This was another good hike. We had no problems going down the New Hance, unlike a commercially guided group where one of their members fell and broke her arm. This trail should not be taken lightly. The Park Service considers it to be the hardest rim-to-river trail on the South side. The steep descents at the top are brutal. The section from Hance Rapids to Hance Creek is straight forward except getting through the rock and boulder field just west of Hance Rapids. That is considerably easier if you pay close attention and remain on the established trail. The remainder of the hike was relatively easy. Keith and I have been to Horseshoe Mesa many times, but we never tire of seeing the old structures and mining equipment there.
Numerous critters such as mice, ravens, squirrels, and ringtails are a threat to attack your food in the inner Canyon. For many years, there were two widely used defenses against critter attack: the Ratsack Cache bag, a mesh, stainless steel bag, which came in three sizes, and the Ursack, a bag made with a Spectra material. I bought both, but preferred the Ratsack because it was larger, cheaper, and had a superior Velcro closure system. Even though the Ratsack company website is still active and will accept your money, many people now indicate they never received their order, their money was not returned, and they could not get the company to return a phone call. Due to the widely reported difficulties and lack of response from the Ratsack company, that product is no longer carried by the General Store in Grand Canyon Village. Two new products have recently come forward to fill the void: the Outsak and the Foodsack. Both are similar in design to the Ratsack and utilize a mesh stainless steel bag with a Velcro closure system. The Outsak is a lighter duty version and some people report that animals were able to penetrate it. The Foodsack is the heavy duty version and appears to be bullet-proof, so it is the product that I recommend. I have and use the Foodsack.
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