Trip Reports: Tapeats/Deer Creek Loop, Grand Canyon, Arizona - April 2015

Last week we repeated a backpacking trip down into the Grand Canyon which we had done several years ago — a “lollipop” loop from the north rim down to Thunder River and Tapeats Creek, along the Colorado River, and up Deer Creek. When we hiked this route the first time back in November 2012, we did it in three days and it felt much too rushed and strenuous. But it was so impressive that we’ve been excited to return — this time with five days to relax and soak in the scenery.

Arizona, Grand Canyon, hiking, Surprise Valley, photo

Hiking down towards Surprise Valley.

Arizona,Grand Canyon,waterfall, Thunder Spring, photo

Thunder Spring

Thunder Spring pours out from deep in the earth.

Arizona,Grand Canyon,Thunder River,panorama,waterfall, photo

Thunder River Panorama

Thunder Spring is an incredible spring that emerges from a cliff wall of the Grand Canyon nearly 4000 feet below the canyon rim with the force of a roaring river.

Arizona, Grand Canyon, hiking, photo

Looking small in a big canyon, above Tapeats Creek.

Arizona, Grand Canyon, hiking, Tapeats Creek, photo

Hiking down into Tapeats Creek.

Arizona, Grand Canyon, wildflowers, hiking, photo

Hiking down the Tapeats Creek valley towards the Colorado River - April.

The canyon was in full bloom with a variety of wildflowers rivaling that found in summer alpine meadows. These yellow ones were the most prominent in the lower canyon.

Arizona,Colorado River,Grand Canyon,wildflowers, photo

Colorado River Flowers

Wildflowers along the Colorado River.

Arizona,Colorado River,Grand Canyon, photo

The Colorado River

The mighty Colorado River. The river's water should be an orangish brown color; however the Glen Canyon Dam upstream collects all the natural silt leaving the river downstream an unnatural (if pleasant) green color.

Arizona,Colorado River,Grand Canyon, photo

Colorado River Camp 2

Evening over the Colorado River.

Arizona,Deer Creek,Grand Canyon, photo

Deer Creek Narrows

The slot canyon narrows of Deer Creek.

Arizona,Deer Creek,Grand Canyon,waterfall, photo

Claudia auditioning for a shampoo ad in Deer Creek.

Arizona,Deer Creek,Grand Canyon,waterfall, photo

Behind the Falls

The spring waterfall of Deer Creek.

Arizona, Grand Canyon, photo

Relaxing in the “Throne Room” where there are about a dozen rock thrones than have been built under a large alcove next to the Deer Creek waterfall spring.

Arizona,Grand Canyon,wildflowers, photo

Canyon Yellows

A canyon slope full of yellow wildflowers in April.

Arizona,Grand Canyon, sunset, Crazy Jug Point, photo

Crazy Jug Sunset

Sunset over the Grand Canyon, as seen from near Crazy Jug Point.

Related Galleries