On the morning of the 4th day of our trip we left our camp at Hance Rapid and started our climb away from the river. The landscape was awe inspiring. We made it to Hance Creek around 3pm and filled our water bottles in the barely running creek. Although we were scheduled to camp at Hance Creek we decided that it would be far better if we could get to Horseshoe Mesa by nightfall. By dividing the elevation gain from the River to the rim over two days we would be better off.
We had beautiful clear weather throughout our trip. The temperatures were in the 70's during the day and in the 50's at night. But the sky had turned cloudy and it was starting to rain. We also needed to wait till our iodine purified the water (yes, we are super old school and use iodine!), so we could drink as much water as we could and then refill our bottles. We debated whether we should try to make it to Horseshoe Mesa or not. We had heard the trail up via Miner's Spring was steep, but how steep? Could we find a flat place to lay down if we could not make the Mesa by dark? We put on our rain gear. We looked at the sky. We debated the pros and cons. We decided to go for it!
It was steep! We made it to Miner's Spring pretty quickly. Since it was the last water before the rim and we were going to dry camp….we drank some more water and very quickly filled our bottles at the gorgeous little grotto spring. We needed to keep going since we were racing the light and perhaps the rain. The rain was holding off and we trudged up the steep canyon through the red wall. We made it! We arrived on top of Horseshoe Mesa. We made our camp.
We had debated back and forth whether to bring a tent since the weather forecast looked very good for our 5 day trip….except there was mention of "slight chance of showers" on our last night. We decided to carry the extra weight and brought the tent. Good thing we did because it started to pour. We got in the tent and it rained (not showered) for several hours!
The next morning was beautifully damp and cool but no rain. Perfect weather for our 2700 foot accent over 3 miles to Grandview!