“Run to a fairyland of toadstools, hoodoos, white ghosts, and floatstone-type formations.”
— Lee Watts
This route is far better in the spring and fall. In the summer, it can be very hot and there is little shade and no water the entire way. You won't get lost, but if you run out of water, you could die in the heat.
Features: Views — Wildflowers — Wildlife
The trail starts near Big Water, Utah, which is on Highway 89, 55 miles east of Kanab and 19 miles northwest of Page, Arizona. In Big Water, turn north on Ethan Allan, which is across the road from the Big Water Visitor Center. Take Ethan Allan until it intersects with Fish Hatchery Rd. Turn left and continue past the hatchery. About three miles from the highway, you'll come to a creek crossing. Depending on the water level, you may or may not have a problem crossing this with a two-wheel drive vehicle. If in doubt, park and start the run from here. Otherwise, the official two-wheel drive parking area is about 0.3 miles farther. Do not continue up the road from there. It goes up a different canyon and is for four-wheel drive vehicles only.
There is no real trail. You simply make your way up Wahweap Creek, which is very wide and almost flat. It is easiest if you avoid soft sand and look for hard mud or rocky soil. The exact best path will vary from year to year.
The colorful canyon walls become higher and more interesting as you proceed up the creek. At a little less than three miles, you come to a towering buttress on the left that is capped with hard rock.The first group of tall toadstools and hoodoos are beneath it, against the cliffs.
A second and more interesting group is about one mile farther upstream. For this, a picture is worth more than anything I can say. Be careful where you place your feet, because the white rock is very soft and easily damaged. Take time to explore around. Some of the best hoodoos are not immediately visible.
There is currently no direct path through the dense tamarisk between the second and third groups. Instead, return to the stream bed and approach the third group from the northeast. Again, take your time to explore the area, but avoid damaging the soft white rock.
Return the way you came.
Flora & Fauna
I saw an antelope, a fox, and dozens of huge jack-rabbits.