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Grand Canyon National Park Clear Creek Trail


Approximately 1/4 Mile North of Phantom Ranch on the North Kaibab Trail.


Phantom Ranch, Clear Creek , Colorado River, and seasonally at Sumner Wash (Potholes). THERE IS NO RELIABLE WATER SOURCE BETWEEN PHANTOM RANCH AND CLEAR CREEK!


The Clear Creek use area is currently designated as at large camping with the following exceptions: No camping in the Clear Creek drainage from it's mouth at the Colorado River upstream to the first major side canyon entering from the east, and between the North Kaibab/Clear Creek Trail junction and Sumner Wash, a distance of two miles. There are several campsites along the Clear Creek Trail on the Tonto Plateau. At Clear Creek, there are four campsites along the creek. They are not designated, but are recognizable. BE AWARE THAT THIS AREA MAY BE SUSCEPTIBLE TO FLASH FLOODING! No food storage is provided in Grand Canyon's backcountry. Please protect your food from wildlife and the wildllife from human food. A dehydrating toilet is located between the trail terminus and the Clear Creek drainage. Human waste and toilet paper are the only items that can be placed in the toilet.


The Clear Creek Trail was built in the 1930's by the Civilian Conservation Corp. From the junction with the North Kaibab, the trail climbs through a series of switchbacks to the southeast, towards the Phantom Overlook. After passing the Overlook, the trail continues up to the base of the Tapeats and then traverses to the east for another mile to the Tonto Plateau. From this point the trail contours along the Tonto Plateau, crossing Sumner Wash and two minor drainages. The trail turns to the north below Demaray Point, crosses Zoraster Canyon and an unnamed drainage to the north. Clear Creek canyon is to the right. The trail drops into another unnamed drainage and stops in the creek bed at a small grove of Cottonwood trees. Looking up this drainage one can see Brahma Temple. There is no trail, but hike down the drainage for approximately 150 meters to its confluence with the Clear Creek Drainage. Most backpackers camp downstream of the confluence. A faint route continues downstream to the confluence with the east fork of Clear Creek. Hiking to the Colorado River via the creek requires scrambling and numerous creek crossings. It is approximately six miles one way. A quarter mile from the river there is a pour off that requires a fifteen foot down climb. Allow a full day to complete this hike.


Clear Creek is extremely popular in the spring and fall and permits may be difficult to obtain. Plan ahead! Many first time backpackers to Clear Creek attempt to hike from the South Rim to the Clear Creek use area, however by the time they arrive at Bright Angel Campground they are exhausted. If Bright Angel is not on the itinerary listed on your permit, DO NOT EXPECT TO CAMP THERE! It is recommended that you obtain a permit with Bright Angel as your first and last nights.

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