Grand Canyon - Diamond Creek

 

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The Trail:

There is actually a drivable graded road that runs down to the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. The road, Diamond Creek Road / Indian Route 6, is managed by the Hualapai Nation. The road is not really challenging, it's all about the scenery and camping!

We camped there for two nights. A pass to camp can be obtained at the Lodge in Peach Springs. A camping permit is a little over $25 per person per night. A ranger checked our pass at least once each day, so it's best to get the pass before you drive the 20 miles (about 1 hour in the Jeep with a couple of stops) down to the river. The weather appears to be similar to historical and current conditions at Phantom Ranch.

The Diamond Creek area is used daily for rafting and take-out for other operations. As long as you don't hinder the rafting operations you can camp anywhere. Here's a Google Map link to the Diamond Creek area, and here's a layout of the area where Diamond Creek meets the Colorado:

The red area is used by the rafting operations (you can camp there after the operations end for the day, and leave before they start at 7:30-8:00am), the green areas are where the "best" camping spots are located (potential view of the river), the yellow spots aren't as good (no view of the river), and the blue square is where the Port-a-Potties are located. The road and Diamond Creek follows the line just below the red and yellow areas. We were fortunate to find the camping area just to the right of the red area open (it's the only location with a shade tree and a ramada).

Rating:

1.5 - near the river there's some small water filled washes that need to be crossed

Runs:

Date: 5/14/2009-5/16/2009

Suspension: TeraFlex 2.5" Spring Lift, stock tires

Photos:

So how did we fit four people and camping equipment into our Jeep? We used the folding chairs on top of the roll bars to provide support for our camping equipment and food that crammed into an old nylon roof container that we purchased way back in the 80s. This setup won't work well in the rain:

Here we are at the parking lot of the Lodge:

Heading down Diamond Creek road is pretty scenic in spots:

Still heading down:

Still heading down:

Still heading down - Diamond Peak in the distance:

Arrived at the camping area. We were fortunate to get this spot as it has the only ramada and shade tree:

Unpacking and setting up camp:

Time for a break:

View of Diamond Creek Rapids in the Colorado from the campsite:

A view from our campsite of the calmer part of the river where the rafting and take-out operations occur:

Down on the beach. There are two Jeep tour vehicles, and some other Jeeps and vehicles. You can see our campsite in the middle:

More activity on the beach. You can see ramadas on the beach, but they are reserved for the rafting operation. If you wait till later in the day you can camp there - as long as you get out by 7:30am or so:

A view up river where it's calmer:

Down river, you can see where the Diamond Creek rapids start. Looks like Joe needs more water:

Here are some shots of the camping areas. This is from our campsite (the green square on the left) looking into the yellow area. You can see the port-a-potties in the distance:

This shot is up on the hill with the port-a-potties on the left and looking toward our campsite - it's in the line between yellow and green areas:

This is a shot of the left side of big green area:

This is a shot of the right side of the big green area:

So now that you are down there, what to do? Well, we tried fishing in the beach area near the two small green squares:

No bites at all. We never even saw any activity on the surface. Guess there weren't any fish in the area right now:

You can watch the rafting:

Entering Diamond Creek rapids:

You can drive back up Diamond Creek Road and do some sight seeing and benchmarking. This benchmark was right at the edge of the road near the Colorado and close to our campsite - we walked to it. The bronze disk is in the lower center of the picture:

Diamond Creek had a small flowing waterfall that Joe and Tom explored:

A closer view:

Video of the waterfall

Park at the boulder and walk out to look for a benchmark:

Found it, by Joe's foot:

Another shot looking up the wash. The benchmark is in the lower right

Didn't find the benchmark here, but it was pretty scenic:

A stop along the road:

Another benchmark in a scenic wash:

Exploring in a wash:

Jane found some interesting fossils:

Exploring another wash:

Heading back to the campsite - Diamond Peak ahead:

Another shot of Diamond Peak:

Back at camp - exploring some kind of structure at the edge of the river:

On the structure. Wonder if the water level used to come up that high?:

Cheese:

Back at the campsite, what kind of track is this in the sand?:

Must be from this guy - a Grand Canyon Pink Rattlesnake. He and/or his brothers and sisters were kind enough to rattle when we accidently got too close at night:

There's also exploring up and down the river. In the middle of Diamond Creek rapids:

Video of the rapids

A view of the canyon walls in that area:

Another view from around the corner:

Video of the area

Tom and Joe coming back from exploring (upper left):

The beach from our campsite when we had the whole place to ourselves:

They leave the extra rafts there overnight:

The sun is going down. It really gets dark at night because there's really no cities nearby and you're down in a big hole. It makes for some great stargazing! We also enjoyed listening to the rapids while dozing off to sleep.


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Last modified: September 11, 2010 01:12:52 PM