The Mysterious Mystic Eye

The Mysterious Mystic Eye - Trip Report Feb 9, 2009 Ron Sundberg

Hi all, Back from another Grand adventure.

Launched 2-9-09 and by the time we hit Navaho Bridge we were in a blinding snow/sleet storm pushed upstream by 20-30 MPH winds. Camped at 6 mile camp (I think the first legal camp) and the storm was over and forgot by morning.

We did 25 days to Diamond Creek, and managed to get 8 layover days, including a double at Racetrack, and at Tuckup Canyon.

The double at Racetrack was to let me search for the "mystic eye" ruins. We found numerous ruins in the area, but not the mysterious "mystic eye". Something to search a little harder for next time. I do want to thank all those who gave directions and encouragement to help in my search. If any reading this have more specific directions on how to find it, I would appreciate you contacting me off-list at I have a Feb. 25th launch for 2010, so have another year to do my research.

The double layover at Tuckup Canyon was so we could do an overnight hike up the drainage in search of "Shamans Panel". This was described to me as the most spectacular pictograph site in the Grand Canyon. I actually got a back country hiking permit for the day we were camped off river, so it was actually legal! This search was much more successful. After 7 hours of hiking what may be the most diverse and beautiful side canyon in the Grand Canyon, we found the panel, and it is truly amazing. You can see professional pictures at but I will have to say that seeing them in person just can't be described. Kind of like the first time you float the entire Canyon, and then come home and try and explain what it was like. Doesn't happen. I am going to be putting together a slideshow (online) of the hike and the panel, and I will post a link to it when I get it done.

Even if you can't find the time for a double layover to hike all the way to the panel, Tuckup is a truly amazing canyon, and well worth the time and effort to spend an entire day in it. It is kind of like a cross between Blacktail and Matkat. Most people only go as far as the conglomerate Arch described in the hike books. Its a tough 2 miles or so (and almost 2 hours) to get that far, and the funny part is the hike gets much easier from there on. If anyone is interested in the directions to find the Panel, I will be glad to share them, as well as the GPS waypoint.

We had clear water until the Little Colorado, and then muddy for about a week, and then it cleared up to pretty green until the last 3 days. Went left at Hance (I love that line) left at Crystal, and left at upset. Big fun. Right down the middle at Hermit...huge waves as usual. Best run ever at Lava. We had one flip (the only boat that went right at Hance), and the two virgin boatmen both went left at Bedrock. No one hurt.

Thanks again to all those who helped in my quest to see new and different ruins and pictographs.

Ron Sundberg, Olympia, WA

This entry was posted in Grand Canyon River Trips. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.