Jamie Compos

Hey! My name is Jamie Compos and I’m the author of ElvesChasm.com.

I’ve lived on the edge of the Grand Canyon for five years at the South Rim. I’ve been down the River and have logged over 2,000 miles of hiking and backpacking in its depths. The Grand Canyon is not just something to “see” – there’s a big wonderful world down there!

These pages are here to help you make the most of your time spent at the Canyon.

It’s also just another great way to indulge in it!

My photos of the Grand Canyon have been published in three different issues of Backpacker Magazine. All of the images on this site are by *me*, unless otherwise noted.
(Thanks to Jeremy McCumber for the “profile picture” :))

What and Where is the real Elves Chasm?

It’s deep inside the Grand Canyon, of course!

When I first came to live at the Canyon, I only intended to stay for three months. My plan was to move on and explore other National Parks. I was housed in a dormitory near the “Trailer Village” RV Campground.

I often found myself at the nearby Yavapai Cafeteria – it was the closest place to eat. Inside, there was a framed photo of this most magical-looking waterfall, called Elves Chasm.

ELVES CHASM! Isn’t that the coolest name of a place, like, ever?

Toward the end of the season, I was talking to a park ranger in the backcountry permit office when I first saw Elves Chasm on a map. The ranger immediately sensed my excitement, and tried to discourage me.

“That’s along the Royal Arch Route. It’s for expert hikers only, and requires a 15-foot rappel. You also need a high clearance, four wheel drive vehicle to even get to the trailhead.”

Given my limited stay at the Canyon, I immediately wrote it off as a place that I would never get to see.

Long story short, I first stood in Elves Chasm less than 3 years later.

Elves Chasm
Elves Chasm