After driving over the worst surface imaginable the canyon opens up out of nowhere. Standing on the edge of the canyon near the highest lookout hut, the trail is easy to spot.
A good spring shower over snow pack really gets the Little Colorado River running full throttle. The hike down is short lived and somewhat uneventful. There is little growth in the area. Be careful as the trail is steep and slippery in areas.
The safest option is to hike when the trail is dry. Then again, it's likely you won't want to be here during a dry spell! If spring rains are in full force prepare for a mini Niagara Falls in the middle of nowhere!
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.
To hike From Flagstaff follow 89A North to Townsend Winona Road. Turn right onto Townsend Winona Road and follow about 8.25 miles to Leupp Road. Turn Left (North) onto Leupp Road and follow about 13 miles to Indian Route 70. Last seen Spring of 1999, IR 70 was terrible washboard. Turn left onto IR 70 and follow North for just over 9 miles. You are looking for a left spur turnoff that takes you a short distance up to the edge of the canyon. There are about 3 different spurs that lead to the same campground area. If you go to far you will run into the river, simply back track as you just missed it. For a smoother ride pass Route 70 and keep going another 7.5 miles to a left turnoff for IR 6910. Note: This is Indian Reservation Land. The road signage is almost non-existent. So you may have to do a little search and find.
2003-03-29 Montezumawell writes:
Don't bother following the final directions here on HAZ or in Mangum's book, "Flagstaff Hikes." The road is HORRIBLY washboarded. Continue about 5.1 miles beyond the boundary of the Navajo Reservation to a left turn onto Rez Road #6910. The distance from the pavement here is only about a mile more than Navajo #70. You've only driven an extra five miles, perhaps 6-7 minutes. Trust us, this road is regularly bladed and it is GREAT! You can cruise 40-45 mph with no fear. If you truly want to abuse yourself, your passengers and your vehicle, then stick with Navajo #70. There is one tricky turn toward the Falls overlook area. Most people miss this turn, drive all the way to the river's edge and then backtrack. They usually wind up taking a very rough track instead of the "main" access route.
Warning: heat kills!
Avoid 8am to 6pm over 90 degrees. Prehydrate & stay hydrated. Avoid Heat Illness - do NOT hike when temps exceed 100 degrees, period.