Day 1

October 26, 2014

Sowats Trailhead Jumpup Canyon Below Lower Jumpup Spring


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Today's route stats: 

    Distance: 5.5 miles

    Elevation Gain:  400 feet

    Elevation Loss:  2800 feet

As per usual, we got up before dawn, ate breakfast, and distributed communal gear among the seven of us.  We then drove to the trailhead (only a mile away) and started down the trail.  We would never be too far from water, so we didn't need to carry more than one liter each.   We carried two empty 5-gal buckets to be used for a cache.  The trail starts out by dropping down a shallow drainage that leads to a large pouroff.  There the trail turns north and contours in the Toroweap for a half mile or so.  I like this section of the trail -- it is well constructed and almost level, plus it has wonderful views down onto the Esplanade.  After contouring, the trail zig-zags  down a steep talus slope, all the way to a small grove of Cottonwoods on the Esplanade.  After a short walk past where the trail turns north towards Sowats Canyon, we dropped down to the drainage at the lower end of the Cottonwoods.  Although there was flowing water there, none of us needed to get any.




Beginning of the Jumpup-Nail Trail.


First View of the Esplanade.


After a short break we continued straight down the Kwagunt Hollow drainage.  There is actually a pretty good use-trail for the first mile or so.  So the hiking was easy, and the canyon was gorgeous.  I absolutely love well-watered Supai canyons, and on this trip we would hike through several.   I had forgotten how pretty Kwagunt was. 

Kwagunt Hollow.


Kwagunt Hollow.


Kwagunt Hollow.


We reached the mouth of Kwagunt at Jumpup around 1:15 PM.  We filled our two buckets with two dinners and any lunches or breakfasts that anyone wanted to leave.  We pretty much filled both 5-gal buckets.  We taped the lids on tight and hid them among the rocks and brush near the mouth of Kwagunt Hollow.


Kwagunt Hollow. Kwagunt Hollow. Jumpup Canyon at Mouth of Sowats.

After lunch we began hiking up Jumpup.  We wanted to find a nice campsite below the ladder at Lower Jumpup, but we weren't sure what the water situation would be.    It wasn't long before we began seeing water, both in small potholes and in a few short sections where there was flowing water.

Not long after passing the mouth of Sowats Canyon, the canyon walls begin to narrow again.  After less than half a mile above Sowats we came to a nice slickrock area that was perfect for camping.  There were also some potholes and a small flow of water.  And it was incredibly beautiful.  Again, I had forgotten how pretty this section of Jumpup is.  Overall, this was a really nice day, with lots of variety and beauty.

During the night I started listening one of the audio books I had brought along on my iPhone:  The Social Conquest of Earth, by E. O. Wilson. 


Hiking Up Jumpup Canyon.


Looks Like a Good Campsite to me.


My Home in Jumpup Canyon.


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