Select Page

One Photo, One Story: Backpacking the Grand Canyon’s Royal Arch Loop

One Photo, One Story: Backpacking the Grand Canyon’s Royal Arch Loop

By Michael Lanza

On the last morning of a three-day, 34.5-mile backpacking trip on the Grand Canyon’s remote and very rugged Royal Arch Loop, I got this photo of my friend David Ports at a spot where the Tonto Trail traverses close to the brink of a precipice nearly a thousand feet above the muddy Colorado River roaring through Granite Gorge.

The Royal Arch Loop had been on my list for a while, and it exceeded expectations. Considered the most difficult of the established hiking routes on the Grand Canyon’s South Rim—the park recommends taking five days (we had a strong, very experienced party, and we spent nine to 11 hours on the trail each day)—the route includes long stretches that lack a discernible trail, although it’s marked with cairns, some difficult and exposed scrambling, and a 20-foot rappel. But the scenery was as good as it gets, the campsites outstanding—including one, below Royal Arch, sure to make the next update of my list of 25 all-time favorite backcountry campsites—and, not surprisingly, we saw just a handful of people.

Later, I’ll post a feature story at The Big Outside, with many photos and a video, about our backpacking trip on the Royal Arch Loop. Meanwhile, view menus of all of my stories about the Grand Canyon, all of my stories about national park adventures, and all of my stories about backpacking at The Big Outside.

I invite you to subscribe to this blog by entering your email address in the box at the top of the left sidebar, and follow my adventures on Facebook and Twitter.

The Big Outside is proud to partner with these sponsors. Please help support my blog by liking and following my sponsors on Facebook and other social media and telling them you appreciate their support for The Big Outside.








About The Author

Michael Lanza

A former field editor and primary gear reviewer for Backpacker Magazine, Michael Lanza created The Big Outside to share stories and images from his many backpacking, hiking, and other outdoor adventures, as well as expert tips and gear reviews to help readers plan and pull off their own great adventures.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Welcome to the Big Outside

photo of Michael Lanza

Hi, I’m Michael Lanza, creator of The Big Outside and former Northwest Editor at Backpacker magazine. Click my photo to learn more about me and my blog. Click here to sign up for my FREE email newsletter. Join The Big Outside now to get full access to all of my blog’s stories. And click here to learn how I can help you plan your next trip.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This