Day 2

October 21, 2011

Solo Exploration:  Lava, Chuar, and Carbon

First light was at 6:00 Ė I got up at 6:15, with a stiff back.  It was a long night and I wanted to get up as soon as I could see.  Iím taking Diclofenac, an anti-inflammatory.  Couldnít do this hike without it.   

I left a cache in a RatSack containing a breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the last night of my trip.  I was going to leave a liter of water, but I used more than I figured I would on the hike down and during the night.  I was on the trail at 7:30, carrying only one liter of water.  Although my pack felt much lighter, the trail is very rough and steep as it descends the Redwall.

Rough Trail Thru Redwall Redwall in Morning Light Muav Cliff Below Redwall Lower Section of Tanner

It is about 3 miles to Tanner Beach.  I ran into two small groups hiking up as I was hiking down.  One of them spent the night just below the Redwall, the other started up from the River.  It took me 3 hours to get to Tanner beach, where I ate lunch, filled water bottles (the Colorado was running pretty clean), and hid another cache with one dayís food.  I expected to be coming back this way in 6 days. There were several groups camped at Tanner.  Thatís too many groups for Tanner, so apparently not all of them had permits.  I saw one group of rafters float by.

View of Basalt Creek Drainage

Approaching Tanner Beach

View From Near Tanner Beach

Waiting For Boats at Palisades

I got some good views of the Basalt drainage across from Tanner.  This is the canyon I planned to hike down on Day 6.  Most of it looked easy, except for one section that looked very steep.  But I couldnít really get that good a look at it to be sure.  Anyway, it is the hike up from Lava and into upper Basalt that I was worried about the most.

I spent about 1-1/2 hours at Tanner before heading NE on the Beamer Trail.   It is about 3 miles to Palisades Creek.  The trail was named after Ben Beamer, a farmer and miner during the early 1890s.  The trail connects the Tanner Beach to the mouth of the Little Colorado River.  It is near Palisades Creek where the Horsethief route crossed the river and headed up Lava Canyon.  Of course crossing the river was only possible before the dam when the flow rate was often very low.  Iíve done this trail 3 or 4 other times, two times on a Hopi Salt Trail to Hance/Red Canyon hike. 

Although it was very warm, there was a nice breeze.  Still, I took my time.  I stopped for a very long shade break about an hour from Tanner.  The trail is mostly flat as it follows the river bank, with only a couple of short climbs up and over places where the river bank is pinched off by cliffs.  I arrived at Palisades Creek around 15:00, but continued on just past where the Beamer Trail climbs up onto the Tapeats Sandstone.  It was difficult getting to and finding a nice place where I could get a good view of boats coming from up-canyon.  It wasnít a great place to camp either, but it was where I needed to be.  Before the hike, I asked Tom Martin, author of Day Hikes From the River, where I should be to best flag down a river trip, and this is where he told me.  He didnít think I would have a problem since usually two river trips launch every day this time of the year.  And although I was only at River Mile 65, it was possible that groups could be bunched up by then and I could have a long wait.  At 17:30 I started dinner and prepared for bed.  Not much chance of a boat coming by this late.

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