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This little-used trail leads from the south rim through Bass Canyon to the Colorado River. The approach to this trailhead and conditions along it should be well researched.

This trail lies in the western portion of the Grand Canyon outside of the well-trodden Grand Canyon Village. It leads seven and a half miles northward crossing a wide plateau and descending Bass Canyon to reach the river. Across the Colorado River the North Bass Trail ascends to the north rim of the canyon. There is no bridge or easy way to span the river. This route can be used in conjunction with the Tonto Trail to reach the Boucher or Hermit Trails.

Begin this route from the end of Forest Service Road 2515 at an elevation of 6,646 feet. The trail leads eastward descending along the upper striations of the canyon for almost one half mile. Reaching an elevation of 6,140 feet, the track begins a steep descent along a series of switchbacks that follow the eastern side of a drainage leading into Garnet Canyon.

Approximately one mile from the top of the switchbacks the trail reaches the wide platform of the Esplanade sandstone and a trail junction. The elevation of this junction is 5,360 feet. Turn right and follow the trail northeastward to a small drainage. Cross this waterway and descend along a set of switchbacks to the Darwin Plateau.

At the bottom of this second set of switchbacks the trail turns sharply eastward and contours the western wall of Bass Canyon for a half mile. It then turns sharply southward and leads a half mile traverse that descends through the upper reaches of the canyon. Turning sharply again the track descends to the drainage of Bass Canyon. Upon reaching the waterway through the canyon the trail begins to descend less steeply.

The trail leads one and three-quarter miles through the canyon to meet the Tonto Trail at 3,200 feet. The trail descends through Bass Canyon for another mile before turning northward and leaving the drainage. The trail reaches the Colorado River west of Bass Rapids, and seven miles from the trailhead.

Directions: From South Entrance Station, Drive southward on Highways 64/180 approximately 1 mile to Forest Service Road 328. Turn right on 328, which is Rowe Well Road. Follow Rowe Well Road approximately 5.5 miles to an intersection with a road leading southwestward from Bright Angel Wash. Turn left (south) on this road and drive less than one mile to a junction with Forest Road 328. Turn right (west) on this road and drive approximately 17 miles to Forest Road 2515, which is Pasture Wash Road. Turn right on this road and travel four miles to the Pasture Wash Ranger Station, which is closed. Continue past this structure along 2515 four miles to the trailhead. This road is often impassable after summer rain, winter snow or during spring thaw. Check conditions at a South Kaibab Ranger Station before attempting to reach this trailhead.

Elevation: 6,646 feet

Ending Elevation: 2,220 feet

Usage: Light

Difficulty: Strenuous

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Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

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The details, dates, and prices mentioned here were accurate at the time of publication.

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