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Bunker Hill Spring Canyon
2 Photosets

2014-08-30  
2011-08-28  
mini location map2014-08-30
23 by photographer avatardesert_boonie
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Bunker Hill Spring CanyonSedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Aug 30 2014
desert_boonie
Canyoneering7.40 Miles 1,200 AEG
Canyoneering7.40 Miles   5 Hrs      1.48 mph
1,200 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The start of a weekend getaway started here, Saturday morning traffic heading up north was terrible and I couldn't wait to get onto FR 231 so I could relieve some city driving stress. Several large groups of people along the FR to enjoy the weekend were everywhere, good thing I was heading as far back as I could go. Once I made the turn that would lead me to where I would end up, that was the last I saw of anyone, the rocky, rutted, muddy road put a smile on my face and my isolation began.

Once I pulled up to the end of FR 6288 which would be the end of the road and my starting point, three does just stood their ground and looked at me as if to ask what was I doing there? I just sat and watched them for a few minutes and let them enjoy their morning graze. Once I opened the door that was their cue to prance on off. I gathered my gear, scouted out the area from up top and then started the trek.

The drop in to this canyon is pretty steep, it wastes no time and you will be at the bottom fairly quickly. Right away I was greeted with some fresh rain water in a shallow pool and then a large drop off into a bigger pool. The down climb here was slick but I managed to get into the ankle high water early. The upper portion of this canyon is quite pleasant with several pools to get into. Most of them are deeper than they appear, in fact my theme for the pools became "how deep can they be" and most of them were all chest deep with that few second feeling of not feeling the bottom. It was pretty refreshing to be in the water as the sun was out in full force making it warm in the canyon.

The single rappel in this canyon is pretty straight forward with a good anchor point leading you straight down the rock into a waist high pool. Others might need to do another rappel or set up a hand line on some of the other drops, but I was able to down climb these bigger drops without too much hassle.

After the fun top portion of this canyon it spreads out and becomes a little brushy, you think you're done but you are not, another set of narrows towards the bottom of the canyon form and you are treated with a few more pools and a keeper pothole. Once I was in the lower narrows which were very nicely formed, something caught my sense of smell. Up ahead I could see what looked like would be the keeper, as I approached this section I knew something was dead either in the canyon or just above it.

The most repulsive odor I've ever encountered was offered here, I get to the top of the pool and look down, yep something is dead in here for sure. A skeleton of what I do not know is floating on the top of the pool, a nice top layer of matted hair, stagnant slime and a million flies and mosquitos swarmed the area. My eyes watered and I almost vomited in the pool to add another flavor.

From here I did what I had to do, I wrapped my shemagh around my mouth and slid on into the pool as I noticed the water level was high enough to do a beach whale to get out. The top layer was like muck that attached itself to me like mud. The stirred pool brought up the stench to a level I could barely breath, the skeleton shifted and touched my side as I made my way to the exit. For whatever reason something told me to grab the skeleton and see what it was, the skull came off with ease and I threw it out of the pool as I reached the end and beached myself on out.

Now if you really think I did the above you are nuts, I did what anyone with common sense would have done, I climbed on up and around the pool holding my breath most of the time because the smell was really that bad. I did go back to the other side of the pool to get a picture but couldn't stay here long or else I would have added that vomit flavor to the pool.

Away from this section and able to breath again the canyon finishes up with a nice narrow chute to down climb or rappel into a small pool. Once done, the canyon opens up into a bushy area where the elk paths will lead the way for you. Towards the end, there is one more pool to go through, and if you are doing this trek in the warmer months trust me you will want to get in and get wet before the hike out.

Once I reached the barb wire fencing I was almost telling myself this couldn't be the trail up as it seemed to quick to be here. But sure enough this is it, a very wide path at the bottom half to lead you on up. The entire hike out is fully exposed to the sun so be prepared for a warm hike out. This hike out isn't bad and if you turn around to look at the area you are in the views are incredible. Halfway up you'll see the power lines up on the ridge which will be your destination to get out, you'll come to a road and now it is time for the classic road walking I know someone would have enjoyed for another mile or so before getting back to where you started. Anytime you do a trek and do not see a single soul is a great trek in my book.
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