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Thread: Happy Canyon
03-11-2007, 04:31 PM #1
I give you: the narrows of Happy Canyon. This canyon is absolutely gorgeous, and is a photographer's dream. But, it's charms aren't relinquished easily. BE WARNED: this canyon is in an extremely rugged and remote location. We left Monticello at 7:30 am, and arrived in Happy Canyon at around 3:30 pm. Making a day hike out of Happy Canyon requires a monumental effort. Consult the map below:
1 - We arrive at a fork in the road after 90 minutes of driving on dirt roads from Hwy 24.
2 - The going is so slow in a 4wd truck, that we decide to ditch the truck, and bust out the ATV for the remainder of the road. A 4wd vehicle will not make it far beyond here. The road is impassible in many spots to regular vehicular travel.
3 - We encounter two very large boulders that block the road. We are persistent, and roll some large rocks out of the way, and continue cautiously on a very rugged ATV track.
4 - Here we ditch the ATV (after more than 90 minutes since ditching the truck). We descend on foot down some steep slopes to the Dirty Devil river. Happy Canyon is just around the corner.
5 - We reach the mouth of Happy Canyon after 8 solid hours of traveling on paved and dirt roads, in a truck, on an ATV, and on foot. We had to wade the Dirty Devil river three times.
6 - This is where we turned around in Happy Canyon.
I would say if you plan on doing happy Canyon, bring an ATV (or at least a mountain bike), because if you plan to hike to Happy Canyon on foot, it will take you all day. This is probably the most remote slot canyon I have ever hiked to.
And now to the pictures....“The things we love destroy us every time, lad. Remember that.”
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03-11-2007, 06:12 PM #2
03-11-2007, 06:41 PM #3
happy canyon... good times.
that road down ps adn alogn the black ledges must be in bad shape. i did this a few years ago during summer. left bluff when we got up and from 95 it took us about 3+ hours to make the mouth of happy, drive (4runner) and hike combined. we were able to drive til the road on the black ledges cul de saced in a big flat. hiked all the way up and out for a bit, then had to leave to meet people in teh swell by nightfall. very pretty canyon. drove a herd of about 20 desert bighorns up form the dd to a break in the walls near the 1st bend i think where they headed out. the petrified wood along the black ledges is amazing. some really big chunks. saw one spot where you could make out most of the tree, as if it had just fallen and turned to rock that minute.
i am curious about the next canyon south too. has a slot at its head and looks interesting...signature
03-11-2007, 07:14 PM #4Originally Posted by goofball“The things we love destroy us every time, lad. Remember that.”
03-11-2007, 07:56 PM #5Originally Posted by rockgremlin
it is just so difficult to access.
there is a track heading s from burr point that looks as if it continues to near poison spring canyons rim. don't know how good a track it is or how far ti could be traveled, but aerials show it. also seems like there might be a break in the cliffs between happy and that littel brother south. possible access point. on the "to do (or die trying)" list...
and nice pics. makes me home sick.signature
03-11-2007, 08:45 PM #6
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Wow, fantastic photos. Looks like a great trip. How long did you spend in the canyon itself? Lots of invested time...
03-12-2007, 06:18 AM #7Originally Posted by Cirrus2000“The things we love destroy us every time, lad. Remember that.”
03-12-2007, 07:33 AM #8
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- Craig, CO
My four year old loves Happy Canyon and the name of it.
Yes, I am too. I had my eye on it on the approach to Happy. It's got to have a slot very similar to happy - it's in the same geologic formation, and drains a fairly large area.
it is just so difficult to access.
I would recommend that if you wanna do Happy Canyon, make a backpacking trip out of it, and explore some of the other slots in the area.
Anyway, that track must have been recently washed out (October). It was rough, but we were able to drive to the boulder blockage in 1999 in a Kia Sportage and in 2006 with a Pathfinder. Since we were just down Poison Springs, I had wondered about the condition of the track after last Fall's storms. The Poison Springs to Sunset Pass route definately had some washouts, but we were able to get a Tacoma through.Utah is a very special and unique place. There is no where else like it on earth. Please take care of it and keep the remaining wild areas in pristine condition. The world will be a better place if you do.
03-12-2007, 07:48 AM #9Originally Posted by Scott Patterson“The things we love destroy us every time, lad. Remember that.”
03-12-2007, 08:17 AM #10
nice shots rockG, glad you got out to it.
when i was in happy canyon, i met a group from arizona who were exploring that area. anyway, they attempted the first time with rugged vehicles (just to check it out) and found that many sections were washed out and weren't able to make it very far. it was late in the day and the ended up getting off the road and camping. i think they had seen that the road was being graded on their attempt, so they ended up waiting and after that the road was much easier. if i remember correctly, they drove branches of the road, but ended up starting from the branch that goes to the dirty devil, and started a 7 day hike from there. they got to happy canyon the afternoon before i did, and managed to watch it flashflood. they hiked up it and it started raining. exited the upper part of the narrows and sat on the rim and watched. nice bunch of folks, they were the only folks i saw for 5 days.
ya, two step canyon can be climbed up.
you didn't happen to get any photos of the road with all these rocks did ya?
03-12-2007, 08:31 AM #11Originally Posted by stefan“The things we love destroy us every time, lad. Remember that.”
03-12-2007, 08:55 AM #12
Thanks rockgremlin. Just curious, how did you determine the flow of the Dirty Devil?
03-12-2007, 09:06 AM #13“The things we love destroy us every time, lad. Remember that.”
03-12-2007, 09:39 AM #14
Duh, I should have known that. Thanks!
03-12-2007, 09:58 AM #15
I know Happy Canyon has been on your tick list for a long time. Nice to see you finally get it.
04-04-2007, 04:48 AM #16
Probably 7-8 years ago drove my Jeep on the mine track on the Black Jump to the end of the 4wd area overlooking the Dirty Devil. Car camped and did a half day hike to the spectacular narrows the next day.
Excellent photography. Would like to return, that road would make a nice backpacking trip out of it, with access to a lot of beautiful territory.
Loved the petrified wood---You can rest when you're dead
04-04-2007, 08:15 AM #17
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Re: TR - Happy CanyonOriginally Posted by rockgremlin
04-04-2007, 08:41 AM #18
Re: TR - Happy CanyonOriginally Posted by canyonquest“The things we love destroy us every time, lad. Remember that.”
04-04-2007, 08:51 AM #19
Nice pics, thanks. I've been in the area before on a backpack to Robber's Roost Canyon coming in on the Angel Trail (West side). Damn Dirty Devil was running around 400 csf, it was pretty sketchy at times, also don't forget about the quicksand in a few spots.
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