure of it all.

The original plan for each day of this trip was as follows:

  1. Hike from South Kaibab trailhead to Clear Creek.
  2. Dayhike to Cheyava Falls.
  3. Dayhike to Angels Gate / Wotans Throne saddle and contour around and above Redwall on Angels Gate.
  4. Dayhike to top of Deva Temple.
  5. Hike to Sumner Wash.
  6. Sumner Wash to South Kaibab trailhead.

What actually happened was:

  1. Hike from South Kaibab trailhead to just east of Zoroaster Canyon. Clear Creek is a bit far from the south rim to reach in one day but I got pretty darned close.
  2. Dayhike up northern arm of Clear Creek. Cheyava Falls was not running because of a seriously dry winter on the north rim.
  3. Dayhike to Angels Gate / Wotans Throne saddle. Just getting to the saddle took most of the morning and I did not have nearly enough time to walk around the whole thing.
  4. Dayhike further up the northern arm of Clear Creek in search of something called Ariel Falls, which also turned out to be dry. Two groups of people that I met along the trail, one at Phantom and another which was just leaving Clear Creek as I arrived, told me that attempting a climb of Deva from Clear Creek and back in one day would be foolhardy. I sort of suspected this when I planned this hike and was hoping to shorten the hike a little by using a shortcut through Obi Canyon. When I saw the high, dry fall in Obi Canyon which blocked access to the upper portions I pretty much gave up on Deva.
  5. Hike to Sumner Wash.
  6. Sumner Wash to Bright Angel trailhead. I did not want to carry all of the water that I would need to go out on the South Kaibab Trail.

I still consider the trip to be a successful one because I at least made it to the top of the Angels Gate / Wotans Throne saddle and that was one of the primary objectives for this trip. This was my first attempt at a climb in the Canyon and the view from the top of this saddle was truely magnificent. The route up through the Redwall ravine and the short climbs up and down some of the small cliffs along the way provided a major boost to my Canyon spirit and gave me an overwhelming sense of accomplishment when I finally reached the saddle.

I would like to extend a very special "Thank You" to Jim Ohlman for all of his patience with my seemingly endless e-mails and all of his help in preparing for this trip. I know now that I will be lucky if I can expect to pull off maybe half of what he would consider a day hike.

Happy Trails


camera Photo map

Day 1 - South Kaibab trailhead to Zoroaster Canyon
Day 2 - Zoroaster Canyon to Clear Creek, Clear Creek day hike
Day 3 - Day hike and climb to Wotans Throne / Angels Gate saddle
Day 4 - Day hike up northern branch of Clear Creek
Day 5 - Clear Creek to Sumner Wash
Day 6 - Sumner Wash to Bright Angel trailhead

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