Although our hike was no more than about 4.5 miles of walking distance, it took 6 hours because of steep terrain. We hiked up one canyon, across the Esplanade (the terrace on top of the Redwall limestone), dropping into the next canyon and using it as a return route to the river.  The guides strapped the rafts together and floated them two river miles downriver so we could hike without doubling back.  This day was for me a highlight of this trip.

  From our camp on a beach just upstream of Nankoweap Creek we look 1500 ft straight up at The Diving Board, a point on the Esplanade. This morning we'll climb to the Diving Board

    On top of the Diving Board, looking upriver.  The beach we camped on last night is directly behind and below us.  You can see in the background the continuation of the Redwall Limestone, it is atop this layer that we will hike for about the next 1.5 miles.

    When we departed I snapped this one, and it turned out pretty cool!

    We turned downriver to continue hiking.

Hey, cool!  Down there is the beach we'll be camping at tonite!  Can you see the yellow rafts pulled up on the beach?  From here you can plainly discern two deltas - the closer is the product of  Little Nankoweap Canyon, and the one at top from Nankoweap Canyon, which is the actual boundary of Grand Canyon National Park.  Those of our party who were on the beach below later told us that they could plainly see us above and even hear us talking from the edge of this terrace.....I believe I also snapped this page's background photo from this spot.

    High above the Esplanade, in the midst of an old rock-fall, our guides showed us a big boulder with many petroglyphs on it.

    On the route dropping into Little Nankoweap Canyon.

    The route drops off the nose of this ridge of the redwall limestone, reappearing hundreds of feet further below at lower right.  Can you see Steve on the lower left corner of this photo?  This portion of the route, like a short part of the climb up,  involved some short sections of class 4 downclimbing and traversing along ledges with half our feet exposed.

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