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The Best Hikes in Arizona Strip - Arizona Strip BLM

7 Triplog Reviews in the Arizona Strip - Arizona Strip BLM
Most recent of 5 deeper Triplog Reviews
59 mi • 2,500 ft aeg
Hack Canyon - Kanab Creek - Jump Up Canyon
Great place to spend 4 days. John put the trip together and with a slight adjustment to the trailhead moving to Hack Canyon instead of Jumpup or Sowats we were ready to go. The trail in on Hack Canyon is easy to follow and very fast with little AEG. It’s 6 miles down to Kanab Creek which we headed downstream once at the confluence. Then about 9 miles down to the confluence of Jumpup and Kanab Creek camp spot. So it was 15 miles but pretty fast track which left us time to explore a bit once at camp.

At camp we already knew there was rain forecast for that night and it did rain but not too hard and by next morning it had stopped. That morning we day hiked up Jumpup Canyon exploring the narrows which were one of the highlights even though the creek was dry. We pass Sowats and then Kwagnut which shortly after that Jumpup stated to flow. The next several miles were another highlight of the trip with cascades, pools, and general awesomeness! Snow capped the rim above the canyon from the overnight snow just to add more flavor to an already fun day. Eventually in Jumpup we reached the ladder obstacle which is a bypass to get around the waterfall. We turned around here after checking out the ladder and headed back. On the way back we hit Indian Hollow but this turned out to be bit of disappointment since we only made it short ways up canyon before running into chock stone we couldn’t bypass. We then headed back to camp to call it a day. Settled into camp that night this time with no chance of rain and had relaxing night.

Next day we headeded down Kanab Creek towards Showerbath Spring. It's several miles and Kanab Creek starts to flow just mile or so upstream of the spring. Nice spring with hanging garden and we took a break taking quite a few pics. After that Lee and I continued another mile down to Scotty's Castle and Hollow. The hollow was really cool side hike with several waterfalls, a rabbit hole climb and many pools. We spent about an hour up and back exploring Scotty's Hollow and definietly worth the extra side trip. Then headed back to camp and packed up to move up Kanab Creek about 6 miles. John had picked out a nice spot with water and relaxing location to enjoy our last night.

Next morning it was just about 9 mile hike back out to the trailhead. We had a really cool fly over by F22 jets just before
[ youtube video ]
reaching the vehicles. Another great trip in the Canyon! Thanks for putting it together John!



59 mi • 2,500 ft aeg
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!
63 mi • 2,500 ft aeg
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.
1 mi • 26 ft aeg
Drving from Vegas to Zion, some mechanical issues in our RV turned out to be a blessing in disguise causing us to stop off early at the Virgin Gorge. We hiked down to the river under a full moon that night as we spent the night, and then again the next morning. Given the water level (and more importantly temperature), we didn't cross on a casual early morning stroll and cut it short about .5 mile in. Still, the trail and campground areas offered unbelievable views of the gorge.
9.88 mi • 1,878 ft aeg
Exploratory hike to check the area out for future backpacking.
Right away, you get to ford the Virgin River - brrr!!! Very cold all year round. This was a first for my husband fording a river during hiking, so he was pretty worried. The Virgin was fairly low at this time of year, though (about mid-calf), so it was no big deal, and a good learning experience for him as well.
We were mainly here to explore, not to make miles, so our pace allowed a slow enjoyment of the area. Beautiful weather, amazing canyon, great day :D

We encountered an odd fenced exclosure in the wash. Wasn't a hole, and didn't seem to be a filled-in mine. It was covered even from the top, but the fencing wasn't small enough to keep rabbits out, so it didn't make much sense. Clearly, it was pretty old, as the wooden bars were pretty rotted. You can see it from Google Earth, but I really have no idea what it was.
The river was slightly higher on our way out than it had been on the way in - surprise!

Prior to dropping into Sullivan Canyon, there is a trail. The trail is clearly little-used, but very robust cairns mean it's always easy to figure out where you should be. With the river low, staying on trail didn't really matter much down near the water, but when the Virgin is high, you would need to keep a sharper eye. After dropping into Sullivan, this hike is route only.

Wildflowers
Oddly, there were still carpets of cinchweed (Pectis papposa) in some of the sandy areas near the Virgin.
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