Hakatai Canyon Part of the W.W. Bass empire. Access to this area is quite difficult due to the steep and rough terrain between Shinumo and Hakatai. There was once a constructed trail to support the asbestos mine, but apparently Bass later used a cross-river cable connecting to Copper Canyon. The scramble down the creekbed to the river is a tough go, with pools and slippery drops. The chancy water in the bed is heavily flavored by minerals. Mining tools and many other signs of activity are in evidence.
For access downstream to the river, start up the trail to the west a short distance and descend the slope to the streambed below the major drop in the bed. The trip to the river is a long one with many bends. The last section makes a series of 4 notable obstacles: 2 minor climbs, a very bad slot with a high bypass left, and another easy final bypass. Where the streambed turns at the 2nd downclimb is where the trail up to the tram is located descending the slope from the tram is an alternate river access, although it does not immediately appear workable from the top.
The tram platform is located on the saddle of the ridge that forms the upstream divide between the river and the streambed. Trail construction can be found on either side of the divide. The best guess is that this cable was used to transport ore and supplies but not much else because it is high above the river and not as solid as the cable crossing above Shinumo beach.
The 2005 exploration trip was the basis for a segment of the April 2006 GCHBA Hikers Seminar this presentation is available as part of a DVD set from GCHBA.org.
Trails The nearly obliterated trail that passes through Burro Canyon from Shinumo Canyon to this point, and somewhat beyond toward Walthenberg Canyon, deserves the name of Waltenberg Trail. See notes on Circumambulation of Powell Plateau.
1990 September - The Circumambulation: day 8. Too tired to make the scramble down to the river.
2004 October - We reach the access ravine and I go down to check the route, but stopped at a 30 foot drop.
2005 October - Repeat to locate the old mine trail in upper Hakatai with success. Downstream to the riverbank and locating the tram trail and platform.