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Fry Canyon - Coconino NF, AZ

Guide 2 Triplogs  0 Topics
  2.3 of 5 
no permit
24 2 0
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Round Trip 5.2 miles
Trailhead Elevation 6,525 feet
Elevation Gain 615 feet
Accumulated Gain 653 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 4-6 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 8.47
feature photo
Photos Viewed All MineFollowing
20  2012-10-20
Pumphouse Wash - Upper
10  2011-09-05 skatchkins
14  2007-10-11 joebartels
Author joebartels
author avatar Guides 253
Routes 841
Photos 12,826
Trips 5,229 map ( 26,536 miles )
Age 52 Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred May, Sep, Oct, Jun → NOON
Seasons   Spring to Autumn
Sun  5:32am - 7:35pm
Official Route
0 Alternative
Historic Fire Perimetersacres
🔥 2014 Slide Fire21.7k
🔥 1956 Fry Fire4.3 mi*
🔥 View (All) - over Official Route 🔥
*perimeter length in miles

Maple Oasis
by joebartels

Fry Canyon is easy canyoneering in the upper-most origin of Oak Creek. It's 2.6 miles from 89A up through the canyon to an old forest road.

Here is a pleasant hike with maybe a ten-day span through Autumn. Best hiked Oct 6th through the 18th. The hike of choice is up the canyon. Descending the canyon isn't bad. It's just more of a forest walk in a very undefined canyon that meets up with FR237 in 0.8 miles. Which happens to be the upper end of Pumphouse Wash and a mere quarter mile from the confluence with Kelly Canyon.

Take off from the southeast corner of the bridge by a gate. Follow the defunct road for about 5 minutes, then head right into the creek bed. The foliage is so dense you all but forget about the highway within minutes. You are greeted by a forest mixed with oaks. The oak is quickly chocked out by maples galore. There is no trail. Follow the creek bed up. You will encounter minor bushwhacking, the good news being it's lite, few and far between. Fallen trees are the extent of obstacles for this canyon. The creek is mostly one to five-foot basalt rock with various low vegetation plants to vines.

The maples are dense alongside the dry creek. Combine that with subtle curves in the canyon and some afternoon light for nice photo ops. A half-mile up canyon coconino bust out of the canyon wall on your left. After that, you get limestone outcrops on a few occasions. One of which I climbed out of the canyon to get an overview, nothing exciting to note.

I didn't hike the full length of the canyon to the forest road. Turn around is arbitrary unless you're just committed to conquering the canyon. The canyon does appear to get tighter in the upper end. However, knowing I was in the limestone layer, I figured anymore Coconino Sandstone was unlikely. The maples are abundant throughout and beautiful in season. Otherwise, it's not a very exciting canyon as has been my experience with other small canyons nearby. Pleasant and entertaining once.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Gate Policy: If a gate is closed upon arrival, leave it closed after you go through. If it is open, leave it open. Leaving a closed gate open may put cattle in danger. Closing an open gate may cut them off from water. Please be respectful, leave gates as found.

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2007-10-11 joebartels
    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.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    Take the I-17 north almost to Flagstaff. Exit Powell Road which is the exit for the airport too. Take 89A down towards Sedona for maybe? 5-6 miles. Fry Canyon is between milepost 393 and 392. There is little room to park. I parked at the gate to the old road on the SE of the bridge. Beware its soft gravel/dirt, and I had to drop it in 4x4 to get out. I'm not listing this as a 4x4 access; if you're in a car, there's a large pullout a quarter mile north of the canyon.
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills

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