A massive rockslide will likely keep a popular rim-to-river route closed to the public for months. On October 22, a huge slab of Coconino Sandstone broke free of the canyon wall, and devastated a large swath of the Tanner Trail. Thankfully no one was injured in the incident. Initial reports indicate that it could be months before the National Park Service will be able to stabilize and repair this historic South Rim trail.
The Tanner Trail takes advantage of fortuitous clefts in the canyon’s notorious cliff-forming rock strata to provide rare access to the inner canyon. As a result, canyon pedestrians have been navigating Tanner Canyon for Millennia; from the puebloan ancestors of the Hopi en route to their religious sites, to 19th century horse thieves herding their four-legged booty across the canyon, to modern day backpackers in search of the most exquisite terrain the canyon has to offer.
The latter will be all ears in the coming weeks as the NPS provides details on the scope of the project.
Photo courtesy of Rob Tooker / Grand Canyon April ’09 Tanner-Escalante-New Hance Smug Mug Gallery