Monument Point to Thunder River and Deer Creek

Don't like ads? Become a BCP Supporting Member and kiss them all goodbye. Click here for more info.

Joined
Mar 13, 2012
Messages
116
Trip Reports
14
Likes
221
Thread starter #1
Some of flat landers from Texas planned to do this hike last fall but circumstances prevented it from happening. We managed to get permits for April 24-27 this spring. Looks like we hit a good week as the weather was great - a bit warm in the inner canyon but sunny the whole time (as compared to 6 in of snow on the south rim on May 2). We had 6 in our party but a couple had to bug out early so 4 of us completed the following hike:

Map of hike:
Click here to view on CalTopo
Day 1: Tues Apr 24
Up to Monument Point from the TH and then down to the esplanade where we cached water for a dry camp on the return trip. We then hiked down the Red Wall to Surprise Valley and over to the drop off to Thunder River where we camped for the first night (hiking down to Thunder River to get water for the night and next day). I did note that Thunder River was not running near as much as it was 10 years ago when we visited.

Day 2: Wed Apr 25
Wednesday morning we packed up and did the trek across Surprise Valley down the Deer Creek Trail - I guess 10 years of age is showing because it seemed much more difficult than I remembered it from the past. To our surprise Deer Creek Spring/Falls was totally dry - at least Deer Creek was flowing nicely! We camp Wednesday evening at the Deer Creek campsite - this is a great campsite right by the creek and it provided a much refreshing evening. We day hiked down past the patio area thru the narrows to the Colorado overlook.. This area is probably the highlight of the trip.

Day 3: Thurs Apr 26
Now for a rough day - hike out of Deer Creek and up the Red Wall during the heat of the day... We made it however so slowly and traversed most of the esplanade to our camp. There is a nice campsite on the esplanade right by a tree shortly before the brutal ascent up the rock slide area. It was a great evening to camp - warm early but very pleasant once the sun set. We did share the site with a large snake (see picture below).

Day 4: Fri Apr 27
Now for the final ascent. I started about 7:15 am and was out by about 10:15. It is not only the climb but the lose rocks and large steps (not fun for old and short legs like mine).

Hike Summary:
This is an awesome hike BUT it is not for novices! Be prepared for rough and rocky trails. I would classify probably 1/4 of the "trail" to be more of a scramble than a hike.

Below are some picture from the hike:

P1000616.JPG


Five of the six of us doing the hike

P1000629.JPG


Part of the initial descent off of Monument Point

P1000630.JPG

View across the esplanade

P1000646.JPG

Huge snake on tree (we camped here on the way out)

P1000647.JPG

Me standing by a rock formation on the esplanade

P1000657.JPG

View of Surprise Valley from top of Red Wall

P1000663.JPG

View of Thunder River spring from near the top of the descent

IMG_1089.JPG

Thunder River - seems a bit low to me

P1000673.JPG

The rough trail down into Deer Creek

IMG_3136.JPG

Deer Creek camp (there is a composting toilet but you have to have a strong stomach)

IMG_3164.JPG

First falls at the patio

IMG_1121.JPG

Steve and Charles navigating along the narrows (their first time down here)

P1000709.JPG

Yep a bit scary for me also

P1000702.JPG

Steve and I at the overlook

P1000706.JPG

Looking down at boaters/rafters across the Colorado

IMG_1110.JPG

Charles and Steve at the patio area

IMG_1131.JPG

Campsite for night 3 at the "snake" tree - very pleasant evening

IMG_1138.JPG

Evening view from the campsite - yep we go up the rockslide and along the cliff show above.

IMG_1152.JPG

There were some flowers in the desert

WP_20180426_005.jpg

The initial descent (or final ascent) from Monument Point. Yep that is the trail.

Great challenging hike! I saw a couple backpackers (yep backpackers) wearing flip/flops!! Don't get that.
 
Last edited:

Miya

Because I am able.
.
Joined
Dec 31, 2017
Messages
495
Trip Reports
9
Likes
656
#2
Beautiful photos, and falls and what a magnificent snake!
Thanks for sharing!
 

Ugly

Life really is better Here
.
Joined
Apr 20, 2013
Messages
385
Trip Reports
32
Likes
1,439
#3
Did a similar trip a few years ago in March. Thanks for bringing back some familiar and loved sights.
 

Bob

Trailmaster
Joined
Mar 3, 2013
Messages
1,975
Trip Reports
29
Likes
2,483
#5
Nice trip....one of my favorite in the GC. I hiked down in sandals...cause my boots were killing my toes on the long downhill.

For a neat longer hike go down Kanab Creek from Sowats point...up along the Colorado and out Deer Creek....
 

Curt

Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2014
Messages
305
Trip Reports
13
Likes
909
#6
This is something I've wanted to do for years. Not too high on the bucket list so I'm not sure I'll get around to it. Vicariously enjoyed your report.
 

regehr

Member
.
Joined
Mar 28, 2012
Messages
694
Trip Reports
13
Likes
701
#7
That protruding rock above the slot looks super awkward, yikes.
 
Joined
Jul 5, 2014
Messages
2,074
Trip Reports
32
Likes
3,208
#8
Those falls look amazing. Beautiful pictures.
 

LarryBoy

Hiker Trash
.
Joined
Jan 4, 2015
Messages
1,217
Trip Reports
6
Likes
1,814
#9
Nice trip....one of my favorite in the GC. I hiked down in sandals...cause my boots were killing my toes on the long downhill.

For a neat longer hike go down Kanab Creek from Sowats point...up along the Colorado and out Deer Creek....
That rock hop up the Colorado is brutally slow though...
 

LarryBoy

Hiker Trash
.
Joined
Jan 4, 2015
Messages
1,217
Trip Reports
6
Likes
1,814
#10
Also deer creek spring has been dry all year - or at least, it was dry when I went thru in mid March. Super low snow year in northern AZ. was the park still under water restrictions when you went?

Cool trip, thanks!!
 

Don't like ads? Become a BCP Supporting Member and kiss them all goodbye. Click here for more info.

Similar threads

Don't like ads? Become a BCP Supporting Member and kiss them all goodbye. Click here for more info.

Top