American Canyoneers
Garden Creek Service Project
Sponsored by the National Park Service – Grand Canyon


The illegal entry bolts at Garden Creek in Grand Canyon are no more. In response to an NPS request, American Canyoneers’ members hiked 3,000 vertical feet down into Grand Canyon on Saturday to remove the offending bolts from the top of Garden Creek. Eleven people participated – the maximum allowed for a group size.


Garden Creek entry

Garden Creek begins with a bang right off of Bright Angel Trail – the most popular trail in Grand Canyon.


The bolts were expansion bolts, and despite having a bag of tricks which included a hacksaw, pry bar, vice grips and more, nothing aggressive was required. The bolts were unscrewed with a ½ inch socket and easily removed. Epoxy was used to fill the holes and some sand from the surrounding area was used to blend the color.


garden creek bolts


After the dirty work was completed, the crew descended the canyon enjoying the cool waterfalls on a sunny 106 degree day.


amy on the entry rappel
400' waterfall


We waited for shade before starting the 4,200’ climb back to the rim. On the rest stop at the Indian Garden Ranger Station the NPS shared “otter pops” with the crew. Only 3,000’ more to go! There is nothing like ice cold sugar on a HOT day to get you back to the top. Better yet, we left 44 pounds of ropes and bolt removal gear at the Indian Garden Ranger station for extraction by mule later this week. Descending Garden Creek – without having to hike ropes out – PRICELESS 🙂 A huge thanks to the NPS for supporting the effort!


the group

Rich, Aaron, Russell, John, Shannon, Amy, Kelly, Josh, Duane (missing Aaron W. and Jeff) Photo: NPS Ranger Elyssa Jenkins


We started up about 5 pm after the shade set in taking our time. We were treated to a wonderful sunset with a final look at Garden Creek before topping out at 8pm for a 14 hour day.


sunset in the grand canyon

All photos: Rich Rudow except as noted


I would like to extend a huge thanks to everyone who helped on this service project!

Rich Rudow
American Canyoneers
Board of Directors