Stone library: Grand Canyon’s Kanab Creek Watershed

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Stone library: Grand Canyon’s Kanab Creek Watershed

Journey through the Grand Canyon’s Kanab Creek Watershed
Kanab Creek is cluttered with stoney monsters. Thomas Ward looks for a passage over, under, or around the jumble. The log stranded atop this bruiser was deposited by an episodic torrent.
A hiker walks through Jumpup Narrows, a glassy, storm-polished grey and red passageway.
Debra Van Winegarden wades through a stone pool in Scotty’s Hollow.
Sun pierces a moisture-laden sky to illumine the North Rim as seen from Kwagunt Hollow.
Van Winegarden
From the North Rim, descend to the Esplanade and into Sowats Canyon, Jumpup Canyon, and Kanab Creek, exploring side canyons along the way. Turn around at the Colorado River. Exit through Kwagunt Hollow.
Trail basics

Travel to Jumpup-Nail Trailhead: Zero-out your trip meter in Jacob Lake, Arizona. Drive south on Arizona State Route 67 for 0.3 mile and turn right on FR 461. The road forks at 4.6 miles. Bear left and descend steeply. At 5½ miles, stay straight as the road joins FR 462. Go left/south on FR 22 at 8.6 miles. Pass Big Springs, a Forester Service enclave, at 15.3 miles. Turn right/west on FR 425 (toward Monument Point) at 20½ miles. Turn right again on FR 233 at 28.3 miles. A high-clearance, four-wheel drive vehicle is recommended on this narrow, rutted road. However, if it is dry, 2WD with decent clearance should be able to reach the Jumpup-Nail Trailhead at 37.4 miles, just shy of Sowats Point. Check road conditions before you roll in early season. Allow 1½ hours or more from Jacob Lake.
Distance and Elevation Gain: 62 miles, 5,600 feet of climbing, including all side trips
Time: Five- to seven-day backpack
Difficulty: Primarily streambed walking and boulder hopping; navigation skills essential; no exposure; wading is unavoidable; flash flood hazard
Maps: Jumpup Point, Fishtail Mesa, Kanab Point, Arizona, 7.5 Quads; Trails Illustrated No. 263, Grand Canyon West
Permits: Apply up to four months before your trip. $10 plus $8/person/night. Search: Grand Canyon backcountry permit.
Durango Herald

Stone library: Grand Canyon’s Kanab Creek Watershed

Kanab Creek is cluttered with stoney monsters. Thomas Ward looks for a passage over, under, or around the jumble. The log stranded atop this bruiser was deposited by an episodic torrent.
A hiker walks through Jumpup Narrows, a glassy, storm-polished grey and red passageway.
Debra Van Winegarden wades through a stone pool in Scotty’s Hollow.
Sun pierces a moisture-laden sky to illumine the North Rim as seen from Kwagunt Hollow.
Van Winegarden
From the North Rim, descend to the Esplanade and into Sowats Canyon, Jumpup Canyon, and Kanab Creek, exploring side canyons along the way. Turn around at the Colorado River. Exit through Kwagunt Hollow.
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