Sunday, March 20, 2011

Nankoweap Trail in 31 Photos

The Nankoweap trip was perfect!

When I was researching and anticipating the trip I was unable to find photos that gave a good feel for the trail. Following are 31 photos that give a sense of what to expect.

The trail divides into four distinct sections: trail 57 from House Rock Road to the Nankoweap trail head (3 miles, climb 400 feet, descend 400+ feet, climb 1200 feet); the Supai traverse from the trail head to Tilted Mesa (4 miles, descend 1600 feet); the descent of Tiled Mesa to Nankoweap Creek (4 miles, descend 2600 feet); the junction with the creek to the delta on the Colorado River (3 miles, descend 600 feet). At the Colorado the climb to the granaries is about 750 feet.

House Rock Road.
House Rock Road. The parking area is about 23 miles away and takes one hour to drive. (Larger version)

Saddle Mountain.
Saddle Mountain and the saddle are visible for miles. (Larger version)

Start of trail 57.
Start of trail 57 that leads to Nankoweap trail head in three miles. (Larger version)

Trail 57 ravine.
After climbing about 400 feet the trail descends into a rivine and drops over 400 feet. (Larger version)

Snow melt in trail 57 ravine.
Snow melt more than doubled the water in the ravine in three days. The small creek was crossed several times (Larger version)

Snow on trail 57.
A few areas of snow remained near the top of trail 57. We were knee deep in snow in one spot. (Larger version)

Looking down trail 57.
Looking back on trail 57 from the rim. The climb was about 1200 feet from the bottom of the ravine. (Larger version)

Start of the Nankoweap trail.
Start of the Nankoweap trail. There was no snow on the trail for the first two miles and then only a minor amount. (Larger version)

Nankoweap trail at the base of the cliffs.
Looking ahead it's impossible to see the trail which follows the base of the cliff for the first four miles. Marion Point is visible in the background. (Larger version)

Early section of the Nankoweap trail.
The unmaintianed trail rises and falls continuously as it meanders close to the edge or cliff due to obstacles. (Larger version)

View on the Nankoweap trail.
The views on this section of the trail are fantastic. (Larger version)

Nankoweap scary spot.
The section of the Nankoweap known as the Scary Spot. (Larger version)

Marion Point.
The stone pillars mark a camp site at Marion Point. (Larger version)

Marion Point Camp Site.
The Marion Point camp site is small and exposed. We had strong winds all night with gusts we estimated at 70 mph. (Larger version)

Tilted Mesa.
About two miles past Marion Point the trail drops down from the Supai layer to Tiled Mesa. (Larger version)

Climb near Tiled Mesa.
There is an interesting climb near Tilted Mesa. The tree makes it possible to climb both directions without removing packs. (Larger version)

Tilted Mesa camp site.
The camp site at Tilted Mesa is larger than Marion Point but just as exposed to wind. (Larger version)

Tilted Mesa section of the trail.
The trail down Tilted Mesa is about four miles in length. (Larger version)

Tilted Mesa constructed trail section.
The contours of the mesa are followed as the trail works around rather than straight down. (Larger version)

Tilted Mesa switch backs.
At a few points there is no option other than switch backing straight down hill. (Larger version)

Nankoweap easy section.
At the base of Tilted Mesa is the easiest section of the trail. Short but welcomed. (Larger version)

Nankoweap Creek.
From the junction with Nankoweap Creek it is three miles of boulder hopping, scrambling and multiple crossings to the Colorado River. (Larger version)

Colorado River.
The first sighting of the Colorado River is welcomed but not spectacular. (Larger version)

Nankoweap Granaries.
The granaries at Nankoweap are about 750 feet above the river low on the vertical cliff. (Larger version)

Firt group of granaries.
The first group of granaries are impressive. (Larger version)

Looking in a granary.
The first granaries are easy to access. (Larger version)

Second group of granaries.
The second group of granaries to the left of the first are more difficult to access. I was able to take photos inside the granaries only by holding the camera high above my head. (Larger version)

Third opening to the left of the second group of granaries.
The third opening (out of sight in this photo) to the left of the second group of granaries is the most difficult to access. (Larger version)

Missing section of ledge.
A six feet section of the ledge is missing that leads to an area below the third opening. Not obvious in this photo is a small protrusion that supported almost half of the outside of my foot and enabled me to step across. (Larger version)

Nankoweap delta, Colorado River and cliffs.
The cliffs on the opposite side of the Colorado are 3000 feet high. (Larger version)

Colorado River from below the granaries.
Colorado River as seen from below the granaries. Visible in the larger version of the photo is a rafting party setting up camp on the beach. (Larger version)

In another post I'll describe some of our experiences.


Blogger Buffalo said...

Incredible! Magnificent!

3/20/2011 11:13:00 AM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Wow! Just wow!

3/20/2011 06:05:00 PM  
Anonymous alex Pendragon said...

I wonder how one walks those narrow parts without suffering from vertigo.........looks scary!

3/22/2011 02:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Paul and Julie
Thanks for awesome hike! there any way to cross the Colorado in this area? Ferry by chance?

2/26/2013 03:26:00 PM  
Blogger Paul said...

No way across the river but it may be possible to ask a river trip for a ferry. Most trips stop at the beach below the granaries.

2/27/2013 09:21:00 AM  

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