CATHEDRAL WASH-GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK

 
Laura, Francesco, and Daniela Cathedral Wash. Grand Canyon National Park
 The night before, we came with all kinds of blankets and warm clothing in preparation for the 25 degree cold desert night but after having a rustic thanksgiving dinner in the desert, we all decided to get a hotel and sleep in a bit so we could head out to the Grand Canyon.
Cathedral Wash. Grand Canyon National Park
  Francesco and Daniela wanted to check out some of the grand canyon and we decided on visiting a non technical canyon located near the page area. We also had some plans to head over to some Indian petroglyphs possibly the white pocket if we had enough time so we made sure we got some good sleep for the following days activities.  

Cathedral Wash. Grand Canyon National Park
 We got up from a nice night in a warm hotel and headed down to the continental breakfast which was completely full of people which was actually not that surprising to see, given the area we were in.  
Cathedral Wash. Grand Canyon National Park

After heading out on the road we pulled over and Francesco mentioned that he forgot his book in the hotel so he drove back to the hotel and we stayed at a vista overlook taking in the beautiful views but noticing the crowds of people that continued to pour over on the side of the road. At times we found ourselves blocked in from the selfie sticks and the cartwheeling tour bus crowds as they took photos of themselves jumping in the air.   

Cathedral Wash. Grand Canyon National Park

Soon after Francesco and Daniela arrived where we left off so we said goodbye to the circus and headed for some solitude which worked out pretty well for ourselves.

Cathedral Wash. Grand Canyon National Park

We got to the trailhead of the Cathedral wash and a sign was in place next to the trailhead explaining what to expect which was pretty straightforward.  follow the canyon down to the Colorado river and retrace your steps to get back out, easy enough, but watch out for the quick sand.

Francesco Sauro in Cathedral Wash. Grand Canyon National Park

Now there are different ways to view this canyon and other smaller canyons in the region.  The main route, which is non technical is a do a and back trip.  Another route to take is a technical route through a uninterested wash up to a 120ft drop right down to the Colorado river, than up cathedral wash.The canyon started off with a 15-20ft wall as we bypassed some small pools of water and noticed a few interesting weaknesses in the sandstone thus creating a pattern of holes in the wall like a honeycomb.

Cathedral Wash. Grand Canyon National Park
We continued to work our way down the canyon and found three major drops that are easily bypassable

Laura, Francesco, and Daniela in Cathedral Wash. Grand Canyon National Park

The first one was a dry fall that you go right and work your way down tot he bottom with a little partner assist.
Daniela and Francesco in Cathedral Wash. Grand Canyon National Park

The second dry fall you continue to work right and that takes you further down into the canyon floor, this is where the canyon gets interesting.
Laura in Cathedral Wash. Grand Canyon National Park
 The walls start to rise and the sandstone weaknesses are layered creating a beehive looking passage of meandering pastel colored sandstone walls with shelves to walk around the water.
Laura photographing Cathedral Wash. Grand Canyon National Park

Eventually we could hear the Colorado rivers roar which became more and more defined the closer we got the river itself. The walls started to widen and the view of the Colorado was within sight after scrambling over some large boulders.
Cathedral Wash. Grand Canyon National Park
Once we crested over a few more massive boulders the greenish translucent Colorado river was upon us.  and it was moving rather quickly to our surprise.
Laura in Cathedral Wash. Grand Canyon National Park

The rapids were right around class 3 but an Eddie pool had a very interesting rip current at its head which could be deadly to a lot of people that might not know what the reverse waves mean.  This punctuated the fact that we made it to the Colorado river.
Francesco Sauro at the Colorado river from Cathedral Wash. Grand Canyon National Park
It was a interesting site to see and to take in the fact that there are 30 more routes ranging from half day non technical and technical routes to routes that can take up almost a week and are rated a 4 with restriction. That being said this canyon was a 1AII and a nice stroll through the upper tip of the north eastern grand canyon/marble canyon region.
Petroglyphs Vermillion Cliffs, Arizona
There are also a couple other routes by parking a car at the Navajo bridge, crossing the bridge and travelling down 4.4 mile wash ( which I have read is not that interesting ) and another wash called 3.7 mile wash.  I was also reading this was not that interesting either but they would be good if people are looking to have some quick trips and rappel to the Colorado river. We skipped these as we did not have much time and we have our eyes on some canyons down river for the future.
Francesco Sauro at the Colorado river from Cathedral Wash. Grand Canyon National Park

Afterwards we headed to the vermillion cliffs to view some Indian panels and pottery which we caught just as the sun was setting.  Our original plan to head to the white pocket would have included driving in the dark if we stuck to the original plan so we are thankful we did not go that route.  
Broken Pottery Vermillion Cliffs, Arizona


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