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Grand Canyon - Nankoweap Trail - view from trail to the Granaries

"We are inclined to forget that sight is in some ways the most superficial of our senses. Immediately after I came out of the Canyon I flew low over the whole of my route. It was an interesting experience. But that was all. Sight was the only sense I could use. And the difference between flying over the Grand Canyon and living in it is like the difference between, on one hand, seeing a beautiful woman in a bikini and, on the other, making deeply satisfying love to her, with all her warmth and smoothness and fragrance and murmurings and movement." Colin Fletcher


The Nankoweap Trail descends 6,040 feet in 14 miles from the Saddle Mountain trailhead to Nankoweap Creek and on to the Colorado River. It is considered to be the hardest of the trails in the Canyon. You have to carry and cache water as there is none in the 11 miles between the Trailhead and Nankoweap Creek. "The Scary Part" is a section that is 6 inches wide under a sheer cliff with a couple of hundred foot drop punishing the slightest misstep. Getting across "The Scary Part" with a full pack is a challenge that frightens many away.

Thought to be an Ancestral Puebloan trail, John Wesley Powell supervised the development of the Nankoweap Trail in 1882 as a means to allow geologists access to the area. Interest in the trail revived after Harvey Butchart wrote his Treks I guide. See also John Annerino's "Hiking the Grand Canyon" published by the Sierra Club.


We hiked in from Saddle Mountain. We had a nice time with a private rafting group on the beach.


Arizona Passages


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Taken on October 26, 2007