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Wahweap Hoodoo


Overview

Trail Length: 4 miles one way- 8 miles round trip

Difficulty: The trail is not really difficult, but long. Normally the river is dry, but on occasion it is running.


Overall this is a fairly enjoyable but long hike across the desert. The Wahweap hoodoos is actually two sets of hoodoos. They are both found near each other, the first is a series of towering hoodoos, the second can be seen in the above image.


Getting here:

There are technically two ways to get to Wahweap hoodoos, I am going to highlight the first, but mention the second. The bottom up route is accessed from Big Water near the Utah Arizona Border. Follow the road that takes you by the fish hatcheries and then follow Nipple Creek Road. you will cross Coyote creek (this may be impassible to 2wd vehicle and even some 4x4's depending on the last flood. It was passable the first time I went but the second time it had an 18inch drop to the creek bed(spring 2023). If you can't go further, park here and follow the stream bed up canyon.


After you cross the river, travel up the road for a few hundred feet and there will be a large pull out on the right side of the road. It may not be specifically marked, but it is the only one. Park here, gather your gear and follow coyote creek up canyon for 4 miles.


As mentioned there is another way to these hoodoos. This is from a top down route that is much shorter, but the road is much worse. If you do not have a high clearance, do not attempt this. If there has been heavy rain, do not attempt this. If you feel uncomfortable about wandering a bit into the unknown do not attempt this.


To access this side of the trail, follow cottonwood wash until you reach BLM road 7010. Make a right turn (head east) and then follow that until you arrive at BLM road 7050 until it reaches the river bed. How out here and head down stream about a mile and a half and you arrive at the top set of hoodoos. On this route I had to cross a series of washes and through clay that if it was wet would be unpassable. Near the end the road drops off a ridge line that is made up of this clay and if wet you will probably just slide off the hill. It may not be deadly, but you wont get out again without a tow truck. Around this point I crossed a few streams that forced by car almost on three wheels and I had to use my Subaru X-mode to get past it.


Trail Description

The trail is fairly straight forward. Follow Coyote Creek and look for the hoodoos that are going to be on river right (or the west side if you want it said that way). Since the trail is apart of the creek bed, there is no real maintained trail, so you will simply follow the meanders as you wander up stream. If you are feeling adventuresome, there are a few side canyons that are fun to bounce around in, but don't take any wrong turn. Just follow the main river bed. I suggest marking it on a GPS app for security. Once you arrive at the hoodoo's enjoy them, wander around them but do not climb on them. They are fragile and you can tell some are going to collapse sooner than later due to erosion.



Nathan's Take

I like the hoodoos and they are a fun thing to go check out, but don't do it in the summer due to prolonged exposure to the sun. There is not really any shade here and even less water. Photographically this place is a lot of fun the first time. I would definitely try to access it at sunrise. At sunset, the hoodoos are in shade. I do not recommend taking kids on this hike unless they are older (12+). Also if you have knee/ankle issues, since you are walking on round boulders for hours, it is hard on the joints and is a good place to roll something.

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