The most beautiful hike I have ever been on! Goose and Drew tied the four boats together and rowed, one on each of the two outside boats, about 3 miles downstream from our camp to meet us at the end of our hike. We started our hike just above Tapeats Rapid toward Thunder River. This river begins as a huge waterfall that comes out of a hole in the middle of a rock wall. Cottonwoods, shrubs, and greenery line the river as it cascades down toward Tapeats Creek below. The waterfall seemed to get more and more amazing the closer we got to it.
We then hiked up to a plateau called Surprise Valley which we crossed and then started our descent down Deer Creek, where we encountered another waterfall coming out of a hole in a rock wall. This time you could actually sit behind the river and look through it. Beautiful.
Below this second waterfall we found a collection of rock thrones that people have built over the years. We sat in various thrones with staffs to rule our little kingdoms. After spending about an hour here we continued down to a small creek. We followed this through a wide wash until the canyon narrowed and the water began dropping into a deep slot canyon.
It was amazing. BJ and I bathed at the mouth of the slot canyon near a small waterfall and then continued hiking down along the rim of the slot canyon. It wasn’t long before you could hear but not see the water below.
Once the canyon opened up to the Colorado we still had to descend a couple hundred feet to the river. Then ANOTHER huge waterfall. All the water that flowed into the slot canyon empties out into a pool, dropping about 100 feet. Camping at Pancho’s Kitchen tonight, just across the river from the end of our hike.