CLEAR CREEK

Clear Creek is a relatively uncrowded area of the Grand Canyon. It's at the end of a trail across the North Tonto Plateau, a distance of nine miles from Phantom Ranch. One attaction is that it is a north canyon destination that is accessible from the South Rim, allowing an earlier trip in snowy years. Even so, the temperature was 95° hiking out. My son Colin and I made the trip in 2007. Carrying a pack in the Grand Canyon is not pleasant, so we came up with a bold plan: hike the entire distance from the South Rim (18 miles) in a day, and then spend a week enjoying day-hikes. The first day proved to be a long one -- we arrived with just enough daylight to prepare dinner.

The exhibit is a collection of photographs by Colin and myself. The first three show the morning descent of the South Kaibab Trail. The second shows the trail below Skeleton Point. At this point, your mind is consumed with the thought that in a few days you will be coming up with a pack. The view into Granite Gorge shows a mule train ascending and one of the suspension bridges. The other photographs show scenes from around Clear Creek: trips to the Colorado River and Chevaya Falls and explorations of side canyons. The final photograph is a view from the Tonto Plateau near sunset. To manage the heat, we hiked as close to Phantom Ranch as our permit allowed, starting in the late afternoon. We got an early start the next day, but the heat was at full intensity by the time we reached the top of Granite Gorge.

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