Day 6

April 25, 2014

 Kanab Creek to Snake Gulch


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Today's route stats: 

    Distance: 14 miles

    Elevation Gain:  1300 feet

    Elevation Loss:  100 feet

Not only did we have a lot of miles to cover today, we were not sure where we would find water.  There are several springs along the way, but they are often dry.  We got an early start -- up before dawn and on the trail before 7:00.  The trail is sometimes in the drainage (i.e., non-existent), or in the brush adjacent to the canyon bottom.  There were a couple of times where we lost the trail and did way too much thrashing through the vegetation.  There was water in the stream bed for the first two miles, then it disappeared.  And it was starting to get hot.

Fields of Gorgeous Wildflowers. Mouth of Snake Gulch. Hatch Cabin.


We reached the mouth of Snake Gulch after almost 2 hours of hiking.  We were a little surprised that there was no water there.  We turned up Snake Gulch and started looking for Hatch Cabin.  It is on creek right about one mile from Kanab Creek.  Rob found water there when he was here a few years ago, but no luck this time.  We did have fun exploring around and inside the cabin.  Apparently the cabin is still used by cattle ranchers. 

We left the cabin and began looking for water in earnest.  We detoured a ways into Slide Canyon, but found nothing but a rusty old watering trough.  I think we also looked for water at Rock Spring, but found nothing.  The next possible water was at Willow Spring.  We started hiking up the drainage heading to Willow Spring around 5:00.  We were pleasantly surprised to find a very nice spring, replete with Maidenhair ferns and Monkey flowers. 

By this time we were all very tired.  I suggested that we set up camp someplace nearby, but Bert wanted to keep going.  I wasn't sure we would find water farther up-canyon, but everyone seemed to want to take our chances.  Bert and Decker needed to be back in Las Vegas the following evening to catch their flights back to San Francisco.  I was tired and decided to rest there for a while before continuing on. 


No Water in Slide Canyon. Willow Spring. Cave Camp Near Pigeon Spring.


After a rest of about 45 minutes, I continued on.  I ran into Bert at the entrance to the canyon containing Wildband Spring.  He said that when they got there they found no water at all, so Ben decided to climb farther up the canyon looking for water.  He eventually found a nice pool and he loaded up containers with water and shuttled them back down to the others. 

In the mean time, Bert had found a nice cave about 30 minutes farther up Snake Gulch.  It turned out that the cave was right next to Pigeon Spring.  Unfortunately, Pigeon Spring was nothing more than a damp spot a short ways up a side canyon.  But we had plenty of water. 

Soon after arriving at the cave, the weather began to turn.  It was getting cold, windy, and cloudy.  Rob and I set up our tents in the flats outside the cave, while the others found adequate sleeping places inside the cave.  We cooked dinner in the cave, then went to bed.  We were all exhausted.


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