Rock Garden

Disappointment Canyon — The major sidecanyon west of Vishnu is a critical access along the Tonto between Clear Creek and Vishnu Canyon. The Grand Canyon Supergroup structures predominate, providing help and hindrance in equal combination. It’s a pretty place, but without water. The name is attributed to the number of hikers who have turned back here in an attempt to reach Vishnu. Actually, the critical decision on sufficient water and/or time should be made at the point below Hawkins Butte.

Routes — The eastern break to Vishnu Canyon is obvious... where the quartzite meets sandstone forming a steep ravine. On the side toward Clear Creek these layers have not accommodated. There is a climbers route at a low point in the cliff where a lump of sandstone nearly joins the rim. For more secure passage, walk up the bed and ascend the ravine going east of an enormous rock tower. Another smaller ravine behind this tower leads to a steep ramp up to a rocky bypass of the pouroff in the main bed. Return to follow the bed and exit going up the broad slope on the west side. Crossing a hump projecting above the Tapeats layers connects again with the Tonto platform to the west.

1998 May - Camp 3 of Bright Angel to Saddle Mountain. Coming from Clear Creek, we realized we would not reach Vishnu in one day. It wasn’t easy finding the bypass from above. Overnight dry-camp at the bottom of the ravine out to the east. It was a little more than 2 hours to the spring west of Vishnu the next day. See notes on the North Rim Passage Trip.


Catalog of Places - Trips - Routes - Notes