Canyons are inherently risky. Flash floods occur without notice on sunny days. Technical skills & surrounding topography knowledge required yet does not eliminate risk.
pass the basalt
Overview: 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.
Hike: 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 nice section with a waterfall and narrows, which can be bypassed on the left. This is probably the most scenic section and a good turnaround point.
If you continue, some nice stretches of red Supai slickrock appear, 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 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 fairly 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 that are reliable, and the water probably contains fertilizer runoff from the golf course.
Camping: Not recommended
Check out the Triplogs.
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.