Traci Wyrick and I agree to do a Salt Trail hike. The hikers in our group are Traci Wyrick, her brother Craig Schellbach, Adrian and Emily Jantzi, Darcy Freeman, and myself (Richard Perry). Darcy is the only one in our group who has done this hike before. We all study as many trip reports on the Salt Trail that we can find. Traci applies for the permit and gets her first choice of dates. Adrian pays for the Navajo permit and coordinates for a ride out to the trailhead. By having someone drive us out to the remote trailhead, we can leave our cars at Lipan Point for an easy exit when we finish on the Tanner Trail.
I arrive three days early for a few day hikes and acclimation. October is normally one of the driest months at the Canyon, but the extended weather forecast calls for rain for most of next week. It rains on me the entire time during my day hike down the Tanner Trail to Stegosaurus Rock to cache two gallons of water at our intended campsite the last night of our hike. The weatherman got the forecast right as heavy thunderstorms that night absolutely drench northern Arizona. More heavy thunderstorms are predicted for the days we are to be in the Little Colorado River. Out of an abundance of caution, we decide to alter our itinerary and stay out of the LCR during this very wet period. I go by the Backcountry Office and change our permit.
Our new hike will have us going down the Grandview Trail to Hance Creek, across the Tonto to Hance Rapids, east on the Escalante Route, up and over the Papago Slide and Wall (ugh!!), over to Cardenas Creek, on to Tanner Rapids, up the Tanner to Stegosaurus Rock, and out at Lipan Point. We agree to meet at Grandview Point at 11:00 on the first day of our hike.
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