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Jackass Canyon, AZ

Guide 6 Triplogs  3 Topics
  2.8 of 5 
25 6 3
Canyons are inherently risky. Flash floods occur without notice on sunny days. Technical skills & surrounding topography knowledge required yet does not eliminate risk.
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Difficulty 3 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance Round Trip 5.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 4,000 feet
Elevation Gain -830 feet
Accumulated Gain 380 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 4 - 6 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 7.4
Interest Off-Trail Hiking, Seasonal Waterfall & Seasonal Creek
Backpack Yes - past 6 Miles
Dogs not allowed
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
45  2016-07-02
Marble Canyon Tributaries and Jackass Canyon
5  2014-11-14 toddak
20  2009-03-09 gpsjoe
Author MtnGeek
author avatar Guides 9
Routes 0
Photos 134
Trips 75 map ( 494 miles )
Age 44 Male Gender
Location Denver, CO
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Expand Map
Preferred   Apr, May, Sep, Oct → 7 AM
Seasons   Autumn to Spring
Sun  5:31am - 7:34pm
1 Alternative

A slot Canyon hike, fishing trip
by MtnGeek

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Jackass Canyon is a slot canyon in the northern part of the Grand Canyon in Marble Canyon. It is one of the northernmost ways to access the river south of Lee's Ferry. The creek only flows after a rainfall. Most people that take this route are anglers looking for an easy way to get to the Colorado River. Nonetheless, it also makes for a nice hike through a slot canyon. The canyon walls are not smooth like many slot canyons but are composed of stratified flat layers. Jackass Canyon is on the Navajo Reservation; you're supposed to obtain a permit to hike it. You can pick one up at Cameron on Highway 89 or call (928) 679-2303. Most people do not realize this and hike it anyway without one.

From the highway, walk into the drainage to the west. There are two barbed wire fences you must cross. The canyon deepens quickly, but the hiking is easy. About 45 minutes later, you will arrive at a 30-foot drop-off with a pool below. There are ropes left here to make you climb easier. You can downclimb without them without too much difficulty. After you get down, the canyon narrows down for a short while. At this point, you can start to hear the Colorado River.

Further on down, you will have to scramble over, under large boulders and around, and pools. You will see some yellow arrows pointing to the possible "best" way. Choosing the best way is not always obvious. About 1.5 hours later, you will see a sign that reads, "Grand Canyon National Park (permits required for overnight camping, firearms prohibited)." Soon after, you will be at the Colorado River. You will be able to see Badger Creek rapids.

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2004-04-01 MtnGeek
  • Grand Canyon Use Area Boundaries - Dynamic Map
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 $$
Special Use

Navajo permit to drive to trailhead, overnight permit if leaving vehicle overnight.

No NPS entrance fee. NPS backpacking permit required to camp below the rim.

Navajo Nation Reservation
Navajo Permits & Services

Grand Canyon National Park
Details for each are occasionaly below numerous alerts
Entrance Fee
Overnight/Backpacking Permits
Grand Canyon Use Areas Map
Rim-to-Rim and Extended Day Hike/Run

Map Drive
Paved - Car Okay

To canyon trip
From Flagstaff drive north on Highway 89. Turn left on Highway 89A towards Jacob Lake and drive a few miles, and park just past milepost 532, where you see a drainage on the west side of the road. There is parking just on the other side of the bridge where it crosses the canyon.
90+° 8am - 6pm kills
Avoid Heat Illness - stay cool
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