After our failed attempt to reach Hole in the Rock with a 4x2, we arrived at Bullfrog Marina on Sunday morning, May 12. We were fortunate to meet with a ranger who told us that (1) we were crazy to try to carry the kayaks down from Hole in the Rock and (2) there are some good hikes in the canyons just upstream from Bullfrog and Hall's Crossing. We took the ferry to Hall's Crossing and launched the kayaks at about noon.
We had a peaceful first day and arrived at the end of Forgotten Canyon at about 4:30. We camped across from the Defiance House, a well restored cave dwelling. We saw a few bugs in the afternoon, but they were not a problem after dark.
On Monday morning, we hiked up Forgotten Canyon through the pools and brush. After the hike, we packed up and headed the kayaks for Cedar Canyon. We stopped at an island near the mouth of Cedar Canyon for lunch, pictures and a swim. The end of Cedar Canyon was muddy, so we carried the gear about 1/2 mile up the drainage to get away from the wet ground and insects.
Our Tuesday morning hike up Cedar Canyon was our best. The canyon was full of boulders, small slots and pour offs that made the hike a little challenging. We hiked for about 2 hours, but did not get out of the canyon. We returned by 11am and were in the kayaks by noon. As we approached the main channel of the lake, we were surprised that the wind had picked up. As we left Cedar Canyon, we stayed on the north side, along Tapestry Wall, hoping to be protected from the wind. For about 4 miles, we were challenged with a few white caps and 1 to 1-1/2 foot waves. We stopped at Smith Creek Canyon, across from Forgotten. We camped on the rock without tents, and found it mud and bug free. I tried fishing along the vertical wall to the west, without any luck. While fishing, the crows got into our food and had a feast on my cous-cous.
On day 4 we were up with the sunlight at 6, packed up and headed for Moqui Canyon. We experienced a little wind on the main channel, but not as bad as the previous day. It took over an hour to paddle to the end of Moqui, where the water turns a brilliant green. We left the kayaks and hiked up the canyon. First, we passed the large sand dune and continued through the muddy creek until we reached a good-sized beaver dam. From this point we headed to higher ground. Soon, we noticed a cliff dwelling on the south side of the canyon. We tried to reach it, but without ropes it would be very difficult. We headed back and decided not to camp in the muddy, green water area, but go back to the rocks on the main channel. The afternoon winds picked up and it took longer to get out of the canyon. We crossed the main channel with strong crosswinds, and found a nice protected inlet for our camp. After a swim, I again tried fishing. This time, from the shore, I was able to hook about 8 fish. I landed two small-mouth bass, but they were too small to keep.
On Thursday morning we completed the trip with a short paddle back to Hall's Crossing. In total, I calculated about 50 miles on the water and about 15 hiking. Despite a few houseboats and jet skis, most of the time we felt as secluded as any of our outings. In all, this was a great kayak adventure.
Outfitting: Kayak rental from Twin Finn in Page, AZ, Sue was very helpful and everything we needed, including the required porta potti, was included.
Directions: From Flagstaff AZ, Hwy 89 north to Hwy 160 to Hwy 191 to Hwy 95 to Hwy 276 to Hall's Crossing. Distance about 300 miles.