Kris Wagner above Royal Arch Canyon in the Grand Canyon.

Not Quite Impassable: Backpacking the Grand Canyon’s Royal Arch Loop

In Backpacking, National Park Adventures   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment

By Michael Lanza

Hiking just ahead of my three companions in Royal Arch Canyon, a remote chasm off the South Rim the Grand Canyon, I stop before a dead end: a 15-foot pour-off dropping away in front of me and towering cliffs to either side. It looks impassable. After a moment of scanning the walls more closely, though, I notice a stack of narrow ledges—some only as wide as one of my feet—leading across and down the cliff to my left, around the pour-off. The traverse is exposed—a slip could result in a really bad tumble off this cliff.

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Grand Canyon Hiker