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Pumphouse Wash (Lower), AZ
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Pumphouse Wash is the headwaters of Oak Creek. The canyon I describe spans 4 miles from FR 237 to the Pumphouse bridge on 89A. Kelly Canyon enters from the east near the top of Pumphouse Wash. James Canyon also enters from the east at the halfway point. James Canyon captures most of the water from an area around and across I-17 that you have likely driven over without knowing. Packed with narrows, pools and several waterfalls James Canyon is awesome but not really in the category of a day hike. The upper section of Pumphouse from James Canyon to FR 237 is wide and low. From James Canyon down to the Pumphouse bridge the canyon is narrow and much higher. Therefore I have split Pumphouse Wash into upper and lower descriptions.


From the parking area head down the steep slope into the canyon. I made it down no problem. The gal behind me slid down on her butt. Once in the wash head back under the bridge and up the canyon. The wash is rocky with mid size boulders from the beginning. Please note this is not an area to be exploring with rain in the forecast. You will find yourself a river ornament if you choose unwisely.

Large smooth finished gray boulders get you thinking about fierce currents in the canyon. Turning the first left bend the noise of 89A gives way to the peaceful wilderness. The going was easy having hiked this canyon after nearly four months with little rain. Usually numerous pools are passed. Some wall to wall requiring a swim. Many have scramble routes to one side or the other. Two pools may require a swim.

I passed several trees wedged in-between the canyon walls. Hopefully this should forewarn those planning a rainy day hike. Keep in mind it doesn't have to be raining in the canyon for a flash flood to occur. If it's raining to the north or east you're in trouble.

A short steep canyon enters from the east near the 1.5 mile mark. Continue on up to the larger and wider canyon coming in from the east which is James Canyon. Here I opt to turn around. You can continue on up Pumphouse, but a 14 foot fall is encountered soon. The only means of getting around is a steep scramble route to the right. It's easier getting up than down in my opinion so keep that in mind. You can also head on up James Canyon which is awesome. Though you'll probably just get into more than expected.
Description 28 Triplogs  0 Topics
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Wish List 10
 Region
 
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 Sedona NE
Canyons are inherently risky. Flash floods occur without notice on sunny days. Technical skills & surrounding topography knowledge required yet does not eliminate risk.
Canyoneering
Consensus
View 2
Grade1
WaterB
Risk
TimeI
Statistics
clicktap icons for details
Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 4.2 miles
Trailhead Elevation 5,740 feet
Elevation Gain 370 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 3 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 6.05
Interest Off Trail Hiking & Seasonal Creek
Author joebartels
Descriptions 208
Routes 758
Photos 9,495
Trips 3,523 map ( 18,268 miles )
Age 47
Location Phoenix, AZ
Photos
Viewed All Mine Following
7  2017-04-05 o2bav8
7  2017-01-07 arizona_water
16  2013-05-26 paulhubbard
73  2012-05-12 WilliamnWendi
16  2011-06-06
James Canyon
Hikergirl81
15  2010-11-14 juliachaos
10  2010-11-14 Hikergirl81
3  2010-08-28
James Canyon
toddak
27  2010-06-05 Al_HikesAZ
24  2009-09-19 crispycreme
18  2007-10-21 joebartels
55  2007-06-02 AzTEC
Page 1,  2
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Radar
Forest Coconino
Backpack   No
Preferred   May, Jun, Sep, Oct → Early
Seasons   Spring to Late Autumn
Sun  6:34am - 5:50pm
Route Scout
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Official Route
 
Alternative Routes
 
Water
Nearby Area Water
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0.8 mi away
0.8 mi
700 ft
Pine Flat West Campground
0.9 mi away
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1.4 mi away
1.3 mi
-1,200 ft
HC Rim Trail
1.6 mi away
1.1 mi
127 ft
Harding Springs Trail #51
1.7 mi away
0.8 mi
720 ft
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2.0 mi away
[ View More! ]
Fauna
American Robin
Canyon Wren
Common Tree Lizard
Long-tailed Brush Lizard
Rock Squirrel
Flora
Arizona Grape
Bigtooth Maple
Canada Goldenrod
Fendler Rose
New Mexico Locust
Red Osier Dogwood
Thimbleberry
Velvet Ash
Virginia Creeper
Geology
Coconino Sandstone
Meteorology
Autumn - Color Foliage
Moon
Named place
Pumphouse Wash
Culture
Automobile Remains/Wreckage
Camp-fire
Gnarly!
by joebartels

Pumphouse Wash is the headwaters of Oak Creek. The canyon I describe spans 4 miles from FR 237 to the Pumphouse bridge on 89A. Kelly Canyon enters from the east near the top of Pumphouse Wash. James Canyon also enters from the east at the halfway point. James Canyon captures most of the water from an area around and across I-17 that you have likely driven over without knowing. Packed with narrows, pools and several waterfalls James Canyon is awesome but not really in the category of a day hike. The upper section of Pumphouse from James Canyon to FR 237 is wide and low. From James Canyon down to the Pumphouse bridge the canyon is narrow and much higher. Therefore I have split Pumphouse Wash into upper and lower descriptions.


From the parking area head down the steep slope into the canyon. I made it down no problem. The gal behind me slid down on her butt. Once in the wash head back under the bridge and up the canyon. The wash is rocky with mid size boulders from the beginning. Please note this is not an area to be exploring with rain in the forecast. You will find yourself a river ornament if you choose unwisely.

Large smooth finished gray boulders get you thinking about fierce currents in the canyon. Turning the first left bend the noise of 89A gives way to the peaceful wilderness. The going was easy having hiked this canyon after nearly four months with little rain. Usually numerous pools are passed. Some wall to wall requiring a swim. Many have scramble routes to one side or the other. Two pools may require a swim.

I passed several trees wedged in-between the canyon walls. Hopefully this should forewarn those planning a rainy day hike. Keep in mind it doesn't have to be raining in the canyon for a flash flood to occur. If it's raining to the north or east you're in trouble.

A short steep canyon enters from the east near the 1.5 mile mark. Continue on up to the larger and wider canyon coming in from the east which is James Canyon. Here I opt to turn around. You can continue on up Pumphouse, but a 14 foot fall is encountered soon. The only means of getting around is a steep scramble route to the right. It's easier getting up than down in my opinion so keep that in mind. You can also head on up James Canyon which is awesome. Though you'll probably just get into more than expected.
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  • Sedona SE Trails
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 $$
Red Rock Pass - may or may not be required. Go to Red Rock Pass then check "When is a Red Rock Pass Required?". If you have questions contact the Coconino forest service.


Directions
Map Drive
or
Road
Paved - Car Okay

To canyon trip
From the 'Y' in Sedona ( 179/89A ) go north for 13.2 miles to what would be mile marker 387.7 There is a pullout just after crossing the bridge on the opposite side of the road. The trick is to slow down the traffic behind you to make a safe turn. Be careful as this pullout is small and on the side of the canyon.
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