Hayduke: Above Indian Creek


looking north at ridge route


Once west-bound Haydukers climb out of Rustler/Indian Creek drainage, the route follows a ridge high above the canyons and along the outcrops of the Moenkopi formation. There are good views east into the Indian Creek Canyon and to the west to Monument Basin and Island in the Sky. Along the way the ground is littered with with colorful rock (red agate/jasper?) and seasonal wildflowers. One follows high-ground south before finding a spot to drop into what the Hayduke authors named “We-Hope-So” Wash. Getting up/down in this section will require some scrambling and likely some trial and error to find the best route. If the route doesn’t feel safe, look for something easier.

camp along route

camp above “We-Hope-So” Wash. Junction Butte/Island in the Sky in distance

Headed south up the wash a drainage quickly enters from the right (near a prominent tower). This side canyon is a great diversion to the viewpoint of The Loop.

Almost immediately up the main wash one may encounter a seasonal pool. If it’s been a wet season there’s likely to be a few outbreaks of water to the south as well over the next mile or so, but this is definitely the best chance to find water in the area.

Farther south the canyon begins to branch and one will want to stay right/west and eventually climb back up to high ground and connect with the Colorado Overlook Jeep Road. Follow this road south and until it crosses Salt Creek which might be dry. Just downstream there may be water though and one should definitely make the diversion to see The Lower Jump and the nearby arch.  There’s also an easy and more scenic alternate to Little Spring Canyon if headed to the official end of Section 2.

For those talking an alternate to the Visitor Center and/or Needles Outpost stay on the road south.