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Jumpup Canyon to Lower Jumpup Spring
Hiking Around Las Vegas, Grand Canyon National ParkJumpup Canyon
Jumpup Canyon
Jumpup Cabin at the trailhead (view south).


Jumpup Canyon provides a great 5.25-mile hike from the North Rim to a spring down on the Esplanade in the Kanab Creek Wilderness Area. The route follows built trail and washes from the trailhead to the Esplanade Trail, and and then continues on down the canyon to Lower Jumpup Spring and a high pour-over. Hard-core Grand Canyon hikers might descend the sticks and stones stacked against the cliff, but a rope would make the downclimb a lot safer.

The Esplanade provides great off-trail hiking and amazing scenery, and the Esplanade Trail provides a good route for putting on miles.

The trailhead is not in Grand Canyon National Park, rather it is located on the Kaibab National Forest where regulations are less restrictive. For example, access to the area is free and camping is permitted anywhere, including inside the cabin.

Link to trail map or elevation profile.

Jumpup Canyon
Jumpup Trailhead (view east).

Watch Out

Other than the standard warnings about hiking in the desert, ...this trail is safe, unless you choose to downclimb the pour-over below Lower Jumpup Spring.

While hiking, please respect the land and the other people out there, and try to Leave No Trace of your passage. Also, this is a long hike in a remote area, so bring the 10 Essentials. Consider caching water for the hike out.

Jumpup Canyon
Descending the switchback (view southwest)

Getting to the Trailhead

This hike is located on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, about 7 hours northeast of Las Vegas.

From Las Vegas, drive out towards the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. From the intersection of Hwy 389 and Hwy Alt 89 in Fredonia, Arizona, turn right onto Hwy Alt 89 and drive east for 1.5 miles to Forest Road (FR) 422 (Table 1, Site# Road 1). Turn right onto FR422 and drive south forever. The road is paved for about 22 miles. At mile 27.2, the gravel road passes Big Springs Ranger Station (Site# Road 2). Piped drinking water is available along the edge of the road by the big pond (outside the fence) just south of the gate into the ranger station area. Continue south for a total of 2.1 miles to FR447 (Site# Road 18).

Jumpup Canyon
Upper Jumpup Spring (view southeast).

At FR447, turn right and drive west on FR447 for 4.6 miles to an intersection with FR423 (Site# Road 19). Turn right onto FR423 and drive north for about 0.2 miles to an intersection with FR234 (Site# Road 20). Turn left and drive 8.5 miles to an intersection with FR201 (Site# Road 21). Turn left onto FR201 and drive south for about 1.0 miles to the trailhead at the cabin and the end of the road (Site# Road 22). Park here; this is the trailhead.

The major FR roads are signed and well maintained for sedans, but rain, snow, and fallen trees can make the roads temporarily impassable. The lesser FR roads are better in a high clearance vehicle, but a carefully driven sedan should make it to the Jumpup trailhead.

Jumpup Canyon
Hikers in the wash (view southwest).

The Hike

From the Jumpup Canyon Trailhead (Table 2, Waypoint 1), the trail runs east and immediately starts off the hillside into the gorge below. A good trail switchbacks down at a fair grade into the bottom of the canyon (Wpt. 2).

Across the wash, look for Upper Jumpup Spring (watering trough) back under the trees a few yards east of the wash in the wide area at the confluence of two canyon (Wpt. 3). This should be a good place to find and filter water.

Jumpup Canyon
Hikers on trail near the Esplanade Trail junction (view southwest).

Below the spring, the route follows the wash and occasional use-trails downstream at an easy grade for 4 miles. Initially Jumpup Canyon is deep and narrow, but it gradually widens as the close-in walls fall away.

At 4.5 miles from the trailhead, the wash crosses the Esplanade Trail (Wpt 4) at the upper edge of the Esplanade. The Esplanade Trail runs off onto the red slickrock in both directions, while the Jumpup Route continues down the wash. The wash cuts into the red sandstone to form another deep, narrow gorge with cottonwood trees, saltcedar, and lots of shrubs. Water eventually begins to flow in the wash, and this is Lower Jumpup Spring.

jumpup route
Starting down into the Esplanade (view southwest).
When the canyon walls really start to close in, the route passes nice ledges above the watercourse that are suitable for camping, and then it pours off into the abyss. Unfortunately, I don't have any photos of the pour-over or the Rube Goldberg contraption that people apparently use to climb the cliff. We decided to play it safe and return another day with a rope. There was a one-bolt anchor at the top of the cliff; natural anchors were also available.
Jumpup Canyon
Jumpup Creek (view northeast).

From the pour-over, it is possible to climb out of the canyon using several, but not all, of the little side canyons to the northwest to get atop the Esplanade. From there, hiking out the Esplanade Trail in either direction provides grand views, easy hiking, and shade from time to time.

When ready, retrace your footsteps to the trailhead.

Jumpup Canyon route

Collecting water at Lower Jumpup Spring just upstream from camp.

Jumpup Canyon Campsite on ledges just above the big pour-over (view northeast).
Jumpup Canyon Scenery out on the Esplanade.
Jumpup Canyon Scenery out on the Esplanade.
jumpup route Be sure to check the tinajas out on the Esplanade to see the interesting creatures that call them home. For example, look for fairy shrimp, clam shrimp, tadpole shrimp, midge larvae, and other odd creatures. In other wet areas, keep an eye out for Canyon Treefrogs and Red-spotted Toads.
Jumpup Canyon Scenery out on the Esplanade.
Jumpup Canyon Scenery out on the Esplanade.
Jumpup Canyon Scenery out on the Esplanade.
Jumpup Canyon Hikers on the way out not far above the Esplanade Trail junction.
Jumpup Canyon Tired hikers on the way out.
Jumpup Canyon

Sign at Jumpup Cabin:

Welcome to Jumpup Cabin

This historic structure was built in the early 1900s. Through the years, this cabin has served as a forest service ranger station and as temporary quarters for local cattle ranchers.

Please enjoy your visit to Jumpup Cabin. This site is part of America's heritage and provides a direct link to the rich and diverse human legacy of the North Kaibab Ranger District. Join our efforts to protect and preserve this unique cabin. Thank you.

Kaibab National Forest

Table 1. Highway Coordinates (NAD27, UTM Zone 12S). Note: these are UTM Zone 12 Download GPS Waypoints (*.gpx) file.

Site # Location Latitude (N) Longitude (W) UTM Easting UTM Northing Elevation (ft) Verified
Road 01 ALT89 at FR422 36.93418 -112.50358 366094 4088423 4,835 GPS
Road 02 Big Spring RS 36.60269 -112.34985 379267 4051445 6,925 GPS
Road 18 FR22 AT FR447 36.57384 -112.35099 379120 4048246 7,471 GPS
Road 19 FR447 AT 423 36.58548 -112.40600 374217 4049608 6,826 GPS
Road 20 FR423 AT FR234 36.58880 -112.40541 374275 4049975 6,899 GPS
Road 21 FR423 AT FR201 36.59417 -112.53384 362795 4050747 5,450 GPS
Road 22 Jumpup Trailhead 36.58514 -112.54644 361652 4049763 5,398 GPS

Table 2. Hiking Coordinates (Waypoints; NAD27; UTM Zone 12S). Note: these are UTM Zone 12. Download GPS Waypoints (*.gpx) file.

Wpt. Location Easting Northing Elevation (ft) Point-to-Point Distance (mi) Cumulative Distance (mi) Verified
01 Trailhead 361672 4049767 5,387 0.00 0.00 GPS
02 Wash Crossing 361603 4049342 5,061 0.40 0.40 GPS
03 Upper Jumpup Spring 361623 4049283 5,092 0.05 0.45 GPS
04 Esplanade Trail Junction 358362 4044766 4,128 4.04 4.49 GPS
05 Lower Jumpup Spring 358020 4043800 3,949 0.75 5.24 GPS
06 Out on Esplanade 357013 4041481 4,198 . . GPS

Happy Hiking! All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 121025

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