Grand Canyon Off the Trail

An Explorer's Catalog of the Grand Canyon of the Colorado

Webpages by Doug Nering

"Even the liar is abashed, discouraged, disheartened, as he looks upon it, as it is the one, and only thing, in nature which is too great, too vast, to be exaggerated." — J.C. Martin, Editor, Prescott Journal Miner, 1894.

Grand Canyon NewsBlog — What's happening?!!

This Catalog of Places is organized as a record of treks to various locations and landmarks in the Grand Canyon, and is offered as a resource to those with an interest in backcountry hiking. Access is organized in two forms: one the traditional alphabetic and the other as a graphic map (not ready yet). In cases where the trip was somewhat adventuresome or exploratory, more detailed notes can be found in Grand Canyon Trips and Grand Canyon Routes. The emphasis is on remote places and off-trail routes, so this is not a trail guide, but a brief description of popular trails is given in Grand Canyon Trails.

Alphabetic List of Places

Graphic Map of Places [not available]

The same descriptive material is available either way. At the end of each description the connecting trails and known routes are summarized. Finally, each visit I have made to the spot is noted along with anything memorable. No location is listed that has not been visited, so there are a fair number of places still missing. Visits don't really count unless reached on foot.

This is a collection of writings accumulated over years of an evolving experience with Grand Canyon. At first it was just keeping track of places I had been and useful information for planning future trips... trying to gather my recollections before they escaped. Then, I started accumulating books — many out of print either when I got them or soon afterward — and correlating information sources and historic curiosities. I began to take an interest in locating the sites of old photographs and rediscovering old trails and routes. Next, as the trips turned more exploratory I began to accumulate route descriptions not usually found in guidebooks. Finally, I realized that the trips themselves were an interesting subject and began to record more of the experience.

When I first started backcountry hiking you just knocked on the door of the ranger cabin, filled out an information sheet, and off you went. Now people plan trips months in advance and have to worry a little about whether they can get the location and season they want, and whether anything will disrupt arrangements for their permit date. This makes it much harder to accumulate the information and experience needed for a safe and successful trip into the more remote areas. Despite increasing use and popularity, few authentic and reliable guidebooks to the Grand Canyon backcountry are currently in print. There are good sources (see Essential Books and Essential Maps), but none can be considered comprehensive. What I have to offer can scarcely be considered comprehensive either, but I believe that it can help fill many gaps, and I think this is much more useful than a printed text.

Grand Canyon Photos — Best photos and where and why.

Grand Canyon Trips — Detailed accounts of specific trips, by-place-by-day.

Grand Canyon Routes — Briefly, how to get to a few less-often visited places.

Grand Canyon Notes — Personal opinions, observations, recommendations and cautions related to Grand Canyon hiking and exploring.

Grand Canyon Trails — A brief description and comparision of the popular trails.

Grand Canyon Glossary — A definition of terms found here and in other references.

Doug's Trip Log — A summary of experience in and around Grand Canyon... including hiking, rafting, skiing and cycling. There are many with more extensive knowledge and experience... like most of us, I just do what I can.

Grand Canyon Links — Share knowledge, experience and interest in the Grand Canyon.

If you have a comment or correction send e-mail to Doug Nering.