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Big Spring / Squaw Canyon Loop - 6 members in 6 triplogs have rated this an average 4 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Apr 20 2018
chumley
avatar

 Guides 80
 Routes 687
 Photos 15,418
 Triplogs 1,578

47 male
 Joined Sep 18 2002
 Tempe, AZ
Big Spring / Squaw Canyon LoopSoutheast, UT
Southeast, UT
Hiking avatar Apr 20 2018
chumley
Hiking8.07 Miles 750 AEG
Hiking8.07 Miles   2 Hrs   52 Mns   3.03 mph
750 ft AEG      12 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
After we had set up camp for night 2, I decided to knock off a few hours in the afternoon with a day hike. There was a direct trail from camp back to our original backpacking trailhead at Squaw Flat that was not on our itinerary, and it was only 3 miles long. I figured a 6 mile round trip would be an ideal hike.

The best part is that it would bring me to the truck where I could grab a few beers to enjoy at camp later on! :y:

After 9L made me carry 0.75 ounces of trash he didn't want to carry out himself [-( I headed north on the Squaw Canyon trail. This was a super-highway compared to other trails we had been on. It's entirely flat, and really a little boring by Cairnyonlands NP standards. Don't get me wrong. It would be a top--10 Sedona hike for creekside hiking and red rock scenery. But this isn't Sedona and we had been spoiled by two days of absolutely unbelievable views on every trail and in every direction. So if you're going to do a loop from Squaw Flat, I'd recommend any of the options that don't include Squaw Canyon. But that's just me!

Anywhoo, I made it to the truck in about 50 minutes, took advantage of the restroom at the trailhead, grabbed a few beverages, and decided that I had plenty of time to explore a different route back to camp. It would involve about a mile and a half of trail I had previously hiked as part of the backpacking loop and add about 2 miles to my planned out n back, but I had plenty of time to meet the time I had assured 9L I would be back by.

So... Big Spring Canyon ... yes! :) This one is a real gem, and absolutely worth it. I'm so glad I headed back via this route. The afternoon sunshine and poofy clouds provided great light, and views to the La Sals which were still getting hit with snow. The climb up to the pass between Big Spring and Squaw was a highlight, as all the passes/divides here seem to be. After dropping down into Squaw, I had to retrace a little bit less than a mile to get back to camp, where I was able to immediately crack open an ice cold beer! A fantastic afternoon hike with a tasty reward! :D
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33s over 45s
1 archive
Sep 24 2016
tdwood
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 35
 Photos 32
 Triplogs 51

52 male
 Joined Jul 04 2016
 Phoenix, AZ
Big Spring / Squaw Canyon LoopSoutheast, UT
Southeast, UT
Hiking avatar Sep 24 2016
tdwood
Hiking7.60 Miles 1,089 AEG
Hiking7.60 Miles   3 Hrs   34 Mns   2.13 mph
1,089 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Set out to do the loop as described in title but lost the trail on some slick rock. Even with map, I was unable to find route, so backtracking I went.
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May 28 2016
arizona_water
avatar

 Guides 9
 Routes 118
 Photos 1,079
 Triplogs 118

30 male
 Joined Mar 06 2016
 Salt River Valle
Tour de Needles, UT 
Tour de Needles, UT
 
Backpack avatar May 28 2016
arizona_water
Backpack19.00 Miles
Backpack19.00 Miles3 Days         
 
1st trip
Had a great Memorial Day trip up to the Canyonlands. Melody is relatively new to backpacking (her first backpacking trip was down the Bill Haul trail to Thunder River, the lower river trail, and then back up the Deer Creek trail. Pretty epic first backpacking experience). Our previous trips have been high-mileage and really challenging. So sometimes it's nice to have a relaxed pace trek with lots of time for exploring the surrounding areas. We definitely accomplished that this weekend! Usually, the end of may gets up in the mid-90s. We were lucky to have nice clouds and highs in the mid 70s and lows in the 50s! Perfect weather. And there were multiple water pools from recent rains, which is ideal since the western side of the Needles District does not have perennial water.

Friday: night at Monument Valley.

Saturday: Obligatory stop at Newspaper Rock (Very cool). A couple of friends dropped us off at the trailhead, then they continued up to Arches without us. Apparently arches had a several hour wait time to get into the park. It's just as Ed Abbey predicted!
:SB:

Anyway.
Melody and I began the backpacking trip at Squaw Flat - :next: Big Spring Canyon - :next: Brief time in Squaw Canyon - :next: Elephant Canyon. Camped at EC3. I love how isolated the designated backpacking sites are! We took our time and explored a lot of the side canyons in the area.

Sunday: First we did the out and back trail to Druid Arch (definitely worth it) and then stopped at the spring in this canyon to filter water. Then we hiked out to Chesler park which was exploding with wildflowers in bloom. Then we continued on to the Joint Trail. We built a cairn in the cairn room (see pics) and then back-tracked to Chesler and on to backcountry campsite CP1. This is a wonderful campsite with extensive views over the Needles District. You can even see the Maze in the distance!

Monday: On the trail by 6:30 and at the Elephant Hill Trailhead before 8. Our friends picked us up here, which was nice that we didn't have to walk 5 miles back on the dirt road to Squaw Flat.
Breakfast burritos in Monticello and then a quick stop at Natural Bridges National Monument (I love Utah). Planned another stop at Coalmine Canyon, because it was still early afternoon, but everyone in the car yelled at me when I brought up the idea :whistle: Guess they were tired or something? :lol:

Yay Utah!
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Big Spring Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle

dry Chesler Canyon Dry Dry

dry Elephant Canyon Dry Dry

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Squaw Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
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- there's nothing like finding Water in the Desert -
9 archives
Apr 06 2014
Sun_Ray
avatar

 Routes 7
 Photos 939
 Triplogs 1,115

72 male
 Joined Sep 09 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Big Spring / Squaw Canyon LoopSoutheast, UT
Southeast, UT
Hiking avatar Apr 06 2014
Sun_Ray
Hiking7.50 Miles 1,109 AEG
Hiking7.50 Miles   4 Hrs   37 Mns   1.62 mph
1,109 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Motorhome trip with friends Rich and Sue. We met them in 2007 going down the S. Kaibab Trial for the first time when Sue stopped me on the trail to zip up the top compartment on my backpack. We have vacationed with them every year since. We did the loop as described in the trip description...Big Spring to Squaw Canyon. As Cannondalekid states it does have some scary slickrock sections. For me and my wife this was not an 'easy' hike as it had some challenging rock scrambling areas. Time includes many stops to take pictures and breaks. If you are in the park for only one day and looking for a day hike...this is it.

Note: photo's posted with SX 230 are Rich, SX 260 are mine.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
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Brian
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday......there is no SOMEDAY!
Apr 12 2013
juliachaos
avatar

 Routes 37
 Photos 2,160
 Triplogs 627

39 female
 Joined Mar 01 2010
 Phoenix, AZ
Big Spring / Squaw Canyon LoopSoutheast, UT
Southeast, UT
Hike & Climb avatar Apr 12 2013
juliachaos
Hike & Climb7.50 Miles 683 AEG
Hike & Climb7.50 Miles3 Days         
683 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
uphill_junkie
zerocle
Weekend up at Canyonlands/Indian Creek for hiking and climbing.

This was during the time I couldn't climb, so Amy and I went for a hike on the 12th in Canyonlands. Days two and three we hung out with the other climbers at various crags. We also took the car out at some point and explored some of the roads on the way to Moab, and drove by Rockland Ranch/Hatch Rock and Looking Glass Rock. Out climbing, Tim did his first real trad lead, and then finished a tall route for Adam, who was too pumped to finish. Another fun weekend, and just might be my most favorite place to climb.. can't wait to actually climb there again.
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Mar 30 2013
nonot
avatar

 Guides 93
 Routes 236
 Photos 2,001
 Triplogs 477

male
 Joined Nov 18 2005
 Phoenix, AZ
Canyonlands-NeedlesDistrict, UT 
Canyonlands-NeedlesDistrict, UT
 
Backpack avatar Mar 30 2013
nonot
Backpack74.00 Miles 7,000 AEG
Backpack74.00 Miles7 Days         
7,000 ft AEG45 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
7 Days in the Needles District of Canyonlands. Attractions included Druid Arch, Chesler Park, Angel Arch, awesome slickrock and ancient art and dwellings.

Water was scarse at the beginning, but Salt Creek was flowing for the majority of our itinerary, for which we were grateful to not have to carry multiple gallons of water.

For once, found someone else crazy enough to spend a week away from modern conveniences.

Spectacularly complex geology in an isolated area. Glad to have visited it once.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
Very isolated, this area appears to have received very little moisture this winter.

dry Chesler Canyon Dry Dry
Dry as a bone along the area of the Joint trail trailhead.

dry Elephant Canyon Dry Dry
Dry except for the spring near Druid Arch

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Lost Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Lost Canyon had water trickling in the very upper section, and had pools along the trail near the intersection with Squaw Canyon.

dry Peekaboo Spring Dry Dry
The area this spring is on HAZ is dry, but Salt creek had water about a half mile upcreek.

dry Peekaboo Spring Dry Dry
I believe this spring has been covered by a landslide and is no longer a reliable source of water.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Salt Creek Medium flow Medium flow
Salt Creek was flowing between approx 1 mile above Peekaboo to about the SC3 area. It was also flowing at a crossing in Upper Salt, but was also dry at other areas above SC3.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Squaw Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Squaw Canyon had water pools and trickling the last quarter mile to Lost Canyon

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Upper Jump Medium flow Medium flow
Salt creek was flowing well from SC3 area to about 1 mile before Peekaboo Camp. At the upper jump waterfall it was flowing over the falls.

dry West Fork Salt Creek Dry Dry
At the junction with Salt, I didn't notice the west fork contributing any flow to Salt, but did not check upstream where there may be more reliable points for water.
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Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, ankle-twisting, HAZmaster crushing ROCKS!!
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average hiking speed 1.88 mph

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