Distance: 0.5 miles round-trip
Duration: 1 hour or less
Elevation gain: 200 feet
Trailhead: River left, mile 116
The charming grotto of Elves Chasm is less than 0.25 miles from the river. A delicate waterfall trickles around huge boulders into a pool in this shady canyon of ferns and mosses.
It’s possible—but dangerous—to swim across the pool and climb the water-slick rocks to the cave behind the waterfall. It’s also possible to make the risky climb upcanyon, where another waterfall and Royal Arch await.
A few hardy backpackers have accessed Elves Chasm from rim trails that involve route finding, rock scrambling, and rappelling—it’s hard to believe that with only a short walk, river runners achieve the same reward.
© Kathleen Bryant from Moon Grand Canyon, 5th Edition