“An adventurous route that connects Tapeats and Deer Creeks through the Colorado River's Granite Narrows.”
— Almonzo Wilder
River/Creek · Views
The Granite Narrows Route is an unmaintained (but well-traveled and well-marked) path that connects Tapeats and Deer Creek
. It allows for a complete loop of the Thunder River
drainages, which makes for an outstanding multi-day adventure. The route is at the bottom of the canyon with southern exposure and can get quite hot; shade is minimal. Views along the trail are outstanding, and the unique perspective on the Colorado River's dramatic Granite Narrows section makes the route well-worth doing.
Granite Narrows can be traveled from either direction and starts from the confluence of Tapeats Creek and the Colorado River on the east and just above the beginning of Deer Creek Narrows on the west. In general, the route-finding is straightforward and marked by cairns. Along the Colorado River, there is some rock-hopping involved, but more often, the route follows well-worn paths above the river. Two areas may cause some difficulty: 1) just east of Bonita Creek there is a section of steep and loose down-climbing (when headed from east to west) that can be challenging with a pack (a 20-foot hand-line would make this stretch easier); 2) a bit west of Bonita Creek the route splits to a high route and a lower route—the latter is shorter and with less vertical gain and loss, but also involves a 15 foot ledge traverse with considerable exposure. This traverse is not technically difficult and has stable hands and feet, but those not comfortable with exposure will want to take the high route.