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Backpacker Magazine – September 2008

Top 3 CCC Trails

The Civilian Conservation Corps is turning 75—so celebrate right by hiking its classics.

by: Amy C. Balfour

Grand Canyon, AZ (Photo by Elias Butler)
Grand Canyon, AZ (Photo by Elias Butler)
Table Rock State Park, SC (Pat & Chuck Blackley)
Table Rock State Park, SC (Pat & Chuck Blackley)
Wind cave, SD (Tom Bean)
Wind cave, SD (Tom Bean)

During the Great Depression, President Franklin D. Roosevelt established the Civilian Conservation Corps, a quarter-million-strong workforce that created or upgraded 800 state parks and built 28,087 miles of trails. Commemorate the CCC's 75th anniversary by hiking one of these three classics

Grand Canyon NP, AZ
Hike a Cliff-Hugging Trail

Between 1933 and 1936, 200 men from Company 818, one of seven CCC crews in the park, chipped out riverside hiking trails as wealthy guests relaxed piano-side at Phantom Ranch. Trek on their handiwork along the nine-mile Clear Creek Trail, with gobsmacking views of Zoroaster Temple and steep red-walled cathedrals. Pick up the Clear Creek Trail in the narrow canyon just north of Phantom Ranch (it's a one-to-two-day hike in from either rim; try Bright Angel, or the North or South Kaibab Trails). Climb three-quarters of a mile to a stone wall overlook and bench perched 550 feet above the Ranch. Continue east over the Tonto Platform and look for campsites about 2.5 miles in, just past Sumner Wash, or continue 6.8 miles to campsites along Clear Creek. (928) 638-7888; nps.gov/grca

Refuel
An ice-cold Tecate at the Phantom Ranch Canteen pairs well with its Hiker's Stew. (888) 297-2757; grandcanyonlodges.com

The Way
From Phoenix, take I-17 north 136 miles to Flagstaff. Follow US 180 81 miles northwest to the Bright Angel trailhead.




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Reader Rating: -

READERS COMMENTS

KFR326
Nov 05, 2008

No, it isn't a "riverside hiking trail". It's stupid and irresponsible to print something that implys there's Plenty of Water Here!!!
No, there is not. It's 9.5 miles from Bright Angel Creek, to Clear Creek. There is not a drop to drink anong the way, unless it's rained recently. BTW, The River is 1000' down and unreachable without 1000' of rope!

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