SWH – Stage 5 – Jacob’s Lake to South Rim



Nankoweap Trail | Grand Canyon.

Distance:  102 miles (164.2 km)

Start:  Highway 89A, AZ

Finish:  South Rim, Grand Canyon, AZ

Time: 4 days (March 18-21, 2012)

Daily Average: 25.5 miles (41 km)

Total Distance:  693 miles (1,115 km)


  • Nankoweap Trail: Wow. Entering the Grand Canyon via Saddle mountain, we descended nearly 5000 ft to Nankoweap creek, via a rock wall hugging, switchbacking, absolute gem of a path.
  • Little Colorado River: The aqua marine coloured waters of the Little Colorado made for a striking contrast with the emerald green hue of its big brother.
  • South Kaibab Trail: Amazing views during our ascent out of the Grand Canyon. Very popular trail. Lots of people carrying very, very large packs (60 lbs plus).


  • None that come to mind.

Notes & Musings:

  • Hitching Across the Colorado River: When journeying to and from hikes in remote areas of the globe, transport options are generally few and far between. Very often, a walker’s only recourse is to hitch. Over the past two decades, I have stuck out the thumb in more than 50 countries over six continents. Some of the more memorable rides have included a tractor in eastern Turkey, a yacht down the Beagle Channel, the side of a cement truck in Jordan and a Ferrari in rural Ireland. However, never before the Grand Canyon had I ever hitched a lift on a raft. A big thanks to Jason, Peter and their whole crew, who were not only kind enough to shuttle Mike and I across the Colorado River, but even threw a couple of beers and burritos into the bargain!
  • Living Up To The Hype: The Grand Canyon provided an amazing ending to the Hayduke section of the SW Horseshoe. It is impossible to overstate its jaw dropping beauty. Justifiably considered one of the world’s natural wonders.



SWH – Stage 5 – Jacob’s Lake to South Rim — 4 Comments

  1. Swami, It was great to see you again a few weeks ago south of Lake Roosevelt. Keep up the fun times on your fantastic trip!!!

    Papa Bear

  2. It was a pleasure meeting you and Gambler and talking about trails. We never saw another hiker on the HDT. Looks like you’ve done A LOT of good hiking, many trails we want to do. You did miss out on some quality struggle and pain from Muav saddle to Hildale (slip+slides, boulderhopping, dangerous stream crossings, the AZ strip…). Some of the toughest of the trail we thought. All so beautiful and wild though. Hope the rest of your horseshoe went well and all your other hikes.

    • Hey Pace and Whitefish,
      Great meeting you guys as well! Congratulations on completing the Hayduke. Hopefully one of these days I will have the opportunity to go back and complete the sections Gambler and I missed.
      Swami (aka Cam)

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