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Day 2: Beamer Trail to the Little Colorado

Our longest day, with at least 15 miles. We hiked about 4-5 miles along the Beamer Trail and set up camp on a little beach, then hiked round-trip from there with daypacks to the confluence of the Colorado and Little Colorado Rivers. According to the Park Service info, that stretch should have been about 10 miles round-trip, but it definitely felt like more. The trail rose over 500 feet above the Colorado at points, and was above the river for the whole stretch between our camp and the Little Colorado, but there wasn't a huge amount of climbing on this day compared to what we'll do on the last day.

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Morning view of the campsite, with everyone by me still asleep
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Getting ready to go
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Sunrise
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Looking up Tanner Canyon
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Steep climb at the beginning of the Beamer Trail, which will take us to the Little Colorado River
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Jason, with towering cliffs
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Sun coming up on the Beamer Trail
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Me
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Looking southwest along the Colorado River. Our campsite was at the base of the dark red cliffs on the left.
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Looking northeast, in the direction we're hiking.
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Jani in the bottom right corner
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Neat cactus
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The river gets split into two here, and re-converges
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Another neat cactus
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Some rafters along the river
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A few more pictures of rafters taken by Morby
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The river re-converges
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Me and Jani approaching camp
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Our campsite, on a beach along the river. We'll be leaving out main gear here and coming back in the evening, so we're just taking small daypacks for the rest of the hike.
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Rapids near our campsite, with Colin on the beach for scale
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From our campsite, we climb up on cliffs that go over 500 feet above the Colorado, and continue on to the confluence with the Little Colorado River.
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Our beach camp is on the smaller, darker beach just below the larger, whiter one near the top
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Side creek flowing into the river
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The Little Colorado Expedition Team
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Typical view heading towards the Little Colorado. The trail got pretty close to the edge at times, and the view was awesome. The trail ducked in and out of many little side canyons, which added a lot to the actual distance of the hike.
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Another view of the side creek
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More shots along the trail
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Rafters heading through some rapids
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Red dye in the water. At first we thought it might be a signal for help, but later found out that the USGS and other groups were doing some measurements and tests, and this was probably a part of that.
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Another person going through the rapids.
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A few more pictures of rafters taken by Morby
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The final stretch towards the Little Colorado
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One of the many side canyons along the way
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The confluence of the Colorado and Little Colorado Rivers, the Little Colorado being the brown, silty one coming in from the right. Often, it's the Colorado that's muddy and the Little Colorado that's clear, but not this time. There's a big sandy island in the middle of the confluence.
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heading into the Little Colorado Canyon, which if it were not attached to the Grand Canyon, would definitely not be called 'Little'
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Looking north along the Colorado River. I believe this is the point where it officially transitions from Marble Canyon (north of the confluence) to the Grand Canyon (south of the confluence)
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Me by the Little Colorado
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Jani
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Swimming! Despite the brown color of the water, it was still cleaner than us at this point. The water was cool, but not freezing.
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Filtering some water for the hike back. Unfortunately, there wasn't good access to the Colorado River here, so we filtered Little Colorado water, and confirmed what all of the webpages I read said: It tastes like shit. It has a very high mineral content, and that was obvious in the taste. I was very happy to drink Colorado River water again once we got back to camp.
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Looking down the Little Colorado Canyon
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Beginning the hike back to camp
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Flowering cactus along the way
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Neat cactus growing out of a rock
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Beginning the descent back to camp
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More cactus
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Sunset on our camp, as viewed from above
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Filtering cold, yummy Colorado River water
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Setting up camp for the night

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