Analysing terrain data
3 - 4
The exposure grade describes the potential consequences of falling or slipping off the path.
Low Exposure: The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.
Medium Exposure: The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.
High Exposure: Some trail sections have exposed ledges or steep ascents/descents where falling could cause serious injury.
Extreme Exposure: Some trail sections are extremely exposed where falling will almost certainly result in serious injury or death.
Today's route is one of my favorite days in the entire Canyon.
The Tonto trail is simply spectacular.
Walking along the Tonto platform is something every canyon hiker should experience.
Even though you parallel the Colorado River for most of the way, the views and intricacies of the Canyon vary throughout.
New views of the river and rim constantly appear.
Another plus is the relative flatness of this section when compared to other hikes in the Grand Canyon.
The trail often rises and falls but is never too steep.
Note, there is not much water between Monument Creek and Indian Garden so be sure to resupply where you can.
There are a few streams along the way, but they are not always reliable depending on the time of year. A worthy side trip from Monument Creek is a visit to Granite Rapids.
Depending on when you arrive at Monument Creek camp you can either visit the rapids in the afternoon on the first day or in the morning on the second.
Regardless, the trip is well worth it as the rapids are some of the most impressive in the canyon.
There is also a great campsite—not a lot of amenities—located at the rapids.
Arriving at Indian Garden is a treat as it is one of the gems of the canyon.
It is one of the nicer backcountry campgrounds in the National Park System.
There is a stream flowing throughout, and the camp spots have great views of the surrounding area.
There are also multiple side trips that depart from Indian Garden (such as Plateau Point).
This is also a good spot to hang out with fellow hikers.
If you have the time, staying at Indian Garden for two nights is not a bad idea, either.
Note, this campground will likely be more crowded than Monument Creek given it is located along the popular Bright Angel trail.
Overall, this route has 360-degree views throughout and should not be missed!