Jackass Camp

Opposite of Badger, Jackass is a large camp located immediately below Badger Rapid. With access to the rim, be prepared to share this area with hikers and fishermen.

The name jackass is likely a reference to the prolific amount of burros that were in the Grand Canyon prior to the NPS’ coordinated removal. Gold prospectors introduced them in the late 1800’s and over time, their numbers boomed. Living an average of 25 – 30 years, the burros were seen as an invasive species by the National Park Service as they competed with native species for resources such as water and vegetation. In addition to that, they trampled the soil. According to Alysa Yoder in her paper “Adorable Annihilators: How Burros Became Grand Canyon National Park’s Public Relations Nightmare” the burro population crested 2,000 in the Grand Canyon and by the 1920’s was seen as a problem by the NPS. It took another 60 years however for the problem to be successfully addressed.

Photo from The Journal. (Source.)

An issue with their removal was public perception. With the NPS instructions of shooting these dopey eared, loveable animals in the throat, the public outcry was significant. An alternate and more expensive eradication plan was put in place after significant pressure and lawsuits: Trapping and flying them out of the canyon. Financed by the aptly named organization “The Fund for Animals” the burros were either found and helicoptered out at their location, or floated down river on a J-Rig down to Diamond Creek and then driven out of the canyon.

Further reading:

  • Adorable Annihilators: How Burros Became Grand Canyon National Park’s Public Relations Nightmare. Author: Alysa Yoder. Link.
  • A happy ending to the saga of Grand Canyon burros. Author: Leon Lindsay. Link.
  • Burros a Burden in Grand Canyon. Author: Chris Kahn. Link.
  • Wild burros raft Grand Canyon rapids. Author: Jim Mimiaga. Link.