Wednesdays are for waterfalls. 😄
In 1872, the Grand Canyon was already aflutter with prospectors dreaming of gold and silver. One such prospector, named Daniel Mooney, was interested in the lands at the base of the waterfall that now bears his name. After failing to find a route down the waterfalls on previous trips, Mooney and his party returned to the south rim of the Grand Canyon in 1882, determined to descend.
Failing to find a way to descend by hiking, Mooney’s plan was to repel down the waterfall using a rope. His plan seemed obviously simple, however he didn’t factor in the sharpness of the rock columns and a few scrapes later, his rope was frayed and he was dangling by thin fibers. His friends tried to pull him up, but the strain only caused the wasted rope to weaken and Mooney fell to his death.
The story goes that Mooney’s friends, returning to the site the day after Mooney’s fall, found a local Indian wearing their friend’s boots. When they asked him how he got them, the Indian showed them a set of small caves he’d gone through and then a steep “trail” that led to the base. The party quickly deemed the Indian’s trail as too dangerous and after making note of the terrain, they returned home. Almost a year later, the remaining party, along with a new member, Mat Humphreys, returned to the site with the goal of tunneling through the caves.
Today’s existing trail is the proof of their success; blasting through the caves, a route into the rock was created by widening the natural tunnels. Humphrey then hammered spikes and chains into the face of the rock to aid his descent. Although meant as temporary guide , Humphrey’s Trail is still used today to aid visitors down to the base of Mooney Falls.
📸 by: @ginobruhhh