Day Four. The conch shell blows and we wake to the smell of fresh cowboy coffee and a new day on our Western River Expeditions Grand Canyon river trip. Breakfast included fried pork chops and french toast and was just the fuel we needed for our hiking adventure ahead. Today is a special day! I mean…how often do you get to do a hike to ‘the source of all the magic in the universe?!’ I’m a little nervous thinking about Lucky’s description of the hike to the Patio. ‘The ledge of death’ sounds formidable! But then again, I’ve found myself in precarious spots before and it’s generally worked out okay. So! Off we go!
We pushed off early from camp in hopes of reaching Deer Creek Falls before the ‘crowds,’ luck has it, when we arrive, we are the only ones there! We had three options for this morning’s adventure: 1. walk up to Deer Creek Falls just a few hundred feet up the path to frolic and play in the falls, 2. hike up to the nearest canyon rim to a lookout for epic views of the canyon below and return to the falls or 3. hike up to the lookout then continue on ‘the ledge of death’ to the Patio, ‘the source of all the magic in the universe.’ Off we go! Bring on the magic!
The hike up was fabulous! Daniel and I love serious hiking so this was a wonderful treat. Nice elevation gain, amazing views, a little adrenaline on the Ledge of Death, and at the end of the slot canyon, the views open up to pure magic. Lucky was right. The Patio is enchanting.
How to describe the Patio? An except from our journal reads:
The Patio: a true oasis in the canyon. As we walked in, the mood of the canyon changed. We saw the first full sized tree we’d seen on this trip, a tree that looked to be in the aspen family. There were birds singing, butterflies winging their way through their own private paradise, and many waterfalls cascading through the narrow slot canyon that feeds Deer Creek Falls. Lizards played on rocks and warmed themselves in the sun, red monkey flowers and maidenhair ferns grew lushly around the waterfalls and we saw a bird dart behind a large waterfall – we speculated that she was building her nest in a secluded nook behind the falls. We breathed it all in, climbed down into the canyons, played in the waterfalls, sat in quiet meditation of this awesome sight that very few get to experience.
Time to head back down towards Deer Creek Falls. We’d heard this was an amazing waterfall, dropping 100 feet down to the rivers edge.
Deer Creek Falls was another magical place. We had some time to frolic and play in the pool there before returning to the boats. Every moment of our time on the river has amazed and delighted us. By now, the Grand Canyon and all of its magic has been deeply rooted into our hearts. We are living and breathing this majestic canyon, we feel her pulse, and her every breath. We look forward to every bend of the river to come.
Camp this evening brought us to a unique location called the Ledges. Guides tell us that the camping spots in this area of the canyon are quite limited, but we lucked out with this one. This was the only night during our expedition that we didn’t camp on sand. The area was like a terraced amphitheater of stone overlooking the river, capped off by a small waterfall at the top, affectionately referred to as ‘the shower.’ A shower! Yes! we all splashed around in the warm water flowing off the cliff, washed our hair, and readied ourselves for Italian night!
The Patio and Deer Creek Falls were pure magic…..but wait! There’s more! This is DAY FOUR of our Western River Expeditions Grand Canyon river rafting trip and we are having ICE CREAM and bananas foster for dessert! We can’t imagine a sweeter ending to a more exceptional day.