ALL HIKERS

NEW HANCE TRAIL

(7020')
Trailhead to:
Distance from Trailhead
 in miles
Elevation
in feet
Water Toilet Emergency
Phone
Ranger
Station
Designated
Campsite
New Hance
Trail sign
0.2 7000 No No No No No
Water at
first creek
6.7 3240 Untreated No No No No
Hance
Rapids
8.2 2580 Untreated No No No No


     The New Hance trailhead is between Moran Point and the Buggeln picnic area and is indicated by two "no parking" signs on the highway.  Getting to the trailhead is a challenge since there is no parking lot there.  If you don't have an extra person to help with transportation, your best bet is to park in the Moran Point parking lot and try to hitch a ride to the trailhead.  Otherwise you could leave your pack at the trailhead, park at Moran Point, and then walk the 1.2 miles back to the trailhead.    

     When you start your hike, you walk north from the trailhead down an easy, fairly level road almost a quarter of a mile until you come to the New Hance Trail sign.  After this, the trail descends rapidly and has numerous step-downs and some boulder hopping.  It is one of the more challenging trails from the South Rim to the river.  The dominant feature on the top half is Coronado Butte.  You switchback your way down to a green area that continues north until you reach the eastern base of Coronado Butte.  After this, the trail loops to the east and then to the north to a high promenade that has a flat place suitable for camping.  This seems like it will be the break in the redwall, but it is not.  The trail loops once again to the east and then back to the north to the actual break.  There is a large meadow at the base of the redwall with a nice flat area suitable for camping.  When you reach the north side of the meadow, the trail loops back to the east.  I found this easterly section to be one of the harder ones because it is steep with slick footing of red dirt.  When you cross a dry creek bed, the trail turns westerly and heads to the actual creek.  The creek has a smooth, flat-rock area that makes a nice camping spot.  The creek only runs above ground for a few hundred yards, so be sure to filter water before it goes underground.  Half way between the creek and the river you will come to a large, brown boulder on the east side of the trail.  The correct route going toward Hance Rapids at the initial large brown boulder is an S-route: first left (west side) and then right (east side).  Just before the second turn (east side), there are cairns on the west side, but do not follow these.  Look for the correct cairn on the east side of the creek bed.  The trail then goes up above the creek bed for a while until finally returning to the creek bed.  Taking the correct route will allow you to avoid a six-foot drop-down in the middle of the trail and a dangerous ten-foot drop-down on the west side of the trail.  After this the creek bed is primarily pea gravel, which makes for a tiring hike to the rapids.  There is a nice camping spot about two or three hundred yards east of Hance Rapids.

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