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Hack Canyon, AZ

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Guide 4 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Northwest > St George
3.3 of 5 by 3
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance One Way 6.7 miles
Trailhead Elevation 3,905 feet
Avg Time One Way 4 hours
Interest Historic & Seasonal Creek
Backpack Yes
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
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27  2018-03-17
Hack Cyn to Jumpup Cyn
45  2018-03-17
Hack Canyon - Kanab Creek - Jump Up Canyon
29  2018-03-17
Hack Canyon - Kanab Creek - Jump Up Canyon
9  2018-01-16 Hippy
Author Hippy
author avatar Guides 7
Routes 3
Photos 1,749
Trips 609 map ( 4,632 miles )
Age 33 Female Gender
Location Grand Canyon
Associated Areas
list map done
Arizona Strip - Arizona Strip BLM
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Apr, Oct, May, Mar
Seasons   Early Autumn to Late Spring
Sun  6:19am - 6:28pm
Official Route
2 Alternative
vibrating and thrumming
by Hippy

Hack canyon is said to be named after Haskell Jolly, who was known to locals as "Hack" and owned a nearby spring and ranch. The Hack Cyn Mine is in upper Hack Canyon around 5.7 miles from Sunshine Road. This was a copper mine in WWI, there is still evidence of a tramway used to haul ore to the rim of the canyon for transport.

"From the Hack Mine, 1,100 tons of uranium ore was shipped in 1951-52." (Quote from Tucson newspaper article from 2015) this mine and others in the area were closed and "reclaimed" in the 1990's. Tailings and such were bulldozed to fill in any open mineshafts.

A few power lines still grace the area near Hack Cyn Mine and I don't recommend camping near them if you can avoid it. The lines were vibrating and thrumming and causing our hair to stand on end as of Jan 2018 and BLM folks said they'd "send someone out to look at it". Uh huh.

Once at the actual Trailhead you will literally have driven the first few miles INTO upper Hack Canyon. This road is super neat because you enter the canyon and travel down through the Kaibab Limestone, Toroweap formation and Coconino Sandstone!
Your hike begins already down in the Hermit Shale!

If your vehicle has made it all the way down to the trailhead you'll probably be surrounded by cows, cow pies and fencing. The BLM and Kanab Creek Wilderness sign awaits your attention and a register is present for your autograph.
There is a gate immediately behind these signs (see photos) please close it and latch the chain when you're through! (There are enough cows on either side)

A very obvious use path takes off and you can follow this 80% of the time.
After the first few miles you'll drop below the Hermit Shale further into the creekbed and down into the Suapi Layers (Esplanade Sandstone, Wescogame Formation, Manakacha Formation and Watahomigi Formation)
On this trip I didn't exactly pay attention how far down into the Supai group the trail actually goes but at least the first two or three formations!

The creek abruptly widens and spills out into Kanab Creek after 6.69 miles of happy hiking from the register. From there one may easily access all sorts of backpacking areas via Kanab Creek or just hopping up on the Ranger Trail below JumpUp Point.

To return to your vehicle you just head right back up Hack Canyon creekbed.
If the creekbed is flowing somehow there are multiple "high pass" routes you can spot along your way down the creekbed.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Gate Policy: If a gate is closed upon arrival, leave it closed after you go through. If it is open, leave it open. Leaving a closed gate open may put cattle in danger. Closing an open gate may cut them off from water. Please be respectful, leave gates as found.

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

2018-01-18 Hippy
  • Grand Canyon Use Area Boundaries - Dynamic Map

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.

Most recent Triplog Reviews
Hack Canyon
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Hack Canyon - Kanab Creek - Jump Up Canyon
The idea for this trip came onto the radar in fall 2017. We looked ahead to Lee’s Spring Break and decided it was the perfect timing to make it happen! Our original plan was to start the hike from Sowats Point but that is high elevation topping out at over 6,000 ft. Rain & snow were in the forecast so we decided to play it safe and start on the west side in Hack Canyon which sits at roughly 4,000 ft. This was a great option but features a long hike in of fifteen miles.

The three of us left Phoenix on Friday afternoon and made the drive to Kanab, UT where we stayed in a hotel. We woke on Saturday morning and made the drive in. The roads to Hack Canyon are in good condition overall. There are a few hairy spots in Hack Canyon but high clearance will do the trick.

March 17, 2018
We arrived at the Hack Canyon TH around 8:15am and got geared up for the hike in. There were three guys from Oregon who camped at the TH the night before. They were heading out and told us there was no water down canyon but they only went roughly six miles in. We expected this section to be dry but it still gave us some anxiety. If we can’t find water we’ll have to cut the trip short.

We started hiking around 8:30am and cruised down canyon. The first six miles are high speed as there are use trails on the benches above the creek. We took a short break at the junction with Kanab Creek and then continued hiking in. There was no water at all and our anxiety grew. We kept hiking and finally hit flowing water at roughly nine miles in. We made note of this spot and decided to camp here on night three. This will shorten our hike out on our exit day.

The next 5-6 miles were slow going and the flowing creek dried up within a mile or two. We found a few small pools as we neared the junction with Jump Up. The long hike was taking a toll on us and we talked about setting up camp roughly two miles from the junction but ultimately pushed on and we’re glad we did. There is a sweet campsite at the junction of Kanab Creek & Jump Up Canyon that rises 25 ft above the creek. We also found a small pool roughly a third of a mile away.

We set up camp and settled in for the evening. Rain was in the forecast and we were prepared. A light drizzle started falling around 6:30pm and sprinkled on and off. I spent the evening relaxing in my tent and fell asleep only to be woken around midnight by heavy wind and more rain. It was a bit unnerving but not too bad.

March 18, 2018
I started day two with checking my tent for water after the rain last night. There was some condensation on my tent and some water inside but not a big deal. We left camp and headed up Jump Up Canyon. There is a small chance of rain but we got lucky and it stayed dry.

The going up Jump Up Canyon is fairly easy as you walk up a dry creek bed. Some sections are loaded with annoying rocks but it’s not too bad. A few miles up we passed through a sweet sections of narrows that all of us enjoyed. We continued on and the canyon eventually opens up and water started flowing. We pass Kwagunt Canyon and kept heading north. Our goal was the Jump Up Ladder and I’m glad we went. The last mile leading to the ladder is spectacular! The canyon becomes steeper and features several breathtaking waterfalls.

Lee turned off to explore a cave while Karl and I continued another half mile to the ladder which turned out to be very cool. You arrive at a waterfall and have to turn to the right to spot the ladder 20ft above the canyon floor. We climbed up to it and the ladder looks precarious. Karl climbed up and briefly explored the area above. He eventually returned and then we started our return back down canyon where we took a short lunch break and met back up with Lee soon after.

The three of us then returned down canyon with a quick stop in Indian Hollow. We proceeded up this sweet canyon about fifteen minutes until we cliffed out at a 20ft waterfall. Getting up this would be extremely difficult and dangerous so we turned around and headed back to the camp.

We spent the rest of the afternoon exploring another short side canyon below camp and then settled in to our evening. The weather was dry and comfortable and we enjoyed dinner and turned in around 9pm.

March 19, 2018
On our third day we headed down Kanab Creek. The going was similar to Jump Up as we followed the dry creek bed and dodged large boulders. We made good time for the most part and ran into flowing water after 2-3 miles. From there it’s water all the way as we continued on for Showerbath Spring. We arrived at the spring and took a variety of pics and took a short break. Scotty’s Castle & Hollow were another mile down canyon but I was tired of all the rock hopping so I decided to head back. Lee and Karl continued down canyon. I took my time and returned to camp where I took a nap and broke down camp.

The guys returned to camp a couple of hours later and I had everything packed up and ready to go. The plan was to hike six miles back towards Hack Canyon and camp along the stretch of water we found on our hike in. This will greatly shorten the hike out on our last day. I hit the trail and made good time as I headed up canyon. Along the way came the first and only person we would see while backpacking. A solo backpacker was heading in and we had a short conversation. After that I continued on and made it to our camp location within an hour. Once there I set up camp and waited for the others to join me.

Lee & Karl arrived a bit later and we settled in for an evening around a campfire. All of us were beat after covering a lot of ground the past few days. We enjoyed dinner around the campfire and everyone was in bed around 9pm.

March 20, 2018
We hit the trail at 7am and started our hike out. We had roughly 8.5 miles to go and made quick work of the hike. We took a short break at the junction with Hack Canyon. From there it was one foot in front of the other as we cruised out. Along the way a couple of jet fighters flew overhead as they headed down canyon. We were back to the trailhead around 10am and packed up and then started the return to Phoenix. Another wonderful trip in the books! Thanks Karl for driving!
Hack Canyon
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John, Karl and myself completed a four day foray into the Kanab Creek Wilderness and it was prettty spectacular. We began our modest trek via the far lengthier Hack Canyon approach, as winter weather had access via Sowats Point out of the question.

Day one was reserved for getting to our base camp at the junctions of Jumpup Canyon and Kanab Creek. It was a 15 mile day, but the lack of AEG and long stretches of nice trail along the benches of the creek made for quick hiking. Apart from what appeared to be a perennial stretch along Kanab Creek the hike in was very dry. In fact, there was no water a camp and we had to filter water from some left over pot holes a few tenths of a mile from camp. We knew rain was coming from the time we set up camp, so we ate our dinner a little sooner than usual. Around seven, the rain chased John and I to our tents for an early night, but Karl endured a little longer. It never really rained hard throughout the night, but there was a pretty steady light period of rain after midnight that lasted for a couple of hours, but nothing to make anything too uncomfortable.

Day two was a trip up to the Jumpup “obstacle” via Jump Canyon and Lower Jumpup Canyon. This route was a tad heavy on the boulder hopping, but big on the reward side. There was an awesome narrows secttion reminiscent of Buckskin along with some dramatic stretches with towering walls through Jumpup Canyon. Eventually the narrows relented to the much more open lower Jumpup Canyon, which was a real treat. There was flowing water, countless cascades and small waterfalls topped off by some excellent views of a snow dusted rim in the distance. I got an itch to explore a cave about a half a mile from the “obstacle,” so I let John and Karl explore that while I checked out the cave. The cave was a dud for prehistory, but offered some cool views. After meeting back up, we headed down to Indian Hollow. We held off on exploring Kwagunut and Sowats in order to save more time on what looked like a promising Indian Hollow. The beginning of Indian Hollow proved worthy with a short but spectacular little slot section, however, the excitement quickly wore off when we reached an impassable chockstone not too far in. A little disappointed, we turned around there and headed back to camp with modest plans to explore an unnamed canyon downstream of camp. The unnamed canyon proved to be a little bit of a dud, but nobody was complaining after the first rate hike up Jumpup earlier in the day.

Showerbath Spring and maybe a peak in Scotty’s Hollow was the goal of day three. Kanab Creek becomes a whole different world one you hit the stretch when it begins to flow above the surface and although it was a boukder hop, the hike to Showerbath was pleasant. Showerbath itself is also a pretty cool destination, complete with some nice deep swimming holes occupied by some rather large and unexpected fish. John went back to camp from Showerbath, while Karl and I headed further downstream to Scotty’s Hollow. This proved to be a worthy side trip, as we both left Scotty’s Hollow very impressed. A scenic little waterfall and grotto greets your entry into this special canyon and it just get better with each step further up canyon. We turned around at the “swimmer” as we were not planning on getting wet and we knew we still had a six mile camp relocation to complete once we got back to camp. The hike back up stream was boulders for days and a little redundant at times, but we still made decent time. Once we got back to camp, it was a quick breakdown and then back on the trail to set up camp six miles closer to the trailhead along a flowing stretch of Kanab Creek.

Day four was just a brisk 8.5 mile hike back to the trailhead. The recent snow had made some of the views in the distance nicer, but the last stretch to the Hack Canyon trailhead was certainly a little more mundane than the previous stretches from the days before.

Map Drive
High Clearance possible when dry

To hike
From Fredonia, take HWY 389 west about 8 miles to the Sunshine Road (aka Mt. Trumbull/Toroweap Rd).
Go south 22 miles.
Turn left onto "Hack Canyon Road", you'll need to open a cattle gate, CLOSE GATE behind you!
You'll drive exactly 9 miles from Sunshine Road to the actual Trailhead IN Hack Canyon.
This route requires high clearance and 4WD. There were four "difficult" sections of road the first two were about 3 miles in and were just oddly angled dips with beach ball sized rocks sticking up all over the place.

From Fredonia, take HWY 389 west about 8 miles to the Mt. Trumbull/Toroweap Rd. Go south 30 miles. Turn left and drive about 6 miles to the rim, where the road turns east and follows the rim. Go about 1 mile and look for a small corral on the edge of the rim. Park at corral.
page created by Hippy on Jan 18 2018 4:24 pm
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