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Kane Gulch to Junction with Grand Gulch - 4 members in 6 triplogs have rated this an average 3.5 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Aug 28 2018
wildwesthikes
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 Routes 11
 Photos 350
 Triplogs 18

37 male
 Joined Nov 23 2010
 Phoenix, AZ
Kane Gulch to Junction with Grand GulchSoutheast, UT
Southeast, UT
Backpack avatar Aug 28 2018
wildwesthikes
Backpack10.00 Miles 500 AEG
Backpack10.00 Miles3 Days         
500 ft AEG45 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This hike was wayy off-season. The goal was originally to travel from the Kane Gulch ranger station to the junction with Bullet Canyon and would have made the entire trip over 20 miles. Normally this mileage is not a problem. However, it being the very last week of the off-season, no single BLM ranger had been down there for months. In fact, the entire 3 days I spent in the canyon I saw one person total, a friendly guy on a day hike who himself told me I was the first person he has seen in over 3 weeks of hiking around Cedar Mesa. The place is truly remote and even more-so in the off-season. The rangers actually asked me detailed questions about the conditions once I got back to my car -- I guess a big flash flood had come through sometime a month before. And man, it showed...

The bushwhack was what I would call epic -- to the point I felt like about 50% of the time it was "trail" but was actually straight up off-trail. The other 50% of the time you are walking in the drainage, avoiding the occasional deep mud puddles that will eat you up to your ankles. I averaged about a mile per hour and by the end of a 5 mile day down to the junction of Grand Gulch -- by Junction Ruin, I was pretty cut up and exhausted. The "trail" meanders in and out of the gulch every few hundred feet - the repetition being: hike drainage, cross over onto a trail made of deep beach sand, then cross back over and hike the drainage once again. Compounded with the bushwhacking, it made the hiking slow work.

After day 1 it was pretty clear I wasn't reaching Bullet Canyon, and the weather forecast was turning to thunderstorms in a couple days -- so I decided to make it a 3 day adventure instead of 4. No one wants to be stranded in a deep canyon when flash floods are likely!

Day two was more interesting, I decided I would hike down canyon for as long as possible until I decided it wasn't a good idea any more. Also at that point, I decided to begin avoiding the trail and just hiking the drainage where possible -- this was much faster and possible for most of hiking the gulch south of Kane Gulch. I visited Turkey Pen Ruin and then some other small ruin hidden away off a use trail that I could not find the name of -- about a mile or two NW of Toadie. I did make it pretty close to Toadie Canyon - but was cut short by clouds moving in. At that point it was around noon; time to turn around and high tail it to a high-ground campsite just a short distance north-east of the junction between Kane and Grand (this site was awesome by the way); it is along the final goose-neck of Kane Gulch before it enters Grand Gulch -- look for a use trail traveling upwards about 20 ft off the main trail, heading east. The views are spectacular as you are somewhat raised up from the bottom of the gulch but being in a gooseneck, you feel close to the canyon walls and it was easy to make sounds echo.

Day 3, not so epic- just a short 4 miles back to the car at the ranger station. Only got lost once, staying in the drainage too long and ended up *under* the boulders below the big pour-off. You don't want to go down there. It is a mess of deep mud and slick boulder hopping. If you find yourself doing that in Kane - you've missed a cairn somewhere. Turn around and go find the cairn. Luckily the clouds were just a warning and it did not end up raining at all the entire trip... However I camped that night up on the mesa top and it rained. In the morning I found three -- yes three giant thunder storm systems beginning to converge right over Cedar Mesa. If I had been down in the canyon on the fourth day like my original plan, it would have been a problem for sure. Ultimately I would only ever go back to Kane/Grand/Bullet during the on-season. Off season may appeal to the most adventurous among us.
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4 archives
May 23 2016
CannondaleKid
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 Guides 43
 Routes 138
 Photos 21,830
 Triplogs 2,237

70 male
 Joined May 04 2004
 Mesa, AZ
Kane Gulch to Junction with Grand GulchSoutheast, UT
Southeast, UT
Hiking avatar May 23 2016
CannondaleKid
Hiking5.00 Miles 853 AEG
Hiking5.00 Miles   2 Hrs   21 Mns   2.13 mph
853 ft AEG25 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
trixiec
Finally, the last hike of the trip... which we both wish it had never happened. In hindsight we should have cut the trip short by a day immediately after our Moon House hike and just driven home. But, oh no, we just had to do one more hike.

Of course if we had gone at least as far as the Turkey Pen, maybe we'd look at it in a more positive light... but we didn't, so it turned out to be a bust.

The first few miles of trudging through loose gravel, sand, stinky mud (or was it cattle manure) and thickets of salt cedar were far from enjoyable... and that was even before we realized cedar gnats had already begun their feasting, on us!

Unfortunately whether it was a result of the loose terrain, day after day of hiking and/or arthritis, within a mile or so the hike became quite literally a pain-in-the-hip...

It wasn't long before it was obvious I would be hurting too much make the full 10-mile round-trip as planned so now the question became, 'when do we turn back?'

The decision turned out to be quite easy... when we came to a very steep descent and thought about what it would be like to ascending it on the return trip after another 5 miles of hiking. Nope, not gonna do it!

Good thing we turned around when we did as I was literally hobbling by time we reached the Jeep. And without a moments' hesitation we both knew, the heck with pitching camp one more time, let's just head home. And so we did.

The only wrench into the works on the way home (other than the ridiculous RV & tour-bus traffic) was our usual stop at the Sub-Way in Kayenta... a LARGE motorcycle 'gang' from Holland was just beginning to order.

Between the language barrier for seemingly half of the group, plus only one young girl working behind the corner... well, it could easily be an hour before we even ordered so we decided to starve until Flagstaff. And that we did, until we hit the first Sub-Way we encountered. Yes, we had our hearts (and stomachs) set on foot-longs from Sub-Way.

Whoops, can't forget the smoke from numerous fires on our drive to Payson along Lake Mary Road.

AFTERMATH: Yup, the cedar gnats fed generously and even today, some two weeks later I still have the evidence of how well they fed. And all the result of the hike we should never have done.
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CannondaleKid
May 19 2009
hippiepunkpirate
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 Guides 25
 Routes 36
 Photos 2,877
 Triplogs 657

34 male
 Joined May 30 2008
 Peoria, AZ
Kane Gulch to Junction with Grand GulchSoutheast, UT
Southeast, UT
Hiking avatar May 19 2009
hippiepunkpirate
Hiking8.40 Miles 600 AEG
Hiking8.40 Miles   5 Hrs   15 Mns   1.60 mph
600 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This was the big event of day 2 of my May 2009 camping. We couldn't have asked for better weather (which basically speaks for the entire 3 day trip). We had beautiful, fluffy clouds most of the way going in, and a nice little thundershower to cool us down on the way out. The first half mile or so of the hike wasn't very exciting, but it got progressively better as the canyon walls grew higher and we eventually reached the gorgeous cottonwood trees. We went up to the Junction Ruin, where we snacked, rehydrated, and grooved on the ancient culture and beautiful scenery. I don't have a real detailed description of my trip, but this rates as hike of the year for me (thus far).
Geology
Geology
Cedar Mesa Sandstone
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
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My website: Mountain Tripper
I also write for: Territory Supply
Sep 23 2008
Trishness
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 Guides 14
 Photos 720
 Triplogs 187

62 female
 Joined May 21 2003
 Apache Junction,
Kane Gulch to Junction with Grand GulchSoutheast, UT
Southeast, UT
Hiking avatar Sep 23 2008
Trishness
Hiking8.00 Miles 500 AEG
Hiking8.00 Miles   3 Hrs      2.67 mph
500 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
We hiked this before deciding if we were going to do our Grand Gulch backpack trip of 25 miles for the following 3 days. The question at this time was the availability of water in the Gulch and at the springs located along Bullet and Kane Canyons. Anyway, we started at the Kane Gulch Ranger Station where we were told there was "sporadic" water available...not a good sign when you are planning 25 miles. Todie was trickling (maybe), Jailhouse was dry and many of the known flowing springs were dry or stagnant water. So we did this as a day hike. I don't know what someone put in my Wheaties that morning but we made it down to the junction (4 miles) in an hour and 15 minutes. Passed two other hikers who heard us coming and moved off to the side and then saw us later at the junction and called me Rocket lady. I never hike that fast but I must have been a woman on a mission that morning! Lovely hike with the canyon all to ourselves. We did see some suspicious & FRESH tracks that looked like cougar and took pictures which we showed to the ranger when we returned. He was very interested in those and was going to take a trek down canyon to see them. Trek in was 1 hour 15 mins and trek out was 1 hour 30 mins with 1/2 an hour exploring out in the ruins area. GREAT camping sites under those cottonwoods near the junction. We encountered a group of 6 backpackers coming out who said there was no water in the Gulch.

Sidenote: Due to the unknown availability of water in Bullet Canyon and the Grand Gulch, my friend and I decided to abort our backpack attempt at this time. It was a wise decision as we were camped out at Bullet Canyon TH and spoke to hikers coming out who said the situation was GRIM for water. Maybe we need to replan this for a spring trip when water is more reliable.
_____________________
Trish-Kabob

"May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds" Ed Abbey
Apr 23 2006
PaleoRob
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 Guides 159
 Routes 172
 Photos 5,619
 Triplogs 1,014

39 male
 Joined Apr 03 2006
 Grand Junction,
Kane Gulch to Junction with Grand GulchSoutheast, UT
Southeast, UT
Hiking avatar Apr 23 2006
PaleoRob
Hiking8.00 Miles 500 AEG
Hiking8.00 Miles   6 Hrs      1.33 mph
500 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Day trip with wife, friend and Buster the Dog, checking out Junction Ruin and a couple smaller sites in KG. Perfect day for canyon hiking - sunny, not too warm, not too cold. Saw some stuff I missed on my last trip in, and noticed a lot of potsherds have gone missing since my last venture down GG (specifically the very large sherd in my personal gallery). Sad, really. Other than that, awesome time out there. Finally found a place my wife is interested in backpacking. Figured its fair game to post, since someone else posted about another Utah hike, right?
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"The only thing we did was wrong was staying in the wilderness to long...the only thing we did was right was the day we started to fight..."
-Old Spiritual
My book, The Marauders on Lulu and Amazon
Mar 14 2004
PaleoRob
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 Guides 159
 Routes 172
 Photos 5,619
 Triplogs 1,014

39 male
 Joined Apr 03 2006
 Grand Junction,
Kane Gulch to Junction with Grand GulchSoutheast, UT
Southeast, UT
Hiking avatar Mar 14 2004
PaleoRob
Hiking16.00 Miles 500 AEG
Hiking16.00 Miles2 Days   12 Hrs      
500 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Quick backpack to the Junction as basecamp. Hiked down to Todie Springs, back to the Junction, up GG a ways, and back to basecamp. Recon trip, really, to plan future trips.
_____________________
"The only thing we did was wrong was staying in the wilderness to long...the only thing we did was right was the day we started to fight..."
-Old Spiritual
My book, The Marauders on Lulu and Amazon
average hiking speed 1.93 mph

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.

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