Bunker Hill Spring Canyon, AZ | HikeArizona

Bunker Hill Spring Canyon, AZ

Guide 3 Triplogs Mine 0 0 Topics
3 of 5 
no permit
29 3 0
Canyons are inherently risky. Flash floods occur without notice on sunny days. Technical skills & surrounding topography knowledge required yet does not eliminate risk.
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Difficulty 3.5 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance Loop 7.4 miles
Trailhead Elevation 6,535 feet
Elevation Gain -1,100 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,200 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 4-7 hrs
Kokopelli Seeds 13.4
 Interest Off-Trail Hiking, Seasonal Waterfall & Seasonal Creek
 Backpack No
 Dogs not allowed
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Photos Viewed All MineFollowing
23  2014-08-30 desert_boonie
6  2011-08-28 toddak
author avatar Guides 103
Routes 249
Photos 2,067
Trips 511 map ( 4,929 miles )
Age Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred May, Jun, Sep, Oct → 8 AM
Seasons   Late Spring to Late Autumn
Sun  6:55am - 6:25pm
Official Route
0 Alternative
Historic Fire Perimeteracres
🔥 2021 Raphael Fire68.5 mi**
Nearby Area Water
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Fauna  Nearby
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Sandstone Narrows, Mind Wanders
by nonot

A technical canyoneering trip into Mooney Canyon.

Canyoneering involves slot canyons, always check the weather before you leave and do not go if there is any chance of rain. Since this trip is technical, you will need a: Helmet!, harness, rappelling device and locking biner, 100 ft rope, 2 rap rings, and 20 ft webbing. Wetsuits are probably unnecessary.
You will want sun protection (hat and sunscreen) for the hike up Mooney Trail #12. Bring extra water for this shadeless ascent!

Along the way you will encounter a keeper pothole - it appeared very serious and was in keeper conditions on our inspection - it is recommended to bypass this obstacle on canyon right.

Described in Todd Martin's book: "Arizona: Technical Canyoneering".

From the parking spot, take FR626B east until the road ends. Downclimb into the canyon here, being careful of your footing as the pine needles are slippery. At the bottom, it is a bit of a thrash for a while until the canyon gets a little deeper. You will downclimb a 20 ft drop right away and soon come to a 15 ft rappel/downclimb. Thinking this was the only rappel described in the book (from above, downclimbing seems unlikely) we rappeled this and were able to stay dry. Continuing downcanyon, hop over logs and test yourself at a series of three tests - can you stay dry? After these tests of agility, you will come to the mandatory rappel of about 25 ft into chest-deep water. After this, you can pack up your technical gear. As you continue downcanyon you will enter a very attractive length of sandstone narrows. The scenery is eye candy as the narrows twist and turn. Along the way, you will downclimb and stem over many more pools. At one point the slot is choked by enormous vegetation piles.

A word of warning: You will encounter a formidable keeper pothole along the way. Upon inspection, the water was 2 ft below the rim and it is reported to be at least 7 ft deep. A bypass trail exists on canyon right around this obstacle. If you are not prepared to face this formidable challenge - it is recommended you take the bypass!

Eventually, the canyon will widen as it joins with Mooney canyon. Good elk trails soon appear and it is imperative that you find them. In one place in particular a very good elk trail will be on the west side of the canyon and proceed for at least a half-mile bypassing high above the boulder cluttered canyon floor - allowing one to see the beauty without working as hard for it. Eventually, Mooney will junction with the Mooney Trail #12. This proceeds close to a barbed wire fence and is a rather shadeless 1000 ft climb up broken-down sandstone ledges until it reaches Taylor Cabin TH. I recommend you bring sun protection (hat and sunscreen) as well as extra water for each person. Due to the exit, the canyon is likely much more pleasant in spring or fall than in summer.

Even though the canyon isn't very technical it has very nice narrows and the hike down Mooney is quite wonderful. The Mooney Trail #12 is a necessary evil but allows for an easy return to the rim.

Water Sources
Nothing that was appetizing.

Mooney Canyon had several campsites, but no water source was located. Camping on the rim is certainly possible in many places.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your canyon trip to support this local community.

2011-08-28 nonot
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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 $$

High Clearance possible when dry

To canyon trip
From Flagstaff take Rte 66 west to Woody Mountain Rd. Turn left (south) on WMR and take it to FR538. Turn right at the junction onto FR538. Continue on FR538 and take it to FR538B. Turn right onto FR538B as it follows powerlines. Park at where FR538B reaches FR626B.
page created by nonot on Aug 28 2011 9:32 pm

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