Horseshoe Mesa 2 Day
Level 2: Beginner Backcountry - Appropriate for more adventurous families and more active beginner backpackers. Level 2 trips still involve manageable daily mileage, but will be more ambitious overall itineraries, with opportunity for more aggressive side hiking and a little less relaxation. These trips will involve mostly well-maintained, but also some unmaintained trails.X
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Total Distance with loaded backpack: 6.2 miles (10.0 km). Elevation loss / gain: -2,500’ / +2,500’ (-762 m / +762 m).
Day 1: Grandview Point to Horseshoe Mesa, via Grandview trail. 3.1 miles (5.0 km), -2,500’ (-762 m), Difficult. Backpackers begin their trip with a drive from Flagstaff to Grandview Point on the South Rim. The Grandview trail is a rugged yet intimate historic trail that is instantly fascinating with its steepness and exposure. The hike to Horseshoe Mesa is filled with scenic traverses, punctuated by interesting passages through the Toroweap and Coconino layers. Lunch can be enjoyed along the trail, or after the backpacking group reaches the campsite. From Horseshoe Mesa camp, there are opportunities to explore remnants of the Last Chance Mine, the Cave of the Domes, or the east or west arms of the Mesa itself. In the evening, expect an amazing dinner, brilliant sunset and an unobstructed dome of stars. En route: no water or toilets available. At camp: no water immediately available, composting toilets available.
Day 2: Horseshoe Mesa to Grandview Point, via Grandview trail. 3.1 miles (5.0 km), +2,500’ (+762 m), Difficult. On this exit day, backpackers enjoy breakfast at camp and the possibility of one more side excursion (dependent upon the season) before retracing their steps back to Grandview Point. Although Horseshoe Mesa is a dry camp, guides will see that there is plenty of drinking water available at camp and on the hike out. At the top, our backpacking groups relax near the trailhead and savor their accomplishments over a sandwich and cold refreshment. En route: no water or toilets available.