Jumpup-Muav Saddle Area
The mini-blogs

Various Short Trip Reports

by Dennis Foster

Racetrack Knoll is a prominent feature in Kanab Canyon.

Click on any picture to see a larger image.

     Writing up a full-fledged trip report for every hike I have done in the Grand Canyon would suffer from at least two problems.  One, there are plenty of trips where not much happened.  This was especially the case for day trips that I took mostly for the purpose of hiking down and back as fast as I could.  Second, it would get repetitive.  How many trip reports do you need to read on hiking to Plateau Point?  Well, just one really.  But, there are usually some interesting features to remark on for every hike, and some unique photos.  So, I will endeavor to fill in this page (and, others) with these short stories and photos.  They are arranged, from top to bottom, in chronological order and linked to the list below.

2011/08/07 -  A short, hot hike down Sowats


A short, hot, hike down Sowats
Sunday, August 7, 2011

         On the Yahoo Grand Canyon Group one member wrote the following (in late July or early August):

     On our hike this summer to Indian Hollow via Ojojojo we spent a night on a rock formation facing into Kwagunt. After we returned home, my wife noticed that she had lost/left a silver necklace on which a nitroglycerine container containing her parents ashes was attached. She is fairly certain that it is on a rock or laying on the slickrock of the overhang under which we camped that one night.
     This area is located on the right side of the trail heading to Ojojojo from the cottonwoods at the base of the Sowats trail. As you cross Kwagunt creek and climb out of the bed the end of the rock formation is on your right. You can contour right or left to reach the front of the formation where I hope the necklace is.  It isn't much out of the way and it would make a certain lady very happy if it can be found.

     I hadn't been to Sowats in quite a while, and based on the note, I thought I could drive up there and do a short day hike to see if I might be able to find the lost necklace.  This time of year can be a good time to hike, with clouds usually rolling in during the afternoon and dumping some rain in northern Arizona.  Alas, it was not to be for this hike.  It was sunny all day, and very hot.  But, this hike is short, the elevation change is moderate (from 6100 ft. on the rim to 4500 ft. on the Esplanade), and there are shady spots to duck out of the sun.
     I left home at 6 a.m. and was parking at the trail head at 10 a.m., having covered just a couple of miles short of 200, about 75 of which is over dirt roads.  There wasn't anyone else there, of course.  Even with the possibility of clouds and rain, it is so hot that few are willing to saddle up for a trip at this time of year.
     From the rim, the trail comes down a shallow ravine to the top of the Coconino.  Then, it contours north to a talus slope that takes it down to the Esplanade.  It only took me 70 minutes to reach a clump of cottonwood trees in the main bed of Kwagunt, which I could see from the upper part of the trail.  I cached a frozen bottle of water above the Coconino, for the hike out, and another bottle here at these trees.  I was surprised to find a trickle of water in the bed.  I didn't need it, but did use it to wet my kerchief.
     By noon I was scouting around the overhang that matched the description in the Yahoo note.  For an hour I poked around.  The overhang goes around a little sky island of Supai rocks.  I walked down toward the deeper cut into the Supai and on top of this little island.  I did find some old cans, which may well be from the days of the cowboy camps that dotted this region.  Maybe.  But, no necklace.  I ate my lunch in the shade of the overhang and it was quite pleasant.  But, once back in the sun, it was very hot.
     By 2 p.m. I was on my way.  I picked up my water at the cottonwood trees.  At 3:10 I reached my water cache atop the Coconino.  My trail notes read, "Hot! Hot! Hot! No shade."  The water cache spot was shady and I was feeling the effects of the heat, so I stayed there for 45 minutes.  A bit before 4 p.m. I got back on the trail and reached my truck at 4:30 p.m.
     On my way home, I made a stop out at Sowats Point proper, which is less than a half mile from the trail head.  Then, I chose a return route along the dirt roads to go by the trail to Brow Monument.  This is a huge cairn set up by the Powell party in 1872 as part of their winter survey work on the Kaibab Plateau.  Many years ago my father and I hiked out to the "monument" and I took a couple of pictures that didn't turn out.  So, I keep thinking that I have to do that again.  But, it is two miles from the road, so I will have to defer that to another trip.  I got back home at 9:40 p.m., so it was a long day hike!

Map showing area of interest.

My truck parked at trailhead.

Fading trailhead sign.

Looking back at initial ravine.

Amazingly, there was a small
trickle of water in among the
bushes above the cottonwoods.
Luckily, I didn't need to try it!

The cottonwood grove. 

Looking down to Esplanade.

Historic trash?

The suspected site. 

Atop the rocks, looking down canyon.

Atop rocks, looking up canyon.

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