DAY 3: Mendenhall Camp to Twin Canyon Camp
River Flow: 1,290 cfs (36.5 m3/s)
Air Temperature: 103°F (39°C) high / 73°F (23°C) low
We would spend the better part of this day wending our way through the canyons of the Goosenecks to straighter sections beyond. Aside from the soaring and varied geology – and some big horn sheep – the principal human feature along this stretch is the Honecker Trail.
We stopped for lunch at Bump Camp (RM 40.9) where, if you were willing to hike a little uphill, you could find shade under a ledge – which I did. Then it was on past the bottom of the Honaker Trail at RM 45. During an overly optimistic gold boom in the early 1890s, Henry Honaker built an anticipated supply route for gold miners between the San Juan River and the cliffs tops, some 1,200 feet (366 m) above. Viewed from below it’s almost hard to imagine how he found his way down through the cliffs and ledges – and how much work it took to do this. Sadly (for him at least), the gold rush was so short-lived (and unprofitable) that the trail was never used for its intended purpose. Today it’s a popular hiking destination – when temperatures aren’t ruinous. Just past the Honecker Trail, we entered the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.
The open expanse at Twin Canyon Camp at RM 48.5 had limited shade, so we did a short walk into the canyon itself. We soon came to a pourover blocking the canyon and to a pair of horns poking over a boulder. Fearing we might inadvertently keep a big horn sheep from leaving the canyon, we retreated. Looking back, we could see a mother big horn with a young one (less than a yearling) in tow. Not long after we left the canyon, the two of them emerged and headed downstream.RETURN TO FRONT PAGE