As we proceeded down canyon, the canyon walls grew higher.
We found lots of pools of water, and it was fun finding ways to skirt them.
It got more difficult as we went downstream, but there were lots of ledges.
The canyon goes down several dry waterfalls, but there are ways around them. Sometimes we were about 30 feet above the canyon floor. I didn't worry much about the kids, they are good climbers.
The last part was the least fun, just climbing over boulders and navigating around sticky mud. (Read--lots of kid whining!) But the reward was great--we made it to the Colorado River! We were now in Grand Canyon National Park.
Well, you know how kids are with water. They can't resist. They asked if they could go in the water, and I said sure. The water is released not far upstream from the Glen Canyon Dam and is only about 45 degrees F, so it's chilly. Nonetheless, they had fun.
The nearby rapids created some waves on the beach, so they did some wave hopping.
Desert Girl in particular seemed to really enjoy the water.
The kids would have liked to stay longer, but we still had to hike back and drive a couple more hours, so it was time to put the muddy shoes back on.
The hike back went smoother, the kids were now in a better mood after their playtime in the river. I find that they often go through various moods on any hike/bike. Overall they enjoy the experience, but there is bound to be some complaining at some point.
They were singing on the way back, so they had found their hiking groove.
I was awed by the scenery. I was also grateful the weather was cooperating. Flash flood debris was much higher than we were, so this is a place to stay out of when it's raining or there's a chance of rain.
Route finding was something we practiced on this hike. Rock cairns and muddy footprints were about all that gave hints to the best travel routes.
I offered the kids another chance to swim--but they declined.
Finally we were back to our big culvert entrance/exit. I was impressed with the steps they had poured to make access easier into the wash.
It was getting late so we didn't go down to Lee's Ferry (I'm hoping I will get to go there another time, perhaps on a river trip??), but we did stop at Navajo Bridge.
Desert Boy had said he wanted to float downstream on the Colorado River from Cathedral Wash. It looked like if he had, it would have been extremely difficult to get out at the bridge and make it up to the edge. I was fascinated by the mixing water--it's green coming out of the dam, but then the muddy tributaries start changing the river color.
Here's the bridge we crossed over Marble Canyon. It certainly makes travel a lot easier!
More of our canyon adventures to come...