Filling the Void

(4/20/06) Last weekend, Andy and I scouted the Tonto Trail in the Grand Canyon for a future Perfect Pace backpack trip. Wow! It was really spectacular. I cannot wait to plan the trip for early April 2007.

Rated as a Grand Canyon "primitive" hike, the trail is unmaintained, slightly challenging in navigation and terrain at various points, very remote, and allows at large camping which means you can camp wherever you want.

The first night we did the usual carcamp at Mather's campground. The next day we left the car at our exit point at Grand View trailhead and took a taxi to South Kaibab trailhead where we began our hike. We then started our aggressive 3 day 27 mile journey. The views were unbelievable. Its definitely not a trail for the faint at heart. The trail many times was just a few feet away from a thousand foot drop. The hike certainly was remote. The first day, for instance, we ran into only three people. It was great being able to camp wherever you want. We chose locations at some breathtaking dramatic overlooks.

We boogied. The first day was a quick ten miles, the second day another quick ten miles, and the last day was a fast paced 4,000 ft 6 mile ascent to Grand View.