Elves Chasm is one of the very special places in the river corridor. Many river runners are content to do the short walk to the first falls, and then return to the boats. The first falls may, indeed, be the single most beguiling spot in Elves Chasm, but there is much more! There is a second high falls and other smaller ones. There is a cave. There are displays of lush ferns and flowers. And there is the final amphitheater, which is cut into the colorful Bright Angel Shale. The great scenery starts within a few yards of the little bay at the mouth of the side canyon.
The climb into Elves is via a series of steps. Early in the climb, there is an exposed traverse on a smallish ledge that cannot be readily protected with climbing gear. This, and other rock climbing challenges, are required to proceed, so this climb is not for everyone. And … don’t forget to take a first-aid kit. Give yourselves a few hours for the trip to the final amphitheater and return.
Note: This and prior posts on the subject are excerpted from my iBook: “The Grand, the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon, a Photo Journey and Visual Guide, 2nd. edition”. The book costs $5.99 and is available from the iTunes Store, using this link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-grand/id672492447?ls=1