Distance: 0.5 miles round-trip
Duration: 1 hour
Elevation gain: 400 feet
Trailhead: River left, mile 148
“Matkat,” as it’s affectionately known to river runners, is a popular stop on river trips. The canyon’s layered and curved Muav limestone walls are a delight for photographers. If you like rock scrambling and wading, it’s a pleasant 0.25 miles to the patio, where the narrows open up into an amphitheater of ledges and platforms decorated with ferns and mosses.
The distance is short, but most hikers will linger to practice Spider-Man moves in the narrows or to play in the small waterfalls.
Stronger hikers have the option of continuing up Matkatamiba Canyon to where it forks. The left fork continues another mile or so before reaching impassable cliffs. The right fork leads to Mount Akaba, a difficult canyoneering adventure.
© Kathleen Bryant from Moon Grand Canyon, 5th Edition