|Monadnock Canyon The name
of this place is appropriately geologic from the ancient hills of Supergroup
rocks that are prominent above the Tapeats layers here. Such residual hills
embedded in a more recent structure are known as monadnocks. Another place
like this is at the edge of the Tonto just west of Zoroaster Canyon. The
main canyon of this area has not been given any official map name but it
seems obvious what it should be. This is quite a nice side-canyon to walk
through when not in a hurry, with huge cliffs up the side, a major fork
to the east, and some interesting geology at the upper end (the monadnock)
and in the lower bed as well. There is a granite pouroff with a surprising
easy walkaround and an interesting S-curve back on itself close by to the
river. The riverbank access passes over the ridge on the upriver side above
this S-curve, and this is part of the Steck Loop route. But a much faster
way to travel through here is to stay up on the Tonto level.
Routes Part of the Tuna/Shinumo Loop in GCLH-I. Downriver to Hotauta; upriver to Scorpion Bay. It is not possible to head the upper end of the west arm of Monadnock Canyon due to a geologic fold created where the Supergroup pushes up as a monadnock on the west side. This place forms a barrier gap in the Tonto just where the rock type changes when approaching from the west. The descent into the bed is not very easy to locate, but required just one pack letdown. Near the streambed along this descent is a possible pothole watersource, but there does not seem to be any reliable water near here. The eastside access of the west fork is an easy slope and similarly easy passing the east fork sidecanyon. The section from Monadnock to the Tapeats break above Hotauta goes quite fast, and even faster by taking the upper Tonto shelf around the end of the point immediately downriver from Monadnock - this is a useful shortcut at several other places also noted. Another important shortcut opportunity exists at the east end of Monadnock Amphitheater where there is a fairly large hill on the west slope of the last sidecanyon before Scorpion Bay. This saddle may not seem accessible, but there is a good break in the cliff on the east side and no obstacle of any kind on the west; this takes some distance off contouring around this hill.
2004 October - Here with Gene and Bob, we spent 2 nights (Camps 2 and 3) along with the day between in the rain, mostly under ledges in the upper west fork - the second night at another ledge above the east fork. The result was that we had ample water for our hike in the days that followed, but a day behind schedule. No complaints. Really, it was a gift to us from the Canyon. At the eastern end of Monadnock Amphitheater we first see the limestone rockpiles around yucca plantings that we continue to encounter at almost every place from here to Trinity.