Backpacking Arizona: From Deep Canyons to Sky Islands
by Bruce Grubbs (Wilderness Press)
© Bruce Grubbs/Wilderness Press. All Rights Reserved.
Buckskin to Lee's Ferry in 4.5 days. Awesome hike - feet were wet there entire time except for the last 5 miles or so.
We entered through Wire Pass Buckskin. The mud we were told about is truely gross but worth all the stink! The views were awsome, you felt small inside the depths of these towering canyons, dark and damp on the floor and bright and warm at the top. I was not prepared for the amount of water and quick sand that we had to traverse, nor was I prepared for the difficulty of the boulders on the trail traversing the high water trail for 5 of the last ten miles. In spite of all that it was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. I do many adventure runs and this is amoung the best. The best guide for kowing just how far you are along the trail is the brouchure from the BLM at White Horse Trial Head, other maps don't do much good because you have no view out to get your marks from. The fresh water springs are sometimes easy to find and sometimes hard to find but we pumped the water directly from the river. We completed the trail in just under three days with each day being very different from the others. Enjoy it and wear shoes that don't hold alot of water. In our group we had river running shoes and Chacos with waterproof socks. Both types of shoe wear were good. The waterpoof socks did keep our feet clean, no mud or rocks in the socks.
Excellent backpacking trip with incredible scenery the entire way. Also a great deal of solitude (we saw only one other party in 4 days) due to the permits (which can be tough to get). We went in at White House Trailhead (near BLM office) and hiked whole way through to Lee's Ferry in 4 days. In places, the walls are a 1000 feet high and only 30-40 feet across (or less). Note that you must pack out your poop while traveling through the narrows (they give you special bags). The water in the stream usually has too much fine silt to filter easily so you need to get water from the few often hard to find springs (make sure you know where they are).
The trail ends up wading down the Paria River. Not many people. Slot canyon heaven.
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