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    Trevor Huxham reviewed The Wahweap Hoodoos Trail

    29 days ago

    Very highly recommend this trail as an excursion from Page/Lake Powell or as a pitstop along US-89 between Page, Arizona, and Kanab, Utah. The Wahweap Hoodoos are some of the most beautiful, most otherworldly rock formations I’ve ever seen. I was inspired to check them out after visiting the nearby Toadstool Hoodoos last year and found myself wanting more, as they were cool, but a little underwhelming.

    I stopped off at the BLM’s Big Water Visitor Center on the south side of US-89 to get a paper copy of the trail map. They have an iPad there with pictures that they can show you so you can get a feel for the trail and things to look out for before heading out.

    It was fairly easy finding parking at the 2WD spot before the dirt road crosses Wahweap Creek—do NOT attempt in a sedan as there is mud and sand. From the 2WD parking lot to the fence was a ~15-20 minute walk. It’s no longer a “hanging” fence as it has been repaired and now there are multiple gates where you just have to lift up metal loops to release the gate and squeeze by. Just make sure to close the gate behind you as you are entering a Wilderness Study Area.

    The hike is fairly easy to follow with minimal routefinding required; simply follow the footsteps and head upstream through Wahweap Creek. When I visited over Veterans Day weekend, there was little water flowing in the creek and small patches of mud here and there, but I can imagine during the summer monsoon this will be much heavier.

    The hoodoos themselves are on a parcel of the cliffs on the south/western banks of the creek reached ~2 hours into the hike, so stick to that side of the creek. You really can’t miss them as one of the bright white hoodoos is visible halfway through the hike. Make sure to explore the initial hoodoos on the cliffside, the second grouping inside the alcove area, and then the third, most beautiful collection of hoodoos on the other side of the cliffs…just keep walking and you’ll find them.

    I met maybe half a dozen other folks doing the hike that day. I started at 11am and was one of the last heading out to the hoodoos.

    The hike to the hoodoos took me 2 hours, and I spent ~1 hour exploring them and having lunch I brought with me. The hike back to the car felt much much faster (perhaps it was slightly downhill?) but it was still 2 hours going back, for a total of 5 hours hiking time.

    Bring lots of water (2-4 liters depending on the temperature) and a hat/sunscreen. In November I wore long underwear base layers beneath jeans that kept me comfortable, so plan accordingly.

    Trevor Huxham completed Old Navajo Bridge

    about 1 month ago

    Trevor Huxham completed The Wahweap Hoodoos Trail

    about 1 month ago

    Trevor Huxham completed Colorado River via Lees Ferry

    about 1 month ago

    Trevor Huxham completed Shaw Butte Trail

    3 months ago

    Trevor Huxham completed Onyx Bridge Trail

    7 months ago

    Trevor Huxham completed Little Horse Trail

    7 months ago

    Trevor Huxham completed Toadstool Hoodoos Trail

    about 1 year ago

    Trevor Huxham completed Lava River Cave Trail

    over 1 year ago

    Trevor Huxham completed Lava Flow Trail

    over 1 year ago

    Trevor Huxham completed Mores Mountain Loop

    over 1 year ago

    Trevor Huxham saved Keet Seel Trail

    over 1 year ago

    Trevor Huxham reviewed Keet Seel Trail

    over 1 year ago

    A strenuous hike that takes you from the top of the Navajo Sandstone stratum down into Tsegi Canyon where you walk 8.5 miles to the best-preserved Ancestral Puebloan cliff dwellings in Arizona.

    This was my first-ever overnight backpacking experience and I couldn’t have asked for a better trail to do it on. Little, if any wayfinding was necessary as you simply follow the white posts the whole way there, which is as simple as keeping your feet on the trail and following the canyon upstream. The feeling of isolation was just right: you’re so far off the grid yet 20 people a day are allowed to hike. The natural environment was fascinating, especially getting to see up-close and personal the erosion of the Navajo sandstone as well as mindblowing populations of cryptobiotic soil crusts literally holding the dirt together in this tough environment. Not much wildlife apart from a pack or two of escaped/feral horses, which don’t seem to mind the humans in the canyon (apart from pooping everywhere).

    The ruins themselves are stellar: very well-preserved and/or restored in some sections, with potsherds literally everywhere you step, large collections of dried-up corncobs, and in many cases the original woven rooftops made from sticks and reeds. Feels very spooky to be wandering around a place that looks like it was just abandoned yesterday, very similar to the Upper Cliff Dwellings on Tonto National Monument. You have to climb up a 70-rung (ish) ladder that leans against the rockface, so if you have any fear of heights please keep in mind that this may be a little intense. Heights don’t bother me much but I found my adrenaline pumping and was a little shaky when I got up/down…but it’s a very secure ladder so no need to worry.

    At both the ruins and the campground there are composting toilets and anti-critter backpack bins, so there’s a little bit of creature comfort (ahem) out here in the wilderness. Campgrounds were clean and pleasant, although because of all the moisture (and horse poop in the canyon) there were a lot of bugs so spray your bug spray generously. Very tranquil setting, kind of like an oasis in the desert with the lush trees and grasses.

    For the actual hike itself, I recommend bringing traditional hiking boots for the mountain descent/ascent and then whatever you prefer for the stream crossings: my backpacking buddies used hiking sandals but I used some old Converses that drained fast and had little fabric/cushion to get soaked.

    Bring NO LESS THAN 8 liters of water, either by getting one of those plastic/fabric Dromedary bags from MSR (mine holds 6 liters) or by carrying along a few 1.5-liter water bottles from Nalgene (or Smart Water). The creek is 100% contaminated due to the cattle and horses that poop with abandon, plus there may or may not be trace uranium floating about, who knows.

    Don’t worry about fashion; wear a wide-brimmed or floppy hat to protect your face/neck from the sun, and reapply sunscreen every two hours and you’ll be fine.

    I did this hike in early June during high summer for Arizona, so the creek was very low (crossings were barely ankle-deep at the highest) and weather was highs in the 80s and lows in the 60s with strong breezes, so a very pleasant hiking experience. I can imagine once monsoon season hits (during July and August) this hike could be very scary given the risk of flash floods and higher water levels.

    Highly recommend this hike as one of the most isolated, most exclusive destinations in the National Park system!!!

    Trevor Huxham completed Keet Seel Trail

    over 1 year ago

    Trevor Huxham completed Tom's Thumb Trail

    almost 2 years ago

    Trevor Huxham reviewed Wave Cave Trail

    almost 2 years ago

    A solid trail from start to finish. Starts out super easy, going through a flat bajada that, in February at least, was super lush and green with chollas, saguaros, palo verdes, and some sections with grassy lawns! The trail isn’t too tricky to follow despite other reviewers’ comments—just make sure that once you reach the fence that cordons off the Superstition Wilderness in Tonto National Forest to pass through at the U-shaped gate passageway.

    The second half really gets your heart working; although the trail isn’t as steep and intense as Piestewa Peak in Phoenix, my thighs were shaking once I reached the Wave Cave itself. Lots of boulders and large rocks slow you down on this section of the trail, but it really isn’t “bouldering” per se, it just breaks things up. Make sure to show courtesy to hikers ascending the trail as it’s only wide enough for single file.

    The Wave Cave is a really satisfying climax to the steep summit trail: a vast interior space opens up in the hillside where you can enjoy some shade and an occasional breeze and get cheesy silhouette photos of yourself “surfing” the wave or doing yoga. Not sure if this was carved by wind erosion or not but the cave floor is covered in dusty sand. Towards the back of the cave there are several moisture seeps—true to form, there are tiny mineral deposits forming just as they would in an underground cave! Don’t forget to pack out your trash, as I saw pistachio shells and orange peels all over the ground.

    Hiking time: 45 minutes to the top, 15-20 minutes rest in the cave, 30 minutes down

    Word to the wise: if parking at the Wave Cave trailhead, make sure you have an Arizona State Trust Land parking permit displayed on your dashboard. They cost $15 per person for a year and you can purchase them online & download a PDF. Even though the trail itself runs mostly on Forest Service land, you are actually parking on AZ trust land, so make sure to follow state laws here.

    Trevor Huxham completed Wave Cave Trail

    almost 2 years ago

    Trevor Huxham completed Wind Cave Trail

    almost 2 years ago

    Trevor Huxham completed Loma and Canal Trails

    almost 2 years ago

    Trevor Huxham completed Horseshoe Bend Trail

    almost 2 years ago

    Trevor Huxham added To-hike list

    almost 2 years ago

    Trevor Huxham completed Piestewa Peak Summit Trail #300

    almost 2 years ago

    Trevor Huxham saved The Wave Trail

    almost 2 years ago

    Trevor Huxham completed Blue Mesa Trail

    almost 2 years ago

    Trevor Huxham completed The Wave Trail

    almost 2 years ago

    Trevor Huxham completed Island Trail

    almost 2 years ago

    Trevor Huxham completed West Fork Trail

    almost 2 years ago

    Trevor Huxham completed Arch Canyon - Boulder Overlook

    almost 2 years ago

    Trevor Huxham completed 'A' Mountain at Hayden Butte

    almost 2 years ago

    Trevor Huxham completed Hole in the Rock Trail

    almost 2 years ago

    Trevor Huxham completed Double Butte Loop Trail

    almost 2 years ago