Rock Garden

Copper Canyon — Located immediately downriver from Bass Canyon and part of the W.W. Bass empire. There are a number of interesting things to see here, all easily missed passing through on the Tonto. There is a shortcut route entering the streambed from the east just below the west sidecanyon. The old map shows this route contouring along the southern slope of a small hill and then going down directly to the point below. At the cliff, this route shows extensive trail construction and was apparently used by Bass to take out copper ore from the area, and asbestos from across the river in Hakatai Canyon. A less-used route breaks the opposing Tapeats rim a short distance downstream and an agave pit sits on the rim just south of this break. The bottom of the streambed also shows signs of trail construction along the east wall continuing downstream to the copper mine and camp, but it does not go to the river. The upper part of this constructed route appears to leave the streambed, switchback south, and climb to the ledge below the Tapeats. Signs of a formerly well-built trail can be followed almost to the point at the upriver side of the canyon opening. Beyond this, the route seems obscure or knocked out, but parts can be found to continue to the river opposite of the mouth of Shinumo Creek and on to the Bass ferry site. Mining gear, tunnels, old trails and prospects are found everywhere, as if Bass and Waltenburg had whittled on this place like a stick of wood.

Trails — Tonto Trail continuing downriver. Generally, this is used on the return from Royal Arch to Bass Canyon through Garnet Canyon, and this also connects with Elves Chasm.

Routes — Several routes intersect in the bed of Copper Canyon. An old constructed trail enters from the east to the streambed and continues downstream. Another constructed trail goes from the streambed along the base of the Tapeats to the Bass Ferry site. Another old route goes below the Tapeats to the cable site opposite Hakatai Canyon. See notes on Bass/Copper area.

1991 October - With Danny, from Bass ferry to Copper Canyon, and further explorations on return from trip to Elves Chasm. This was a two-rattlesnake trip. Ram skeleton found on streambed trail shelf. Much-needed water in granite tanks. Hot (85°+).

1993 April - Overnight for day 4 of Royal Arch Route; good water supply in granite. Water flowing from the mineshaft.


Catalog of Places - Trips - Routes - Notes