All Routes to the Confluence

There are lots of ways to reach the Confluence on foot. None of them are easy. Here are the major routes that don’t involve ropes or rappelling.

Trails to the Confluence

NameDescriptionYearly Hikers*Distance to ConfluenceElevation Gain/Loss
Beamer TrailLong, dry and without shade, Beamer is the only National Park trail to reach the Confluence. A descent via Tanner Trail from Lipan Point is the shortest path to reach it from that side. < 25018 miles4,600'
Blue Spring TrailDifficult, seldom-used trail. Reaches canyon floor where the river starts becoming turquoise. Significant, exposure and unforgiving route-finding.< 2516 miles2,200'
Cameron RouteLongest but simplest grind enters the gorge near the town of Cameron and follows canyon bottom the whole way0 - 2538 miles1,400'
Horse TrailComparatively easy descent down an unknown side-canyon, far upstream from the confluence. Brief section of raw cliff exposure to negotiate.25 - 7523 miles1,900'
Salt Canyon TrailRugged, ancient route with moderate exposure, route-finding and scrambling.250+11 miles2,900'
Walter Powell RouteFaint, dangerous route with high degree of exposure and notoriously difficult route-finding.0 - 254 miles3,400'
*Non-scientific estimate based on permitting information, research, social media observation

A note about distance in the table above: the measurement indicated is the distance from the trailhead to the confluence of the Little Colorado and Colorado Rivers. It is not the distance from the trailhead to the Little Colorado.