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Trip Report - October, 1999 - Swamp Point, Muav Saddle, North Bass Trail & Shinumo Creek

Well, sometimes we have good trips and sometimes we have bad trips. This is the story of a trip that was very much on the "not so good" side.

I had originally planned to do two back-to-back this October (1999). The first trip would take me down the North Bass Trail to Shinumo Creek. From there I was going to take this thing called the "Burro Route" along the Tonto Platform over to the Merlin and Mordred Abysses. Finally, I would be following a fault ravine up to Elaine Castle and would exit at Lancelot Point. The second trip was supposed to be 6 days in the Nankoweap use area, continuing my explorations of that region of the Canyon.

The first trip started off good, aside with some expected problems with the Forest Service roads. About midway through the second day it all started to fall apart, however. Maybe I should have recognized the omen right away and aborted the trip at that point but instead I continued on and it went from "not so good" to "very much not so good". For specifics on this comedy of errors you'll just have to read the full report. Because of problems with the first trip the second trip was canceled completely.

In spite of the problems, I did manage to get some enjoyment out of the first trip. It was nice to finally hike the North Bass Trail as this was the only major trail in the Grand Canyon that I had yet do to. Now I have done them all. It was also nice to see Teddy's Cabin, Shinumo Creek and Shinumo Camp; some places that have always interested me. Wandering around on the Tonto Platform is also something that I enjoy because of the sweeping views that you typically get up there. I do like it a lot better, however, when I know where I am and where I am going - which was not the case on this trip.

I found the North Bass Trail to be quite difficult and completely unenjoyable on the way down. When you read the full report you'll probably understand why. On the way down I would say things to myself like "I'll never hike this [expletive deleted] trail again" or "I'm glad I'm not going out on this piece of [expletive deleted]". I had similar feelings about Nankoweap when I first did that, but I was going to do it again. Looking back on the North Bass Trail now I'm starting to feel the same way. For one thing it wasn't nearly as bad hiking up as it was going down. Secondly, my morale was totally crushed by this trip and I should always wait until the trip is well over to pass final judgment on a trail.

Happy Trails


camera Photo map

Day 1 - Park Boundary to Muav Saddle
Day 2 - Muav Saddle to Shinumo Creek
Day 3 - Day hikes up and down Shinumo Creek
Day 4 - Lost on the Tonto Platform (aka, Dazed and Confused)
Day 5 - North Bass Trail back to Muav Saddle
Day 6 - Muav Saddle back to Park Boundary

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