Adventurer | 230 pts
All in all, a very satisfying hike. The hike up to the Phelps overlook is dull, just a 500 ft climb to a high point. The overlook is a nice rest, but disappointment sets in when you realize that you have to drop down another 400 ft to towards the lake before starting the 1400 ft climb into the canyon. The one stretch rises about 1200 ft in a mile, and can be quite grueling under the weight of a full pack and the hot sun. (Bring lots of water.) But stop for a rest often and enjoy the spectacular view! The vertical canyon walls are awesome, like giant pillars of a gate. At about 2.75 miles in, you reach a spot adjacent to the cascade that you have been hearing for an hour. From that point on, the trip becomes worth the effort. Once reaching the canyon floor, the trail levels out to almost flat for the next several miles. The scenery is majestic: calm stream, clear pools, and explosion of wildflowers, intermittent shade, and the magnificent canyon walls. We continued up the canyon for about another 2 miles just to see the impressive Death Canyon Shelf. All in all, a memorable full day hike.