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Park and Upper Salome Creeks

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by Chris Grove, Apr 16, 2015.

  1. Chris Grove

    Chris Grove Yes, anytime.

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Flagstaff, AZ
    This was a trip we had wanted to do, then decided we really wanted to do the canyons after seeing Adam Winstanley’s pictures from the week before. We dis Illusions the day before, spent a night at home, got up early and did the 3.5 hour drive from Flagstaff to the trailhead. We followed the beta from Todd Martin’s book and it was a great way to run the trip. His anchor info is not current, but anchors are easy to locate. Adam’s group shuttled to Park tank. It only took us an hour to hike there from the trailhead so it did not seem worth all the hassle. We were on the trail about 10 AM. After maybe 2 hours we found the first drop and decided to bypass so we would not need to gear up.
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    There was a mandatory drop immediately after the first, so if doing again I would rap the first one.
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    A mix of boulder hopping and fun features lead to the highlight of Park canyon; the granite pools and arch.
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    All easily navigated with mandatory swims and nice raps. We had each brought full 3ish wetsuits and 3ish shorty’s. I think we would have been fine with the full wetsuits only. The water was too cold and swims to long for no wetsuits but nothing like the day before in Illusions.
    Right below the arch area of Park, it joins Salome creek. While Park water was milky, Salome was clear and had nice pools.
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    We had planned on camping above the Grotto so the second day would not be so short. We merrily boulder hopped, navigated down climbs and pools and suddenly found us on top of the Grotto and it was still early.
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    It was about 3 so we decided to proceed and camp after the Grotto.

    The Grotto area is amazing. Beautiful granite, great slides, raps and jumps. The pools are big, clear and deep. We even got to do a simulrap around a big horn into a pool.
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    I got lots of practice swimming dragging 120’ of rope behind me until I got to shore to pack the rope. Anyone have a slick technique for packing a rope into a rope bag while treading water?
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    We soon found where Workman Creek came into Salome. It was really flowing. The beta described the climb up Workman as unpleasant. We found it to be quite fun. Pretty creek, nice pools, waterfalls and some upclimbs. One was a bit dicey. We decided to camp on top of this upclimb right next to a roaring 45’ waterfall. A great campsite.
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    This was our first overnight canyoneering trip. We had been gathering gear for a while so the overnight bivy gear would not take up a lot of room or add much weight. Wes had been providing lots of info on light and small gear and we had a great setup with nothing extra and nothing missing and only adding 6-7 pounds to our load.
    The next morning we got a leisurely start (~9 AM) and worked our way upstream the mile or so.
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    Then we got on Hell’s Hole trail for the 6 mile hike back to the car. There was a BIG climb out of the drainage but the trail was in good shape and we were back to cars by early afternoon. Although the trip took 13 hours, this would not be a fun day trip.



    Chris Grove
    Ram, TJ Cottam, Dave Melton and 9 others like this.
  2. Rapterman

    Rapterman

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    Great trip report!
    Stuffing rope while treading water (handy for water canyons)
    I have friends who clip the rope bag to the front of the harness (from the inside clip loop at the top of the bag,to keep it close to you)
    and stuff the rope while they swim away (kicking only) on their back.
    Kinda like an otter!
    But I am not very good at this...
    Chad and Chris Grove like this.
  3. Aniko

    Aniko

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    Glad you liked the trip, and found the campsite most people use these days...but I must add, it is also a fun day trip. The 6-7 lbs of probably very minimalist overnight gear you carried can be avoided by simply hiking out the same day. It makes the dinner taste that much better:)
    2065toyota likes this.
  4. Chris Grove

    Chris Grove Yes, anytime.

    Messages:
    70
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    124
    Location:
    Flagstaff, AZ
    We both agreed after we finished that we would enjoy more as two day trip. The hike out at the end would be tedious at the end of the day. The trip took us 11 hours at a moderate pace so time wise it is very feasible. Nice to spend the night in a beautiful canyon.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Wes1 likes this.
  5. Kuenn

    Kuenn

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    Very enjoyable report and very nice camera work.
    And the frog duo? Amazing!!
    Chris Grove likes this.
  6. EvergreenDean

    EvergreenDean OK with what happens

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Boulder, UT
    Nice report. We had a blast in that area the week before with Adam & Kristen. I want to do the whole thing from the top next time too!
    MrAdam likes this.
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