The Colorado River in the Grand Canyon – the Middle Granite Gorge, Miles 127 – 130


The Middle Granite Gorge begins at 127 Mile rapid, as the first of its characteristic black schist appears. The next mile is packed full of things that you’ll want to take a close look at, most especially the fluted and polished rocks. The Tapeats Sandstone sits directly on top of the schist, making for an interesting two-tone gorge.

At 127 Mile Rapid the black schist of the Middle Granite Gorge first appears

At 127 Mile Rapid the black schist of the Middle Granite Gorge first appears

Fluted schist rocks

Fluted schist rocks

Fluted schist rocks

Fluted schist rocks

Fluted schist rocks

Fluted schist rocks

Fluted schist rocks

Fluted schist rocks

Polished granite

Polished granite

Salt stalagmite

Salt stalagmite

Schist (in the foreground) and Tapeats Sandstone

Schist (in the foreground) and Tapeats Sandstone

View to the South Rim, with schist in the shadowed foreground, the Supai Formation next and the rim rocks

View to the South Rim, with schist in the shadowed foreground, the Supai Formation next and the rim rocks

128 Mile Rapid

128 Mile Rapid

On the delta of Specter Canyon, at Mile 129, a sculpted Supai Sandstone boulder

On the delta of Specter Canyon, at Mile 129, a sculpted Supai Sandstone boulder

Specter Rapid, with Brahm Reynolds. Brahm stayed to the right side of the breaking wave.

Specter Rapid, with Brahm Reynolds. Brahm stayed to the right side of the breaking wave.

Specter Rapid, with Paul Allen. Paul was too far to the left on this wave that rolls to the left.

Specter Rapid, with Paul Allen. Paul was too far to the left on this same wave, which happens to roll to the left.

Spect Rapid. Paul flips.

Specter Rapid. Paul flipped.

View downstream from Specter Rapid. Clouds gather over Steamboat Mountain.

View downstream from Specter Rapid. Clouds gather over Steamboat Mountain.

The beach at 130 Mile Waterfall, on river right

The beach at 130 Mile Waterfall, on river right

Maidenhair fern, at 130 Mile Canyon

Maidenhair fern, at 130 Mile Canyon

130 Mile Waterfall

130 Mile Waterfall

Pull over to scout Bedrock Rapid just below the Doll House, on river right, Mile 130.5. Take a few minutes to explore the exotically sculpted innards of the Doll House.

Pull over to scout Bedrock Rapid just below the Doll House, on river right, Mile 130.5. Take a few minutes to explore the exotically sculpted innards of the Doll House. Upstream view.

The approach to Bedrock Rapid and the Island. You don't want to let the sleepers seen here push you too far to the left. Or, start left and "powell" (downstream ferry) to the right, to below the sleepers

The approach to Bedrock Rapid and the Island. You don’t want to let the sleepers seen here push you too far to the left. Or, start left and “powell” (downstream ferry) to the right, to get in under the sleepers.

Bedrock Rapid and the Island, at Mile 130.5. Kathy easily avoids the Island on the right run, at highish water.

Bedrock Rapid and the Island, at Mile 130.5. Kathy easily avoids the Island on the right run, at highish water.

Lots of boats get swept to the left of the Island. It’s where most of the current goes. Why worry about going left? Well … it can be quite the struggle, first, to exit the river left eddy (opposite the Island) and, next, to avoid getting high-sided against the Island. If you have trouble at Bedrock, and need to camp, there’s a nice spot just a half-mile downstream on river right – Below Bedrock Camp, at Mile 131.1. That’s where the next post will pick up.

Note: This and prior posts on the subject of running the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon 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

About believesteve

I am a photographer and have published a book of photography and accompanying text on running the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. The first (print) edition is out of print, but a second edition is available as an iBook (eBook) through the iTunes bookstore. All Grand Canyon, river and nature lovers will enjoy my book: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-grand/id672492447?ls=1
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One Response to The Colorado River in the Grand Canyon – the Middle Granite Gorge, Miles 127 – 130

  1. Jackson says:

    I’ve always really liked this section (the last one too) – beautiful section of canyon that usually goes by too fast, and Specter is one of the best rapids that everyone seems to forget about.

    Like

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