On Tonto Trail – Grand Canyon Day Two

You might think that we ate nothing but dehydrated backpacking meals on our trip. Not so. We ate better than we sometimes eat at home. On the morning of the second day of our REI Adventures trip, our guides made breakfast burritos from scratch, with eggs, sausage, potatoes, salsa, and two different kinds of tortillas. There was even a little bottle of Cholula hot sauce.

Homemade breakfast burritos on the banks of a creek……in the Grand Canyon! It doesn’t get much better than that.

Playing in the Water

Before putting on our backpacks, we set off on a side trip. Exploring and hiking in drainage areas near our Cottonwood Creek camp was a fun way to start the day. It was very much like a natural obstacle course, with water. Jumping in for a refreshing soak on a backpacking trip is one of my all time favorite things to do. It feeds your soul!

Our own watering hole

Twice, while scrambling around, I almost put my hands on a frog. I must have been wearing my frog whisperer hat that day. Or, maybe I stank. Do frogs have a good sense of smell?

Oops, sorry little dude, didn’t mean to scare you!

Respite on the Edge

Back at camp, we picked up our packs and followed Tonto Trail around the east side of Horseshoe Mesa. Towering rock formations accented the view.

View from Tonto Trail

Leaving the trail, our guides led us through a field of cactus, across Tonto Plateau to a lookout high above Sockdolager Rapids and the inner canyon. The group spread out along the edge, some of us closer than others, and kicked back for a nice, long lunch break. We fell into a meditative quiet, gazing at the canyon and the rushing river. It was hard to believe we were looking at the Colorado River, where we’d be making camp the next night.

At Home in Hance Creek

Marci, our lead guide, announced it was time to leave our view on Tonto Plateau. It was difficult to leave. I felt as though I’d reached a peaceful place, both inner and outer. But we were excited to see our campsite for the night.

After a couple more miles, we reached Hance Creek and set up camp. Home base was a large tree on the sandy beach, and our tents dotted the creekside. I took off my hiking boots and put on Crocs, and waded in the cool water of Hance Creek. Admiring the alpenglow and after a time, another delicious dinner, we settled in for the night.

Wading in Hance Creek
Alpenglow in the canyon
Home

Day Two Stats

10 miles
Elevation gain/loss 300 feet

4 thoughts on “On Tonto Trail – Grand Canyon Day Two”

  1. All the pictures are beautiful, but the “View from Tonto Trail” just keeps my eyes locked. I’d love to climb the rock right in the center. Great writing, as always.

  2. Not enough superlatives for your narration! You really have a talent for the photos. You guys literally “rock”! Thank you…peace

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