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Trip Report - April, 2001 - South Bass, Royal Arch

The party for this trip consisted of: Mike Coltrin, the trip leader; Mike's brother, Chuck; Chuck's friend, John; and myself. The party changed around a bit since the trip was initially setup and two women, who the trip was originally planned for, has decided to drop out. Perhaps this was a bad omen from the start?

Anyway ... Sometimes crap just happens and there is nothing you can do about it, and that's pretty much what happened on this trip. We did not get to Royal Arch so if that's what you are interested in reading about you can stop now. The Royal Arch Route turned out to be a bit too rugged for John, who suffers from problems with his hips. He started having problems when the route started becoming clogged with boulders on the west side of Toltec Point. He was fine on normal trail but having to climb over boulders was just too much for the hip. It was probably good that we gave up when we did but it was still disappointing not to get to see Royal Arch after looking forward to it for so long.

Mike managed to pull off a great save for the trip though. We ended up camping one night on the Esplanade at the junction of the South Bass Trail and the Royal Arch Route and then hiked back to the trailhead the next morning. Following that and a quick lunch and shower back at the village we headed for the Navajo reservation on the east side of Marble Canyon. Mike drove out to a great overlook of the confluence of the Colorado and Little Colorado Rivers on the north side of the confluence - a view that not many people get to see. We camped there for a night and the next morning drove north along the east side of Marble Canyon as far north as Nankoweap. There are some fantastic views of the Canyon and the river from there and we had a great time.

After we got back to the main highway we headed back to Grand Canyon Village for the night. The next morning, after an awesome breakfast at the El Tovar, we did a day hike on the South Kaibab Trail and went as far as Skeleton Point. John had no problems with this trail at all and was actually leading the way back to the rim on the way out. Go figure!

Happy Trails

P.S. Data for this trip report was assembled while still in the backcountry using my Hewlett-Packard Pocket PC

camera Photo maps

Day 1 - Grand Canyon Village to South Bass trailhead
Day 2 - South Bass Trail & Royal Arch Trail
Day 3 - Esplanade to Overlook of the Confluence
Day 4 - Overlook of the Confluence to Grand Canyon Village
Day 5 - Layover at Grand Canyon Village

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Copyright © Bob Ribokas, 1994-2018, all rights reserved. This publication and its text and photos may not be copied for commercial use without the express written permission of Bob Ribokas.