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AZ: Grand Canyon Cove Canyon- Feb 23&24 2017

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by Jolly Green, Mar 3, 2017.

  1. Jolly Green

    Jolly Green

    Farmington, UT
    I don't post many trip reports but @Ram encouraged me to do so, so here's a little write-up.

    The first canyon trip of the year. You've got all winter to think about it. Last February, we did Waterholes and Shinumo Wash and found out this packrafting stuff is pretty fun. This year, let's do Cove. Unfortunately, the north rim of the GC was hit by storm after storm all winter long. Trip reports of easy access all winter long over the last couple years were replaced by phone calls to the BLM saying the road from Pipe Spring to Toroweap is pure mud and water. Not what we were hoping to hear. The weekend before is filled with rain from Friday to Sunday in the area. Ram checks with his ranger friends who note muddy roads. We've got 3 days for the road to dry out. Not likely. Only a fool would venture out into the unknown. Time for the backup plan. Black canyon below Hoover Dam it is.

    Two days later we get a call from Guy. You guys still going? The weather looks great and I hear the roads are fine. A quick call to the BLM offic informs us we will get stranded in a mud puddle, will puncture all our tires, and will slowly die out there. Guy has traveled the road dozens of times and checks with a few people who have been out that way recently. We will be fine. Trip is back on. Time to find out what those roads are really like. We leave pavement and thanks to Taylor's 4Runner and lead foot we arrive at the Tuckup trailhead 1.5 hrs later. Seems someone had a bad day out there in the mud but not us. Victory!

    How long is this going to take? Trip reports vary from 2 days up to Ram's recent 6 day adventure. Let's hope for 3. Next storm is supposed to be here the night of day 3, let's move it! We pack up and note there is definitely a cold front and we all throw on an extra layer. Departure time- 11 am. 8.5 miles and 3 hrs later we are getting harnesses on. Pretty cool to see some raps and narrows in the Supai. The canyon is flowing due to all the recent rain. Gorgeous! The Redwall section comes quickly and does not disappoint. Redwall is my favorite. Time to look for camp. We spot a great spot just before Big Springs comes in on the left. It's 5:30 and we've only hiked for 6.5 hrs. Oh well, just means a bigger day tomorrow. It also means more sleep as no one in the group really got more than 3 hrs the night before. Much needed!

    Day 2 starts by putting on the wetsuit and getting going by 9. Muav! Amazing! Muav is now my favorite layer! A few raps and a lot of boulder hopping gets us to the river by 1. We down our lunch and inflate the rafts. It seems there is a big difference between loading a day pack onto the raft and a 50L overnighter pack. My raft resembles more of a bathtub than a raft. What a great section though. Only one of us nailed the biggest rapid and went for a swim (me). It actually helped calm my fears as it wasn't that bad just hopping back in. We come around the corner and hear Lava Falls raging. Impressive. After 1.5 hrs of floating we are arranging and drying gear. Wow, we made it here faster than we thought. Let's go look at Lava and get out of dodge. We started up the trail around 3:30. Sucky is an understatement to describe this route. Unfortunately the lower spur road to the Lava Trail TH was closed so we got to do the full hike. All accounted for just as dusk was settling in.

    All in all, what a great jaunt. 6.5 hrs day 1 and 10 hrs day 2. Definitely faster than expected. And on the drive out, we start talking about our options for the next trip to see the GC.

    Tuckup TH



    More Redwall

    @Bootboy getting a closeup view of the seeps


    Almost there big guy

    Confluence with Big Springs- this would be a great campsite


    What a great spot!



    Partial view of the red slide exit
  2. Rich Rudow

    Rich Rudow

    Cove with flowing water. Amazing canyon!
  3. ratagonia


    Mount Carmel, Utah
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