To reach Grotto Canyon, we took the marked road across from the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes and drove uphill for about one mile.  At this point, the road dropped into the mouth of Grotto Canyon, so we drove a little further and then parked.  This is a good place to get out and hike if you don't have 4WD to avoid the potential of getting stuck in deep gravel.  After hiking one mile, we arrived at the first grotto, which is the true beginning of the Grotto Canyon experience.  Before I go any further, I should mention that my wife is not a big fan of Grotto Canyon.  She doesn't feel this way because the canyon is not beautiful.  To the contrary, it really does have some very nice narrows.  It certainly is one of the jewels of the Tucki Mountain canyons.  The problem is that it is a rock climbing canyon, and we are not rock climbers.  Thus, we were forced to take some long and difficult bypasses in order to progress up the canyon.  During our time in Grotto Canyon, we estimated that we would spend 10 minutes of every hour in the actual canyon, with the other 50 minutes being spent on bypasses.  Also, my wife had a couple of nasty falls on the loose rocks which make up some of these bypasses, thus getting quite a few bruises.  Because of her bad experiences in Grotto Canyon and also to honor the code of silence which seems to be in place, we will not reveal too much about the bypass routes we used.  But we will show you a few pictures of important points along the way.  If you're hiking the canyon, try not to pay too much attention to the rock cairns people have set up, as about half of the ones we found were deliberately misleading.  We have hiked Grotto Canyon twice to date (in 2008 & 2009).
SAFETY ALERT-- This hike contains sections of climbing, exposed bypasses and/or high dry falls and requires safety ropes & equipment in order to complete the entire hike.  Those without the proper training, experience, and safety gear should stop at the beginning of the canyon where the 1st grotto and dry fall are encountered.
Parking our car after dropping into the mouth of Grotto Canyon, to avoid getting stuck in the deep gravel:
It's a one mile hike from the spot where the road drops into the canyon wash, but it's very scenic.  We actually found two chuckwallas along the way:
Arriving at the imposing 1st grotto.  This is where the canyon truly begins:
Looking up into the 1st grotto from the canyon floor directly in front of it:
We decided against trying to climb up the 1st grotto.  We felt it was a bit too difficult for us as we are not rock climbers.  This 1st grotto and the canyon just beyond make up what we refer to as the 1st narrows:
On our first hike into Grotto Canyon, we headed up the small side canyon to the right and looked for a bypass:
This bypass failed to go through, but the next two pictures show a couple of nice views we had of the surrounding area:
After that, we hiked back out and called it a day.  But one year later returned and headed up the correct bypass which is on the left side.  This view down into Grotto Canyon and a nearby side canyon is taken from that spot one year after the previous two pictures:
After bypassing the 1st grotto, we later headed back down canyon to get some views of what we had missed in the 1st narrows:
A small dry fall and hole at the bottom left of the picture:
There were some twists and turns, as well as a few easy falls we had to downclimb:
The colors in the 1st narrows were brilliant.  Along with the grey dolomite, there were also shades of gold and blue:
In this picture, we have moved up canyon, past the 1st side canyon and reached the start of the 2nd narrows:
There were a couple of dry falls which had to be climbed in order to continue:
Steve friction climbed this dry fall in order to get up and over it:
Standing at the top of the dry fall.  This one was more fun than challenging:
There was such a brilliant contrast between light and dark in Grotto Canyon:
Three views of one of the most incredible spots in Grotto Canyon:
Daria hiking through the 2nd narrows of Grotto Canyon:
Finally, we walked into a room-like area which had a massive dry fall that was impossible to climb.  This is a good place to stop a hike because continuing on the next bypass requires crossing an exposed ledge:
Daria resting in the canyon once we reached this area:
The road down provides some nice views of the Mesquite Flat dunes:
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