This was a really good hike.  Keith got to hike an entire area he had not done before and I picked up that section between Upper Tapeats and Lower Tapeats that I was lacking.  The weather was generally pleasant except for the last night.

     This has to be the toughest Redwall I have ever done.  I calculate that the elevation loss from the very top of the Redwall to the center of Surprise Valley is 1200'.  Our first night's camping spot on the very eastern edge of Surprise Valley by a large boulder was outstanding.  Even though we carried enough water down with us for a dry camp, it would have been easy to day hike from there down to Thunder River for water.

     Thunder River is an astounding feature.  Like Roaring Springs on the North Kaibab Trail, water gushes out of the side of the hill.  It's hard to imagine that there can be this much sub-terrainian water for it to flow like this continuously.

     The section from Upper Tapeats to Lower Tapeats was much tougher than I expected.  I highly suspect that no one continues down creek on the west side due to the dangerous Tapeats section you would have to traverse.  It also was much more of a challenge crossing Tapeats Creek than I thought it would be.  The knee high water level made the crossing a little dangerous.  I can see why many people say the creek is impassable in the spring time when the water level is higher and the flow is stronger.  There is an established trail on the east side of the creek, but there are still some minor upclimbs and downclimbs.  The last section has a nearly vertical descent down to the confluence of Tapeats Creek and the Colorado River.

    We were fortunate to snag a beer from some nice rafters at Lower Tapeats as well as a ride down to Deer Creek Falls.  The falls, the Narrows, and the Patio at Deer Creek are some of the prettiest features in this part of the Canyon.  And, of course, the rock chairs in the Throne Room at Deer Spring are something you don't want to miss.

     Click here for directions to the Monument Point trailhead.

     Numerous critters such as mice, ravens, squirrels, and ringtails are a threat to attack your food in the inner Canyon.  There are several types of food bag defenses against critter attacks.  I use one of the mesh stainless steel bags with a Velcro closure system.  Whichever product you choose, it is important to have one on your hikes.



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