Munds Canyon, AZ

Guide 4 Triplogs Mine 0 0 Topics
4 of 5 
no permit
34 4 0
Canyons are inherently risky. Flash floods occur without notice on sunny days. Technical skills & surrounding topography knowledge required yet does not eliminate risk.
View 1
clicktap icons for details
Difficulty 3.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 7 miles
Trailhead Elevation 6,435 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,000 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 6 - 8 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 12
Interest Off-Trail Hiking, Seasonal Waterfall & Seasonal Creek
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
feature photo
Photos Viewed All MineFollowing
8  2017-05-22 MountainMatt
13  2013-09-23 epstein1
9  2013-08-04 toddak
4  2008-05-26 toddak
Author toddak
author avatar Guides 8
Routes 9
Photos 1,281
Trips 484 map ( 7,680 miles )
Age 57 Male Gender
Location Jackson, CA
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Expand Map
Preferred Apr, May
Seasons   Late Spring to Early Summer
Sun  5:32am - 7:34pm
0 Alternative
Nearby Area Water
[ View More! ]
Fauna Nearby
Named place Nearby
no photo labels yet
+Add > Photos to this Guide
then label as applicable
pass the basalt
by toddak

A rugged, non-technical canyon with seasonal water flow and some short falls. Late spring is probably the best time to catch lightly flowing conditions that won't be ice cold.

From your car, hike south paralleling the freeway, up and over the hill, and then work your way down into the shallow canyon near the overpass. Head downstream over the water-polished basalt rock, with pools and moderate vegetation to navigate. The canyon gradually deepens, and a couple of miles down hits a nice section of basalt narrows where the canyon turns abruptly to the north and starts to broaden. Depending on water levels, you can probably keep your feet dry with some moderate scrambling.

Continuing down-canyon, the yellow Coconino sandstone starts to appear, and as the canyon turns back to the west, there is a lovely section with a waterfall and narrows, which you can bypass on the left. This is probably the most scenic section and a good turnaround point.

Some nice stretches of red Supai slickrock appear if you continue, providing relief from the constant rock-hopping on the basalt boulders that fill the creek bed. But about two miles below the falls, the canyon enters the private property at Indian Gardens in Oak Creek Canyon. Note that before you reach the private property, it is possible to bushwhack up the slope north of the creek and intersect Thompson Ladder Trail #14, which takes you back up to the rim and makes for an easy cross-country walk back to the start. The trail is steep, heavily overgrown, and unmaintained, but reasonably easy to follow, and this makes for a nice alternative to rock-hopping back up the canyon. Having some GPS waypoints for guidance is recommended.

Water Sources
None are reliable, and the water probably contains fertilizer runoff from the golf course.

Not recommended

Check out the Triplogs.

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

2013-08-07 toddak
    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 canyon trip
    The I-17 freeway crosses Munds Canyon just south of the town of Munds Park, take Exit 322. From the west side of the exit, go south past the gas station and restaurant to a closed gate. Pass through and follow the paved then gravel road south a few hundred yards, paralleling the freeway, and park near an APS substation in the pines.

    2017-05-24 by MountainMatt
    You can achieve legal access by taking the Willard Springs Exit to FR 253 and then turn on FR 580 and follow that to any preferred spot closer to the canyons head.
    page created by toddak on Aug 07 2013 6:07 am
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills

    end of page marker