(Thanks Keith Yale) 12/9/02
There is another takeout option for Little River Canyon boaters...Actually, this option has always existed, but I had never tried it until this weekend. If you are tired of the usual Chairlift Grunt/Walkout, try the Powell Trail Grunt/Walkout 1/4 mile below Bottleneck on the Chairlift section...Although the hike out here is longer and a bit rougher than the hike out at the Chairlift, it is less steep and much more aesthetically pleasing. And you get another mile of good whitewater, including Bottleneck, which is as good as anything on Suicide or Upper 2.
Directions: On Canyon Rim Road, Powell Trail is about 2.7 miles from the Chairlift. Once you go around and cross Chinquapin Creek (unmarked) start looking for a brown Park Sign that says Powell trail on the left. The sign is old and hard to see or read, but it will be fairly obvious. Everywhere else along this stretch is a sheer drop-off. There are a few places to park right next to the trailhead, and a few more places to park just up the hill from here.
From the River: Powell Trail appears about 1/4 mile below Bottleneck on River Right. Start looking for it after you run an easy class 3 where the river makes a sharp left hand turn with a sheer canyon wall coming out of the river. The trail is not well marked from the river view, but there is a small beach area, and a tree with the faint remnants of an orange trail blaze. At this time, there is a bright orange bobber stuck in a limb right where you want to get out of your boat. Follow the trail to where it splits just after you cross under a large fallen tree. Take the left, steeper trail that follows the creek all the way to the Rim Road.
I would say at this time that I like this take-out option the best. You get more whitewater, and a more scenic hike out. This one feels a lot like the Town creek takeout, but is a little nicer due to the creekbed. A lot of people will hate it because it is longer than the Chairlift....This could also be used as a put-in for seriously novice boaters wanting to paddle the canyon without any of the scary rapids. They would still have a good 5 or so mile paddle to the Canyon Mouth.