Grand Canyon NP Backpack Pt. 2 Deer Cyn explore-->Esplanade-->Indian Hollow Tr. April 18-23, 2021

John Morrow

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May 22, 2015
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920
Part two of the Grand Canyon included a layover day and 2nd night at Deer Creek Camp followed by a climb back onto the Esplanade for a nice final night camp and hike out the last day.

April 21:

We laid over in Deer Creek Canyon for the day giving each of us the opportunity to visit waterfalls, lounge on the Patio and/or explore forks of Middle Deer Canyon.


Tranquil Deer Creek
by John Morrow, on Flickr


layover day exploration
by John Morrow, on Flickr

I headed as far up the forks of Deer Canyon as I had the energy to. My goal was to reach the Redwall Limestone and hope for some pretty narrows after reaching the junction of the main and east forks.


yucca bloom
by John Morrow, on Flickr


Upcanyon in Deer Cr Canyon
by John Morrow, on Flickr


more jams in middle Deer Canyon
by John Morrow, on Flickr


made it to canyon forks!
by John Morrow, on Flickr


Main Deer Canyon
by John Morrow, on Flickr


East Fork Deer Canyon
by John Morrow, on Flickr


E. Fk ends for me at rockslide
by John Morrow, on Flickr


a lunch counter
by John Morrow, on Flickr


turn around, distant fork ahead
by John Morrow, on Flickr


lunch
by John Morrow, on Flickr


return
by John Morrow, on Flickr


narrows
by John Morrow, on Flickr


above the river
by John Morrow, on Flickr

April 22:

Time to pack up and take the trail back up to the Esplanade camp we had on our first night. Temps cooled off which made it much nicer.



Last morning
by John Morrow, on Flickr


Back to Esplanade
by John Morrow, on Flickr

In the evening Maureen and I headed out for an exploration in the Esplanade sandstone of headwater forks of the S. Fk. of Deer Canyon. No evidence of ancient cultures but fun walking and descending dryfalls and finding yet more water.


Esplanade sandstone
by John Morrow, on Flickr


getting back out of Deer Canyon
by John Morrow, on Flickr

April 23:

Nothing left to do but hike the final 6 miles and 1200 vertical back up to the North Rim and our vehicles at Indian Hollow TH. Then I was off to the races to drive as far north as possible to be in position to get home by Saturday night. Not before a big old fashioned Hot Fudge Sundae in Kanab.


Deer Canyon below
by John Morrow, on Flickr


trumpet
by John Morrow, on Flickr


parting shot
by John Morrow, on Flickr


The area does not have much info on Rock Art readily available on the web, which is probably a good thing. This is a sample of what we could find:


panel
by John Morrow, on Flickr


negative handprints
by John Morrow, on Flickr


elaborate panel
by John Morrow, on Flickr


Maureen's panel
by John Morrow, on Flickr


Rhonda's panel
by John Morrow, on Flickr


pictographs
by John Morrow, on Flickr


pictographs
by John Morrow, on Flickr
 

Ugly

Life really is better Here
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Joined
Apr 20, 2013
Messages
1,083
Really nice report John. There are so many cool things down there. Thunder River gushing from the rock for some reason left me awestruck. Also having done so much of my desert hiking before that only in Utah, the sharper and much harder types of rock as that trip was my first down to the canyon bottom was surprising, and makes wingate and navajo sandstone "soft"... It was not a pleasant trip for me from Thunder over to Deer and involved some blood. haha
The pit toilet with a view? was there still a resident skunk poking around at night? Staring at the glowing eyes with my headlamp in the middle of the night had me rethinking the urge from the extra liter I had drank before bed.

You're extra climbs and scrambles are especially cool and inspiring, to do that on top of the rest of the loop. Hat's off and thanks for sharing.

As an aside, I have also wondered, and perhaps you know, is this authentically ancient? or recent? it did not seem natural.
_DSC0132 (1).jpg
 

John Morrow

Member
Joined
May 22, 2015
Messages
920
Really nice report John. There are so many cool things down there. Thunder River gushing from the rock for some reason left me awestruck. Also having done so much of my desert hiking before that only in Utah, the sharper and much harder types of rock as that trip was my first down to the canyon bottom was surprising, and makes wingate and navajo sandstone "soft"... It was not a pleasant trip for me from Thunder over to Deer and involved some blood. haha
The pit toilet with a view? was there still a resident skunk poking around at night? Staring at the glowing eyes with my headlamp in the middle of the night had me rethinking the urge from the extra liter I had drank before bed.

You're extra climbs and scrambles are especially cool and inspiring, to do that on top of the rest of the loop. Hat's off and thanks for sharing.

As an aside, I have also wondered, and perhaps you know, is this authentically ancient? or recent? it did not seem natural.
View attachment 98023

Hmm, I actually never saw it. I can't get a sense of the scale from the photo. Sorry to hear about the "bloodshed". Interesting you mention the "harder rock". I felt most at home on and in the Esplanade sandstone, myself!
 

Ugly

Life really is better Here
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Joined
Apr 20, 2013
Messages
1,083
Hmm, I actually never saw it. I can't get a sense of the scale from the photo. Sorry to hear about the "bloodshed". Interesting you mention the "harder rock". I felt most at home on and in the Esplanade sandstone, myself!
haha, Not the Esplanade. Not being a geologist, down lower. like the Schist and right along the river.
 

Bob

Trailmaster
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Mar 3, 2013
Messages
3,339
Nice ......... Now you need to do Kanab creek and go upriver and out Deer Creek...
 

John Morrow

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Joined
May 22, 2015
Messages
920
Nice ......... Now you need to do Kanab creek and go upriver and out Deer Creek...
Definitely on the list, with all the Tribs: Jumpup,Indian Hollow, Chamberlain, Flipoff, Sowats, and Kwagunt. When...don't exactly know. Maybe early Nov if not too scared of the access getting snowed in for the winter.
 

Bob

Trailmaster
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Mar 3, 2013
Messages
3,339
Definitely on the list, with all the Tribs: Jumpup,Indian Hollow, Chamberlain, Flipoff, Sowats, and Kwagunt. When...don't exactly know. Maybe early Nov if not too scared of the access getting snowed in for the winter.
It can, but there is a somewhat lower elevation road to sowatts
 

Janice

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Dec 5, 2017
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I enjoyed your report. We're starting to think about next year's spring break trip and are considering this. We have to go early April (approx 7-15), and even though there's no way to know in advance what winter will be like, I'm wondering if it's just too early for the roads to be passable. Any thoughts?
 

Stephanie B

Steph and Blake
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Dec 7, 2017
Messages
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Thanks for sharing, John. Great rock art finds, but why no pics of the hot fudge sundae?? ;)
 
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