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Haunted Canyon - Grand Canyon, AZ

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Guide 3 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Northwest > North Rim
3 of 5 by 2
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Round Trip 8.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 3,902 feet
Elevation Gain 750 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,600 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 6-8 hrs
Kokopelli Seeds 16.5
Interest Off Trail Hiking & Perennial Creek
Backpack Yes & Connecting
Dogs not allowed
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
4  2016-05-06
Cheops Pyramid 5206
35  2015-11-29
Phantom Canyon - Upper
15  2011-04-09
7 Days Wandering Around in the Big Ditch
6  2011-04-04 nonot
Author nonot
author avatar Guides 93
Routes 236
Photos 1,969
Trips 476 map ( 4,511 miles )
Age Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Mar, Nov, Apr, Oct → 8 AM
Seasons   Late Autumn to Early Spring
Sun  6:12am - 6:35pm
Official Route
1 Alternative
Geology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Spooky Stuff
by nonot

Overview: An off-trail canyon that takes most of a day to explore, likely done as part of a 3+ multi-day backpack trip.

Warning: This is a pretty remote place, don't get in over your head. The park service does not patrol this area. Avoid if rain is predicted!

History: Haunted Canyon is apparently named in relationship to the fact it merges with similarly themed "Phantom Canyon". And why was Phantom Canyon named this? Well, for Phantom Ranch. And why did the ranch get that name? Apparently Mary Colter thought the word "Phantom" elicited thoughts of romantic nights. Careful about spending too many nights in the backcountry, folks!

More recently, a flash flood killed a few backpackers in the late 90's, so be careful!

Hike: From Overhang camp, about a quarter mile south of the junction of Haunted Canyon/Phantom Canyon, follow the creek north and find where it crosses over Phantom Creek. A good trail appears on the other side, becomes faint briefly, and then takes pretty good shape again. It will lead you into Haunted Canyon (south of Haunted Creek at this point). Shortly, the trail uses a sturdy log to cross over to the north side of Haunted creek and gain a little elevation to get away from Haunted creek a bit. The next mile or so is fairly easy to moderate hiking if you can manage to stay on the route. It slowly degrades as it gets a little faint, and gradually gets pretty high up on the north/west bank of Haunted Canyon. About a thousand feet before you get to Haunted Spring, the trail appears to have been washed out by a landslide. I'd recommend you try to maintain your elevation, if possible, but there are about 3 gulleys to cross. It's pretty much a free for all, and going down to the creek will be pretty, but really gnarly (brushy).

Once you make it to near Haunted Spring, you will observe the canyon split. You can follow a short tributary to a small spring directly north, follow the main flow of the water to haunted spring, or continue up the dry part of the main canyon. First, I'd recommend you follow the main flow to find the Haunted Spring source. It is fairly impressive how much water is coming out of the ground just about 150 ft above the main bed of the canyon.

After seeing the source, return to the main bed and begin rock-hopping up-canyon. Travelling is fairly easy from here on. There is no trail and only a few rocky sections present some moderately easy boulders/climbs. Just stay in the main bed and continue heading up-canyon. The canyon has a few interesting features, though nothing to write home about. About halfway up you will find the monument of Haunted Canyon. Stay to the right of it, headed upcanyon, to stay in Haunted Canyon. As you near the head of the canyon it will get a little narrower, and finally split into a few distinct streambeds. You can wander around in here but you are basically at the end, trapped beneath dryfalls in the redwall where 3 tributaries come together. A possible redwall route can be seen for those who are rock climbers and brought some trad gear. Interestingly, you are only about 0.7 miles from Widforss point, which is way above you. The views looking up at the point are fairly neat.

Turn around and head back. If you are sharp eyed you will find a fairly large arch on the west side of the canyon. Continue on past it, get back to the monument, pass it to get back to the wet half of the canyon, manage your way through the abysmal 1000 ft section, and retrace your steps back to overhang camp.

Water Sources: The canyon is wet below Haunted Spring, which is not quite halfway up the canyon. The flow is fairly turbid, so it isn't perfect for filters, but it is fairly good. Above this the canyon is bone dry, so take plenty of water with you.

Camping: I only observed one possible decent campsite in Haunted, though some hardship sites could be made. All were within the first half-mile. Most will camp at Overhang camp, which is about a quarter mile south of the junction of Haunted and Phantom on the west side of Phantom Creek.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2011-05-13 nonot
  • Grand Canyon Use Area Boundaries - Dynamic Map
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.

Most recent Triplog Reviews
Haunted Canyon - Grand Canyon
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6 days of awesome just happened.

Jamie and I headed down SK bright and early May 1st...around noon-thirty really ;)
We ambled down to Phantom Ranch with dreams of lemonade and tecate...of which we got none. Wah ={

So after being lazy bums all day we headed up Utah Flats with 4L each of Agua. We camped as far across UF as possible and settled in with the setting sun.

The Morning of May 2nd we left camp kinda early-ish and headed west then south with the Cheops horn or pyramid dancing in our minds.
The "route" was fairly simple, "just head thataway!". So we did. Lots and LOTS of cactus, Mmmmmm...we rounded the South tip of Cheops and slowly began our ascent.

For some strange reason my mind decided to become acrophobic right as we reached the foot of he Redwall... wtf?! So I sat and talked myself out of being a wimp and up we went.

It was a BREEZE. I really did laugh at myself on the summit. *shrug*
It's all 3rd class, no climbing necessary except a few spots where, yeah, you're using your hands to find handholds and feet to find feetholds.

Left our names in the register.
(It was minty fresh! Also, Hi JJ3 and JoeyB!)

The way down and back was a cactusy cake walk. We tore down camp and continued on down to Phantom Creek where we settled into that sweet Campsite just upstream from Phantom Falls.
(On a side note, we had thought of doing lower Phantom but that knotted fix rope there gave me the heebyjeebys and we only had a short bit of webbing... Next time?!)

We explored up Haunted Cyn a ways, my left foot was getting a hotspot so I headed back early and waited for Jamie at the Overhang.

There was much rejoicing at the pools upstream from our campsite. So. Many. Frogs!!
That was the highlight of my evenings was the chorus of amphibious delight that echoed across the canyon walls!

Spotted some neat Footprints, possibly hognosed skunk.
I spent the next two days in my birthday suit along the Creek while Jamie explored all he wanted.

Base camping in the GC by a Creek is awesome, just awesome.

May 6th we crawled out of bags, tore down camp, and headed up that lovely route out of Phantom Creek, passed below Cheops, crossed Utah Flats, said hello to some mule deer, slid down UF Route and we're fat and happy at Phantom around 10:30am...and there we stayed with Lemonade and Tecate happy as can be until we decided... Noon is late enough.

Then out we trotted commenting on the weather and the Buttes lit up by the sun as we went.

6 days of awesome just happened...and now...the North Rim calls to us!
I'll be spending June-September over there doing dayhikes and such for Grand Canyon Association, so if you're ever up there feel free to say hi!

Until next stay classy Arizona.
Haunted Canyon - Grand Canyon
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7 Days Wandering Around in the Big Ditch
Bright Angel to Indian Garden - Plateau Point - Tonto Trail from Indian Garden to Cremation - to South Kaibob Trail and down to Phantom - Utah Flats - Haunted Canyon - Upper Phantom - Climbing Exit to Isis-Shiva - Down Trinity - Trinity West Arm - Trinity to Isis-Cheops - Utah Flats to Phantom - out Bright Angel Trail.

Since almost all of these trails are not on HAZ yet, I will probably end up writing a few pages on some of these areas. It was an interesting way to spend 7 days, in which I went 5 days without seeing a soul. Some parts were better than expected, others went as planned, and some were a bit of a let down. But to get away from everything for a week and not have to think about much other than the basics was a refresher I needed.

This trip is fairly remote and a few parts of this trip are a bit dangerous. I'd recommend that this type of trip only be considered by people who have a good deal of experience under their belt. This covers about all terrain between class 1 and class 4 YDS.

Map Drive
Connector trail - Not Applicable

To hike
It's about a 1 to 2 day backpack to get to the start of this hike. Most will arrive by hiking the Utah Flats trail from Phantom Ranch, and head a mile up Phantom Upper Canyon
page created by nonot on May 13 2011 7:30 pm
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