We then made our way back to the secret free camping spots. Only to find out, the secret was out. We got there around 8pm and all of the easily accessible spots were taken. So we made the journey up the steep, very rocky road. We only got stuck one time. The Honda Civic we rented proved to be a trusty steed as we made this trip 3 times. Our spot was tucked in off the road and had a fire-pit. We ate noodles made over the Biolite and enjoyed a few beers.
Most of the hike is in sand, but you do have to traverse rocks occasionally. We were there during mid-day and we still remained heavily shaded by the tall walls on our sides. There are plenty of places to sit on the sides of the river to take breaks and have a snack. It's quite busy in the beginning, but after only 30 minutes, we were past the crowds and all of the kids. I realized on this hike that one thing I love sharing with Aaron is our hatred for rotten little children. We hiked all the way through Wall Street. There wasn't a moment when we weren't completely taken with our surroundings. I've never done anything like this before and I would go back in a heart-beat.
The day started out lovely. We took down our camp and set-up at a different spot that would ensure a great view at sunset that night. We ate fruit for breakfast and stopped for espresso in town. We hit the trailhead by 9:30 am, and I would suggest that you don't do it any later than this. For the start of the hike, the sun hadn't risen over the towering walls of the canyon yet, so we were shaded for the majority of the ascent. The trail is paved until you reach Scout's Lookout (the turnaround point for people unwilling to do the death-defying scramble up the spine of the mountain).
We retreated to our campsite and watched the sunset onto the red stone. We ate a fine meal of potatoes and shared a $3.99 bottle of wine. It was a good day.
- Elevation: 500 feet
- Distance: 3 miles RT
- Elevation: Nil
- Distance: Up to 10 miles (including the paved trail from the shuttle stop)
- Elevation: 1,500 feet
- Distance: 5 miles RT