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East Tonto

Intermediate
 4.9 (7)

This trail gently rolls into and out of seemingly innumerable drainages along its length.


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Map Key

34.4

Miles

55.3

KM

Point to Point

4,039' 1,231 m

High

2,597' 791 m

Low

4,609' 1,405 m

Up

3,546' 1,081 m

Down

4%

Avg Grade (3°)

39%

Max Grade (21°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Description

The Tonto Trail generally follows the path of least resistance as it meanders, sometimes very deeply, back into drainages. It is generally not cairned, but if you lose the trail, as is inevitable, youll find it again if you know your overall direction, grateful to be back after having been shredded by the merciless blackbrush, which forms the dominant plant cover on the Tonto platform.

The Tonto Trail leaves the bed of Cottonwood near the top of the Tapeats Formation, contours around the west arm, and heads west toward Grapevine. Entering Grapevine from the east involves a short section of narrow, eroding trail with significant exposure. The views down into the lower reaches of Grapevine are wonderful, but watch your step. Grapevine is, by far, the largest and most complex side canyon between the New Hance and the South Kaibab Trails.

Looking across the mouth of the drainage from the Tonto Trail the distance seems short, but plan on at least 2-3 hours of steady hiking to cross. The small unnamed drainages between Grapevine and Boulder, and Boulder and Lone Tree, will slow progress, and a little confusion on the west side of Lone Tree is normal, but generally speaking the route between Grapevine and Cremation is straightforward.

Cremation is deceptive because it traverses the Grandview/Cremation monocline. This faulting creates significantly more elevation change than previously encountered along the route, which can be especially tough because of the total lack of water. There is also no river access at Cremation Canyon.

Continuing beyond Cremation Canyon hikers will soon reach South Kaibab Trail and eventually intersect the Bright Angel Trail.

Contacts

Shared By:

Nicholas Shannon with improvements by Patrick Reeves

Trail Ratings

  4.9 from 7 votes

#5

in South Rim

#512

Overall
  4.9 from 7 votes
5 Star
86%
4 Star
14%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#5

in South Rim

#32

in Arizona

#512

Overall
29 Views Last Month
1,621 Since May 7, 2015
Intermediate

0%
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86%
0%
14%
0%

Photos

Hance Rapids
Oct 19, 2015 near Grand C…, AZ
The Indian Garden area of Bright Angel.
Apr 7, 2015 near Grand C…, AZ

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Check-Ins

Apr 25, 2019
Chris McCloud
Done over several weekends working at GRCA 2019. Beautiful in spring for blooms.
Nov 20, 2018
Abe H
Tanner-Escalante-Tonto-Hance Creek-Grandview. Did the east 6.5 miles. 6.5mi — 2h 00m
Nov 28, 2017
Kate McConnell
Nov 26, 2017
Kate McConnell
Oct 14, 2017
Nick Greb
Got here from south kibab stayed over night at Indian garden
Mar 11, 2017
Mikhaila Redovian
Testing check ins!!
May 5, 2016
Tina Tasso
Hiked this trail back in 2011.
Jan 19, 2016
Bianca Macho
5mi