Day 5

March 3, 2014

Indian Garden to Monument Creek


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Today's route stats: 

    Distance:  10.7 miles

    Elevation Gain:  400 feet

    Elevation Loss:  1200 feet

Today would be the longest day of our trip.  We really didn't want to have this long day, but we didn't have a choice.  All of the campsites between Cremation and Monument Creek are designated for parties of 7 or less, except for Indian Garden.  So we had to camp at Indian Garden, and we had to hike all the way from Indian Garden to Monument in one day.  But it's an easy trail with little elevation gain and loss, so we weren't really worried. 

However, Bruce's ankle and lower leg were so swollen that he could barely get his boot on.  Even though his joint was fine, he thought it would be too risky to continue on.  So he decided to hike out today via the Bright Angel Trail.  He would spend an extra day on the rim waiting for us the get out.  It was really a shame.

It was a perfect day for backpacking -- clear and cool, with spectacular views and an easy trail.


Spectacular Early Morning Views. Maricopa and Hopi Points. Shiva and Isis Temples.
Granite Gorge from Tonto Trail. Colorado River in Granite Gorge. Isis & BuddhaTemples.


There was another couple camping at Monument Creek when we arrived, and although we found a good campsite, it was hard for me to find a spot away from our group -- necessary because of my notorious snoring.  But I made do.

Soon after arriving at camp, some of us took off down the canyon to see Granite Rapids.  After a quick dip in the river, we headed back to camp.  But this time we decided to follow the creek instead of the trail.  The trail bypasses the narrows.  Although hiking through the narrows was a bit tricky, it was beautiful and well worth the effort.

View of the Monument from Tonto Trail. Ben at Granite Rapids. Granite Rapids.


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