Powell Plateau Loop Trail

Jacob Lake, Arizona

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This long loop starts from the Swamp Point Trailhead on the North Rim, then descends Saddle and Tapeats Canyons to the Colorado River. The hike then follows the Colorado River around the base of Powell Plateau to Shinumo Creek, where it ascends the long abandoned North Bass Trail to complete the loop. Nearly all the hiking on this loop is strenuous cross-country, and this hike should be attempted only by those with previous experience hiking on Grand Canyon trails. The Horseshoe Mesa and Boucher-Hermit Loops are good preparation for this hike. At least one member of the group should have Grand Canyon cross-country hiking experience. While the Trails Illustrated map gives a good overview of the trip, you must have the USGS topographic maps to find critical portions of this route. The loop is best hiked counterclockwise because this gets the cross-country descent of Saddle Canyon out of the way at the beginning, as well as the flooded narrows in Tapeats Creek.

Powell Plateau Loop Trail Professional Review and Guide

"This long loop starts from the Swamp Point Trailhead on the North Rim, then descends Saddle and Tapeats Canyons to the Colorado River. The hike then follows the Colorado River around the base of Powell Plateau to Shinumo Creek, where it ascends the long abandoned North Bass Trail to complete the loop.

Nearly all the hiking on this loop is strenuous cross-country, and this hike should be attempted only by those with previous experience hiking on Grand Canyon trails. The Horseshoe Mesa and Boucher-Hermit Loops are good preparation for this hike. At least one member of the group should have Grand Canyon cross-country hiking experience. While the Trails Illustrated map gives a good overview of the trip, you must have the USGS topographic maps to find critical portions of this route. The loop is best hiked counterclockwise because this gets the cross-country descent of Saddle Canyon out of the way at the beginning, as well as the flooded narrows in Tapeats Creek."

Activity Type: Backpacking, Hiking
Nearby City: Jacob Lake
Distance: 54.7
Elevation Gain: 10,000 feet
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Difficult
Duration: 9 days
Season: Mid-September through November
Trailhead Elevation: 7,470 feet
Top Elevation: 7,600 feet
Local Contacts: Grand Canyon National Park. Permits required.
Local Maps: USGS King Arthur Castle, Tapeats Amphitheater, Powell Plateau, Fossil Bay, Topocoba Hilltop, Explorers Monument, Havasupai Point
Driving Directions: Directions to Powell Plateau Loop Trail

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May 2018