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Difficulty III-IV
Length 1.5 Miles
Gauge N/A
Flow Range
Reach Info Last Updated 12/14/2017 8:05 pm

River Description


Tapeats Creek is a unique boating experience. This miniature box canyon is a spring fed whitewater stream that flows into the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon.  Intrepid creek boaters who are hungering for a quick fix of creeking can run Tapeats from the top of the micro gorge to the main river below.
The carry up to the top of Tapeats Creek is arduous and a bit dangerous, but well worth the effort. The whitewater is spring fed, refreshingly cool, and moderately difficult.  Rescue by fellow boaters would be difficult but at least the canyon has rim side access for rappelling and rope extractions.  If your are dedicated and want a beautiful creek experience in the middle of your big water Grand Canyon trip, then stop at Tapeats Creek.

From Thunder River confluence down to the top of the gorge, is relativel low gradient, brushy and scrapey at spots, so it probably does not get boated much. 

From the top of the gorge to the confluence with the Colorado is a pretty short distance.   After all the hiking, try to take your time in the gorge to enjoy the scenery.

Other Information Sources:  
Oregon Kayaking: Trip Report 
NPS Thunder River Trail pdf
AW: Colorado in the Grand Canyon

Rapid Descriptions

Comments

No Gage

Gage Descriptions

Tapeats is fed by Thunder River Springs and Tapeats Spring, so flows will be relatively similar for most of the year.   Some writers state that it is much higher during the spring.  During heavy rains the flows can be much higher.    This authors very rough guess on the flow is that it is around 40 or 50 cfs, which is plenty for the narrow canyon.

Directions Description


The trail on the west side of the creek is the most suitable for carrying boats.   It is steep with many switchbacks, so expect an hour of boat carrying to get to the upper end of the box canyon.    There are some good viewpoints down into the canyon from above, but some drops will be hidden.  I think there are somewhat better views from the trail on the east side.

 

Above the box canyon the trail follows near creek level and the hiking is easy to the confluence with Thunder River.   Boaters can inspect the creek as they go and decide if this upper section is worth boating. 

 

The trail on the east side of the box canyon involves steep scrambling in places and would require rope work to get kayaks up from the raft landing area.   Once the trail reaches the terrace above the creek canyon, the hiking is pretty level. 

No Accident Reports

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News

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Matt Muir

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Kestrel Kunz

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wreeves

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Craig Irwin

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Paul Martzen

Revisions

Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1194300 05/02/05 n/a n/a
1208061 07/15/17 Kestrel Kunz
1208593 12/14/17 wreeves
1204178 02/16/15 Craig Irwin 201502
1198485 10/27/10 Paul Martzen