Clear Creek is a scenic side canyon accessed via an 8 mile trail departing about a mile beyond Phantom Ranch. The trail climbs steeply for the first 2 miles to the tonto plateau then is fairly level until reaching Clear Creek. There is a scary descent down to Clear Creek over loose rubble at the end. I was there for 2 nights and had the place all to myself.
Clear Creek Canyon
I left Bright Angel campground about 4 am and was up on the tonto plateau by sunrise. Around 10:30 clear creek canyon came into view. The trees lining clear creek can be seen down in the canyon.
After a long hot hike,it was wonderful to relax in the cool water!
Clear Creek campsite
pitched my tent in the shade of trees right beside clear creek.
Clear Creek at the Colorado River
a hike of nearly 6 miles leads down clear creek to its junction with the Colorado River. There is no real trail,you have to walk on one side or the other and sometimes right in the creek itself. Felt good on a hot late Sept day! About .5 mile from the Colorado River this cliff is reached. It is maybe 15 ft high but I wasn`t sure that I could re ascend it if I slithered on down,so this is as far as I got. Very nice spot to have lunch though!
Colorado River is just around the bend
gazing down from the top of the cliff
Returning from Clear Creek
After camping for 2 nights at Clear Creek---middle day was spent hiking down to Colorado river--I began the hike back along the Clear Creek trail. Started before dawn and was on the trail early in the morning to avoid the worst heat.
South Kaibab trail
I made good time,reaching the heights above Phantom Ranch around 11 am. To the left,the S Kaibab trail can be seen zig zagging down the cliffs.
Boats at silver bridge
a few rafts and kayaks can be seen below just after departing from the Boat Beach at Bright Angel campground. I continued on down the trail and arrived at Phantom Ranch just in time to buy lunch. a sandwich was a nice change from trail food. I was going to have a beer also but they wanted $4 a can,so made do with lemonade.
the river trail connects the S Kaibab and Bright Angel trails. It is about 2 miles long. I hiked it away from Phantom Ranch in early afternoon headed on up to the Indian Gardens campground.
Sunrise last day
I reached Indian Gardens late afternoon and hiked about a mile out on the Tonto east trail to camp for the 7th and final nite. (I was really supposed to camp way back on Clear Creek trail at sumner wash but since I`d gotten there around 11 am,I decided to press on) Beautiful sunrise next morning.