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Sullivan's Canyon, AZ

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Difficulty 5 of 5
Distance One Way 15 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,167 feet
Elevation Gain 5,849 feet
Accumulated Gain 5,849 feet
Avg Time One Way 7-8 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 34.49
Interest Off-Trail Hiking, Perennial Creek & Peak
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
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5  2016-11-12 afrankie
5  2013-11-11 autumnstars
Author autumnstars
author avatar Guides 25
Routes 19
Photos 562
Trips 1,391 map ( 11,424 miles )
Age Female Gender
Location Las Vegas, NV
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Apr, Oct, Mar, May
Sun  6:25am - 6:29pm
0 Alternative

HAZ Patch
Hike along the Virgin River, then up an amazing canyon past towering cliffs, and finally ascend to the Virgin Mtn ridge line to obtain the peak of Mt Bangs (the highest point of the Virgins in Arizona).

Toward the beginning of the hike, you must ford the Virgin River. This is dangerous, if not impossible, during spring snowmelt. Be careful!

From the Virgin River Canyon NRA, ford the Virgin River. When fording, stick to the marked crossing, which is really the easiest spot to cross. The trail then winds around next to the river, occasionally climbing up and over the surrounding cliffs, as required by the topography. The sound of the water thankfully hides the sound of traffic on the highway. Clearly, the trail sees little use, but plenty of signs and cairns lead the way. After approximately 2 miles, the trail drops into Sullivan's Canyon. This is a very active canyon, so after dropping in, there is no trail; instead, you pick your way up the wash bottom. Sullivan's Canyon winds through a variety of geologic formations, mainly volcanic and sandstone. The wash is rocky, but most are the small, smooth ankle-turning variety - no climbing up and around boulders here. There are also plenty of desert willows to provide shade as needed. After 10+ miles in the canyon, start looking for a long-abandoned jeep road headed up to the ridgeline. This takes you almost all the way to Mt Bangs, a reasonably straightforward off-trail scramble from the road.

Water Sources
The Virgin River is your main water source. As you get further from the river, there are several springs on your way to Mt Bangs, although most require you to hike out of your way.

There is a developed campground right at the trailhead with flush toilets.
2020-07-09 dwwheeler: The campground at the trailhead is closed. Has been for over a year. No idea when it will re-open.

Once away from the highway, you can camp backpacking-style pretty much anywhere. No permit required.

Check out the Triplogs.

This is a difficult hike. It would be insane to attempt this entire hike without prior experience hiking.

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

2013-11-12 autumnstars

    One-Way Notice
    This hike is listed as One-Way.

    When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
    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 $$
    Information is listed below

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    Drive north on I-15 from Las Vegas or Mesquite NV, or south on I-15 from St. George, UT. Get off on exit #18 (Cedar Pockets) and turn south toward the Virgin River Canyon Recreation Area (signed). Drive about one mile and turn right toward the day-use area. Stop at the self-pay station before parking - pay the day-use fee, or leave your Interagency Annual Pass visible in your vehicle.

    Apparently, you can also park along the side of the northbound highway, but parking along the highway is at your own risk.
    page created by autumnstars on Nov 12 2013 7:40 pm
    help comment issue

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