Grand Canyon Day Hikes from the River

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Many would say this river is more about the Grand Canyon day hikes than the Grand Canyon whitewater I’ve waxed on about in previous posts. And this would certainly be true for me. There are the very famous hikes, like Matkatamiba, Elve’s Chasm and Havasu. Famous Grand Canyon day hikes that draw a LOT of people.  Of course we were on a winter trip, meaning only one private launch is allowed per day (max of 16 peops per trip), and NO commercial trips. This makes a huge difference in for me. I’m NOT a fan of bumper to bumper hiking in the wilderness (or anywhere, for that matter). Then there are the lesser known hikes, all with their own unique characteristics, and crazy beauty of the desert. This is the Grand Canyon blog I’ve been looking forward to sharing with you the most. And because of the sheer number of images, there will be much less to read.

So if you want to know more about any of the hikes you see here, I have a couple of recommendations for Grand Canyon day hike guides. Both of them are mostly relevant if you’re hiking from the river. My favorite, I think because it spoke specifically to what can be hiked to from campsites, was Day Hikes from the River: A Guide to Hikes from Camps Along the Colorado River in Grand Canyon by Tom Martin. The other was great too:  Grand Canyon River Hikes (Hiking & Biking), by Tyler Williams. It gave more info on hikes where camping was prohibited, & so were restricted to midday stops. Check them out on Amazon, and if you link to them from here, it will support my blog. And I would Thank You Very Much Indeed!

Our first stop was North Canyon, just a little over 20 miles downriver from the put-in at Lee’s Ferry. It was a bit of a cool evening, but wonderful light for photographing.

North Canyon Waterfall

Most of the Grand Canyon day hikes are relatively short, some not even a mile. Which is fortunate as there is often limited time to get to these magical places. The river running life is a busy one, as you’ll see in the next post that describes what it’s like to shift into wilderness living.

Clear Creek was an unexpected delight I had not heard of before. A wet hike all the way meant we did it in our river shoes (I love my Astral women’s river shoes – great traction and hiking support in a water shoe), and ended up at a pounding waterfall. Who knew there could be so much water in the desert?

Grand Canyon Waterfall: one of so many

This image required a tripod and ND filter for long exposure technique to smooth the water. I carried my travel tripod, the Three-Legged-Thing Rick and Firecrest 10 stop filter I described in the last post Camera Gear On a Wilderness Trip.

Elve’s Chasm, so aptly named for it’s wondrous fairy like qualities, has got to be the ultimate paradise..

Hard to believe this is for real

Deer Creek Falls rivals Elve’s Chasm with its tall graceful waterfall marking the entrance to the Deer Creek hike. There’s a delightful patio shaded by a grove of lovely cottonwoods at the top of the slot canyon.

Deer Creek Falls

2 Fer 1 Waterfalls!

Then there’s Matkatamiba. All I can say is, Otherwordly…

Up and into Another World

Paradise….Again….

Looking back to the Colorado from Matkat

And finally, a lesser known hike into Tuck Up Canyon. This one had a small challenge to get into it with a huge beautiful chock stone requiring a rope (for some of us, like me) to get past. Here’s an example of the rewards of perseverance and adventure:

The Spirit of Stillness

All of these images represent a small taste of what I saw. If you’re hungry for more, as I always am (see my very first post about this here), you can find them in this Gallery.

May you rest in the Stillness of this image until my next post, the final in this series on my adventure on the Grand, “River Life: At Work and Play on a Grand Canyon Wilderness Expedition”. See you then!


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