Blue Mountain Canyon and Diamond Creek

"ALL BLEEDING EVENTUALLY STOPS"After spending Sunday evening at the Grand Canyon Caverns Inn and missingthegreat Red Sox victory over Cleveland due to TV problems at the greatLodge,I met part of our group Monday morning at 10:00A.M. The Inn is cheap andmodest, a popular spot to stay the night before a trip to Havasupai Falls.I took the opportunity to tour the Grand Canyon Caverns at 9:00. The tourwas historically interesting, but the caverns were not impressive.My hiking partner Steve joined us around 10:30. He had just completed a 9dayColorado River research trip.The Grand Canyon Field Institute leader Mike Young did not arrive untilpastnoon so we got a late start. Mike is a former river runner and has the lookof a Mountain man.The Western reaches of the Grand Canyon are not seen by many hikers withtheexception of Havasupai, which is extremely popular.This outing began at Hidden Valley, following a route taken by nativeAmericans as they sought the Springs that establish perennial streams inthedrainages of Blue Mountain Canyon and Diamond Creek. We took an overlandroute known only by Mike, with no real trail, we found our way on thefly.This is Hualapai land without a trace of humans. The Hualapai had long leftthis country with their cattle and settled in Peach Springs. We did not seeasoul or anyhuman footprints. In the Hualapai highlands we stopped frequently to enjoypinion nuts, examine schards, spearheads, arrowheads and interesting rocks.We did come across some "kitty tracks" along with a dead snake that hadattempted to swallow a lizard and appeared to suffocate itself. The antswereeating the leftovers. Nature's way.A pack of yipping coyotes visiting our camp woke us the first morning.On day 2 we climbed 750-1000 ft. and camped on a huge mesa that had greatviews of the country including the Tower of Babylon.The next day we examined a cave and started our 2800 ft. descent of theRedwall. This part had some exposure, and the temperature had risen to theupper 90s.Steve and I left the group with about 1000 ft. left to the Blue Mountaindrainage.The group was going a little too deliberate for us and we wanted topossiblyget to the river early and try to get back to Phoenix for a weddingSaturdayafternoon.We consulted with Mike on the route and headed down to find Blue MountainSpring. We had been carrying 2-3 gallons of water and had two drycamps.-Heavy Packs!We were now close to being out of water and needed to find the Spring. Ontheway down a good size rattler greeted us from a shady ledge. He gave usplenty of warning to leave his property immediately and we passed byquickly.We dropped our packs at the bottom and walked a drainage for 4 miles insearch of the Spring. No Spring. A little anxiety. The group had either notarrived or gone down another drainage to the Spring. At this point wedecidedto put on our packs and get to Diamond Creek-perennial water, which lookedto be about three miles. A half mile later we struck it rich with BlueMountain drainage water holes. We pumped and filled our bodies andcamelbacks. A few miles later we hit the gushing Diamond Creek, cooledourseves in a great little pool and then set up camp.The next day we followed Diamond Creek for 12 miles down a rock strewndrainage.There were so many frogs in and along the creek the ground seemed to move.Wepassed through the Diamond Creek narrows. Negotiated a couple of largeboulder climbs without incident.We arrived at Diamond Pt. close to 1:00 P.M. Diamond Pt. is at the ColoradoRiver and where most river trips end.We hitched a ride with a very nice female Hualapai Ranger (for 20 bucks)going back to Peach Springs (About 30 miles of backroad)Out on Thursday afternoon -three days early. Arrived back in Phoenix around7:30 P.M.Overall I rate this trip an 8.5 because of it's remote and uniqueattributes.Few people have passed this way. It was pure, unspoiled Wilderness.

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