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Jumpup-Nail Trail, AZ

no permit
133 8 1
Guide 8 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Northwest > North Rim
4.3 of 5 by 3
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Difficulty 3.5 of 5
Distance One Way 6.75 miles
Trailhead Elevation 6,170 feet
Elevation Gain -2,266 feet
Avg Time One Way 3-3.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 10.53
Backpack Possible & Connecting
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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
11  2016-10-11 friendofThunderg
18  2016-04-27
Kanab Creek to the CO River
39  2015-10-08 Gatekeeper
20  2015-05-26
Jumpup Backpack
45  2006-11-28 RedRoxx44
Author HAZ_Hikebot
author avatar Guides 16,882
Routes 16,052
Photos 24
Trips 1 map ( 6 miles )
Age 22 Male Gender
Location TrailDEX, HAZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Apr, Oct, Mar, Nov → Early
Seasons   Late Spring to Early Autumn
Sun  6:18am - 6:27pm
Official Route
2 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Descending Cliffs
by HAZ_Hikebot

The trail descends from Sowats Point, crosses Sowats Canyon and then descends into Jumpup Canyon where it joins Trail #41.

This trail is located within Kanab Creek Wilderness. As it descends from Sowats point the trail offers a panoramic view of Sowats and Jumpup Canyons while dripping 2,000 feet among vermilion colored cliffs interspersed with natural rock sculptures, pockets of juniper and pinyon and steep, molded sandstone canyons. At the base of the Point, the trail follows a sandy bench to the edge of Sowats Canyon, then crosses it.

After leaving Sowats, the trail winds its way around the Point and enters Jumpup Canyon. The Ranger Trail to Kanab Creek joins Trail #8 here, allowing the hiker to continue up Jumpup Canyon until it meets FR 423. Kwagunt Hollow and Sowats Canyon are popular accesses to Kanab Creek and Colorado River. Because of the steep-sided and narrow pathway on this trail, riders should use only experienced trail horses. This trail is in a remote area, with limited water, high summer temperatures, and extremely rugged terrain. It is therefore recommended that specific and current information be obtained from the Visitor Center.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2008-03-22 HAZ_Hikebot

    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
    Jumpup-Nail Trail
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    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!
    Jumpup-Nail Trail
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    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.
    Jumpup-Nail Trail
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    This was the last hike with Jackie and the dogs before I headed down below the rim for my three day backpack. I was originally going to complete a three day backpack in this area with some colleagues from work, but wanted to get more quality time with the girlfriend and dogs over fall break, so settled on just an exploratory hike. I was told by a reputable source on HAZ that Kanab Creek from Jump Up may have been their most memorable canyon trip. I can certainly see why!

    Like any good canyon trail, Jump up blows you away from the start with some tremendous views. One can immediately see the famous Kwagunt Hollow and numerous other finger like canyons that make their way to Kanab Creek and eventually the Colorado. It took less than five miles to determine, but this is an area I am already planning a return trip. So many option for exploring, so remote and so much to see in this unique wilderness area.

    The trail down is rugged and a little steep, but generally in great shape. Jackie learned her first hard lesson of the canyon, in terms of what goes down, must come up, but she handled it fine and was very happy to get a real hike below the rim. Meanwhile, I left with my mind racing about future backpacks and trips. A return to this area is a certainty.
    Jumpup-Nail Trail
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Kanab Creek to the CO River
    Rugged non-technical canyoneering route into pristine lower Kanab Creek, where springs, streams and waterfalls abound. Started at the Sowats Point trailhead and dropped down the Jumpup-Nail trail for a couple of miles, then off-trail down beautiful Kwagunt Hollow, on down Jumpup Canyon through a section of narrow slots, then down winding Kanab Creek to the Colorado, with sidetrips up Scotty's Hollow and to Whispering Falls grotto. Didn't see another soul, a scrap of trash, a trampled campsite or a fire ring for 3 days - wonderful!

    No need to worry about water sources on this one. Kwagunt had light flow and pools along much of its length. Jumpup and the first 3 miles in Kanab are dry, then water suddenly appears and grows to a lovely year-round creek that persists to the Colorado. Showerbath Spring is amazing.

    FR #233 to the trailhead is deeply rutted - high clearance probably required, and it will be very muddy if wet.

    More hike details can be found in Todd Martin's Grand Canyoneering book or on his website. Just don't follow his advice to turn around before reaching the Colorado - the walking gets easier the further you go, and the scenery is just as spectacular.

    Permit $$
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    Map Drive
    High Clearance possible when dry

    To hike
    Access: 1/4 mile south of Visitor Center on AZ 67, turn west on FR 461. Continue west on FR's 461 and 462 for about 9 miles to FR 422. Turn south on 422 and go 11.5 miles (5 miles beyond Big Springs), then turn west on FR 425. Go about 8 miles and turn right on FR 233. Follow 233 about 9 miles to the trailhead. The road ends at Sowats Benchmark, about 0.5 mile beyond the trailhead.

    Travel Time: Two hours from North Kaibab Visitor Center.

    Road Conditions: Approximately 38 miles of gravel and dirt roads, the last 8 miles of which are suitable for high-clearance vehicles only.
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