October 16, 2016
Red Canyon to Asbestos Canyon
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Today's route stats:
Distance: 3.5 miles
Elevation Gain: 800 feet
Elevation Loss: 100 feet
Today was expected to be easy, but since we had to hitch a ride across the river, there was no telling how long it would take. Ben and I got going early. It was only a little over a mile to the beach where the cliffs meet the river and any more up-stream travel requires a fairly large bypass (referred to as the Papago Slide). Amazingly, as soon as we reached the beach, even before we had a chance to take off our packs, a river trip appeared.
Once we got across, we hiked a short ways down canyon to where an almost vertical intrusion (dike) required either a steep climb up and over, or a 15 to 20 foot wade through water of unknown depth. Ben managed to climb just above the water, while I chose to wade. It turned out that the water was only about 12 inches deep.
Once past this obstacle, we needed to hike along the River for about 3/4 mile to where Hance had built a trail to his mines in Asbestos Canyon. The hiking along the River was typical talus and catclaw. But about half way to the trail we crossed a small stream and spring where we picked up about a gallon of water each. We weren't sure whether there would be potable water in Asbestos.
The trail follows a rising ramp of tilted Supergroup layers. Although washed out in several places, and vague in others, it is generally pretty good, especially considering that is was abandoned over a century ago. As the trail approaches Asbestos Canyon, several of Hance's mines appear. The trail goes beneath the largest one, then turns the corner and into Asbestos. Here there is an interesting flat area with lots of asbestos and mining equipment laying around.
The trail reaches the bottom of Asbestos Canyon about a hundred yards above a huge pouroff. Here there were a few seeps and pools. The water was a little salty, but we didn't need a lot of it because we had carried so much from the spring below.
This was another day of perfect weather. I again listed to more of my audio book.