Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Dutton Point

Hiked to Dutton Point on Monday for an overnight backpacking trip with a friend. The trail begins on Swamp Point,

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Swamp Point is accessed by a long dirt road through the forests of the North Rim. Many turning points, each road rockier than the last, until finally we reached the rim after sunset. Dutton Point is the prominent edge in the sunlight in the photo above seen from Swamp Point when we departed at dawn. We loaded up our heavy backpacks and went down the Muav Saddle trail about 1,000ft and rested at Roosevelt Cabin:

Some items inside Roosevelt Cabin: 

Nothing i love more than a can of loganberry preserves. 

Next, there is a sharp incline up switchbacks another 1,000ft to the top of Powell Plateau. Here we rested again and stashed some water in the shade for the trip back the next day. We thought the next part of the hike would be easy, but the trail is very overgrown in parts and we were bushwhacking a lot of the time while atop Powell Plateau. Here is Jeremy wading through one of the many flowery meadows we traversed: 

After 5.5 miles of this trudging and constant steep hills, we finally reached Dutton Point, exhausted. But the view was worth the work: 

Probably the most expansive view of the canyon i have seen

At sunset

To the left (north) of Dutton Point

A small (relatively) butte seen from Dutton Point

A crinoid fossil found in the Kaibab Limestone at Dutton Point

That night at Dutton Point we camped under the stars and ponderosa limbs. A new fingernail moon hugged the horizon and allowed for the milky way to be strongly visible. I was satisfied with the hike and view, but the haze in the canyon did not lend itself to the creation of great photography. We talked at length that night in camp about the increasingly hazy skies in the canyon this year compared to previous years. When T.R. said "man can only mar it" he was right. However, i think we've marred it in a way he didn't imagine. i wish i could have seen the canyon in Powell & Dutton's day. At the rate of air pollution today, someone 100 years from now will probably be saying they wished they could have seen the canyon in mine. 

Tuesday Morning we did the hike in reverse. 

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