This was another good hike. We wanted to complete a Salt Trail hike, but all the rain forced us to change our plans. This was my 41st hike in the Grand Canyon and there was more rain on this hike than my first forty hikes combined. Fortunately for us, the vast majority of the rain came at night when we had already made camp.
The Papago Slide and Wall are obstacles that should not be taken lightly. They are difficult with some exposure. There are several advantages to doing this hike from east to west (opposite the direction we did it). The three times I did it in a westerly direction I was able to hitch a raft ride past the Wall and Slide. If you aren't able to hitch a raft ride, the Wall is much easier climbing up than having to come down it. I also think it is easier going down the Slide than climbing it. Going westbound also allows you to descend Escalante Creek instead of having to make that long, unrelenting climb up it.
This was my first time to use alum in muddy water to speed the settling of suspended silt. It really works well and allowed us to filter in about an hour. On other hikes, I have had to wait overnight before filtering. The container of alum was quite small and weighed almost nothing.
I can't tell you how neat it was to have pizza on a hike. If you want to learn how to do this, contact Adrian on the Grand Canyon Hikers Forum:
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.