Topacoba Route Grand Canyon

"Live the life that you imagine,What is your next great adventure?"The Topocoba trail to Havasupai is seldom used today. It is marked on theGrand Canyon Trails Illustrated map but I do not know anyone who has hikedit. Thousands of tourists each year, with Havasupai as their destination,instead, travel the 10 mile long Hualapai trail that is well worn and easywalking.The Topocoba hilltop trail was the old mail route into the village ofSupai.This route traverses one of the highest terraces in the Grand Canyon.Permission from the Havasupai Tribe and the BRO at the Grand CanyonNationalPark is necessary to hike this route. This route crosses the Havasupai'sancestral lands that the tribe reveres as sacred.This was a special opportunity, as my friend Bob Audretsch, a Grand CanyonRanger had special permission from a council member, and invited me tojoinhim on this 20 +mile day hike.I drove to Tusyan Thursday afternoon and met Bob for a Pizza pig out (carboload)We then downed 2 quarts of Ben & Jerry's for the salt content. The nextmorning we got up at 2:00 A.M. and drove 37 miles of backroad. The road toPasture Wash turnoff as well as all the way out to Topocoba ismoderately rutted. Three Havasupai guys were collecting fees includingonewearing a side arm!!! They woke up at 4 AM when we came up!We had a high clearance 4wd vehicle but evenwith that we had to park about 3 miles from the trail top at thebeginning of the road going up onto Great Thumb. Near the top of thetrail we followed an apparently earlier trail going directly down LeeCanyon and found that washed out and thus cliffed out. Moving backup the trail we then moved slightly south and found the switchbacksthrough the Coconino. Once through the Coconino the trail generallyfollows the bed of Lee Canyon till it meets Havasu Canyon and then ofcourse follows Havasu Canyon north. Because of the recent rainsthere were significant potholes in the ravine bed filled with water.We saw no other people all the time we were out on the trail. We did seenumerous elk, 1 deer and three wild horses. There were many qualitypetroglyphs.The trail was surprisingly in decent condition. There was not a cloud inthe sky until late afternoon and we hiked out in 100+ temp. There is only2200' of elevation gain but most of it comes at the end.We finished hiking after 3:00 P.M. and I left Bob's at 5:45 and was home bynine. That is a best time for me. I have an early plane to catch tomorrowA.M. to Portland where I am visiting my son Jake as well as spending a weekat a Mountain Climber's lodge at Mt. Hood. I will be doing some volunteerwork on stream restoration of a tributary to the Salmon and hiking theWilderness areas around Mt. Hood.Tomorrow, Jake and I plan on doing a coast hike at Tilamook.

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