Happy Canyon

Very cool, I would like to know a bit more about your tirp.
Where did you start/end and did you make it all the way down to the dirty?
 
Cool -- I'm headed there next month! I love seeing pictures of "the notch" to help me size up what it will be like (I'll be coming up.)

I would love to know more about the water sources if you can pinpoint them for me. When I was there in 2009 water was pretty scarce, but I found some about 1/2 down to the narrows and then just up the south fork of Happy. I fear it might be even more scarce this year.

Also -- which Steve Allen book covers this area? When I was there almost every third gulley in the South Fork seemed to have a cairn. I was guessing it meant there must have been a route out, but had never read about it.

Thanks for the post.

- Jamal
 
Very cool, I would like to know a bit more about your tirp.
Where did you start/end and did you make it all the way down to the dirty?

We started / ended at the drill hole off a track that forks off the maze road a couple miles W of the hans flat ranger station. There's great car camping off that road. This drill hole and the cattle trail is mentioned in one of Kelsey's books.

We didn't make it to the narrows. I was bummed but it was a great trip anyway. Our decision was basically that given the big distances involved, we were going to need to spend the entire time getting down there and back, and most of the terrain in that part of Happy didn't seem like it would be super spectacular -- kind of "generic huge canyon." In contrast the french spring fork has a lot of great spaces to poke around.

I'm thinking a one-way backpack from top to bottom is Happy is the way to go, but the car shuttle is kind of a pain. Alternatively, there's got to be many days worth of day hiking from a car camp at the end of the Poison Springs road.
 
Cool -- I'm headed there next month! I love seeing pictures of "the notch" to help me size up what it will be like (I'll be coming up.)

I would love to know more about the water sources if you can pinpoint them for me. When I was there in 2009 water was pretty scarce, but I found some about 1/2 down to the narrows and then just up the south fork of Happy. I fear it might be even more scarce this year.

Also -- which Steve Allen book covers this area? When I was there almost every third gulley in the South Fork seemed to have a cairn. I was guessing it meant there must have been a route out, but had never read about it.

Thanks for the post.

- Jamal

Hi Jamal, I think happy is in Allen book 2? It's the one with all the crazy long loops.

Here's I think all the places we found water:

- couple potholes up on the rim
- couple pretty good-sized potholes near where the exit canyon joins the french spring fork
- running water in upper French Springs fork -- this is the only spring in the whole place that looked reliable
- a couple small springs (like the one in my pics) just up from where the French springs fork branches off from main Happy (one of these is in allen)
- another weak spring near Allen's exit to Big Ridge

Anyway, all except the running water in the french springs fork looked like they could be gone in a few weeks.

That nose in the exit canyon is definitely the landmark to look for. There's even a picture of it from below here:

http://www.wesi.net/hpc/index.html

You want to pull out of canyon bottom well before you get under that nose. There are some cairns (and some wrong cairns...).
 
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