Steve Allen's exit out of Happy Canyon to the Big Ridge.

Brendan S

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There's an old mining road that exits onto the Big Ridge upcanyon a ways if you don't want to do the allen route. We used it a few years ago for a packraft loop (came out Hatch).
 
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regehr

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I've been about 2/3 of the way up before I got sketched out, but I'm easily sketched out by exposure. One in the group with me went all the way up and had no problem at all, and he's not a climber or anything. It may not be fun with a pack. Finding the route is easy, as usual Allen's descriptions are good. This was on a day hike using some muddy water holes in middle Happy as base camp. We all got the shits from the super mineralized water in there, it would be better to fill up higher in French Spring fork.
 

regehr

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Finding the route from the bottom was easy, I mean. Not sure about from the top.
 

Adventure monkey

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Wow, thanks guys. Love this site it's a wealth of information. Thanks regehr for the water tip. Are you referring to the spring at the exit canyon? Or the springs in the middle of happy?
Thanks Brendan s but I'm trying to avoid that road so not a option.
 

regehr

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Wow, thanks guys. Love this site it's a wealth of information. Thanks regehr for the water tip. Are you referring to the spring at the exit canyon? Or the springs in the middle of happy?

I don't think there's a spring at the easy exit canyon, but there's nice-looking water farther up in French Spring Fork (Happy can be exited here too, but it's not a walk-up route).

The springs in middle Happy (not too far from the big ridge exit) are the mineralized ones, you know how these things get-- the water is surrounded by white deposits. My stomach gurgles just thinking about it.
 

regehr

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Let's be specific. One of the few walk-in routes to Happy starts at this point and while there are potholes in this side canyon, there aren't any real springs that I'm aware of.
 

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regehr

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The best water we saw in Happy is up this side canyon (which can also be used as an exit, but some climbing required) and also a bit further up main French Spring fork (you can see the groves of cottonwoods).
 

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Jammer

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I've never done Allen's route out of Happy -- though it was marked (at the bottom) many years ago. I've done the old mining road exit from South Fork and it's easy as to be expected. Water mid-Happy is definitely unreliable. I found decent water in the South Fork one spring though. Also French Spring Fork as mentioned above tends to have better water. -- potholes along the spur exit to Hans Flat and then outbreaks of water farther up main FSF.
 

Artemus

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I don't have any experience with Happy so no input. I DO have experience with Steve Allen descriptions vs. actual difficulty - especially in the Dirty Devil and can say that he is quite accurate. If it is hard he describes it as hard. I will have to go look at what he says about this exit.
 

regehr

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Here's the text: "The exit from the south fork to the top of the Big Ridge is visible from the canyon floor and goes up the steep slopes at the back of the side canyon. Ascend the first cliff band by scrambling up a steep slope on the right (W) side of the canyon near its mouth. Hike to the back of the canyon. There is one minor impediment as you climb up the wingate (class 4). Traverse left (E) across the kayenta to the top. (1.5-2 hours.)"

When Allen says class 4 it generally actually is class 4.

I've done several parts of this loop, but in pieces. The whole thing at once has a certain appeal but some of the slogs w/o water seem a little much given that most of these areas aren't that hard to access on shorter routes. Spending one or two nights up on The Block at a time when there's pothole water would be a fun and easy outing. Traversing The Block is truly spectacular. When I did this we parked near Cove Spring at the bottom of the old sheep and cattle trail Allen mentions that is to the S of elevation 6762T.
 

Artemus

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Here's the text: "The exit from the south fork to the top of the Big Ridge is visible from the canyon floor and goes up the steep slopes at the back of the side canyon. Ascend the first cliff band by scrambling up a steep slope on the right (W) side of the canyon near its mouth. Hike to the back of the canyon. There is one minor impediment as you climb up the wingate (class 4). Traverse left (E) across the kayenta to the top. (1.5-2 hours.)"

When Allen says class 4 it generally actually is class 4.

I've done several parts of this loop, but in pieces. The whole thing at once has a certain appeal but some of the slogs w/o water seem a little much given that most of these areas aren't that hard to access on shorter routes. Spending one or two nights up on The Block at a time when there's pothole water would be a fun and easy outing. Traversing The Block is truly spectacular. When I did this we parked near Cove Spring at the bottom of the old sheep and cattle trail Allen mentions that is to the S of elevation 6762T.
Sounds not too bad then - for many of those here. You've been on the Block, then? I seem to remember serious water shortages from some Allen description. I mean he carried two gallons out and cached him pre-loop and then carried two more when he did the loop. Or somesuch.
 

regehr

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I was on the Block over the university spring break a number of years ago, so most likely it was mid-March. If I recall correctly there was little or no pothole water but there were snow patches in shady locations that could have been melted. But alas we were car camping at the end of the 4wd road that comes up to Cove Spring, it's a spur off of the Maze road. IIRC it's really 4wd or at least high clearance.
 

Brendan S

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I was up there in late April a couple years ago and I was surprised how much pothole water there was on the western constriction. Obviously just depends. It's a dry area overall but I don't think there's too much need for stashing unless you're really taking your time. A lot of Allen's trips are over like 3 weeks with lots of poking around. I went up Rock, over the Block and camped at the DD (via Fiddler Cove) the first day of my trip so it's not like you have to go multiple days without water. If you aren't going to the Dirty there's water in lower Hatch.
 

regehr

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I was up there in late April a couple years ago and I was surprised how much pothole water there was on the western constriction. Obviously just depends. It's a dry area overall but I don't think there's too much need for stashing unless you're really taking your time. A lot of Allen's trips are over like 3 weeks with lots of poking around. I went up Rock, over the Block and camped at the DD (via Fiddler Cove) the first day of my trip so it's not like you have to go multiple days without water. If you aren't going to the Dirty there's water in lower Hatch.

Wait, how long of a day was this??

I've not yet had to drink from the DD and would like to keep it that way :)
 

Brendan S

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Wait, how long of a day was this??

I've not yet had to drink from the DD and would like to keep it that way :)
Wait, how long of a day was this??

I've not yet had to drink from the DD and would like to keep it that way :)
25ish miles. I dropped off the Block at the first constriction. I have some pics/TR here.
 

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