Canyoneering Route Description

Happy Dog Canyon - 4B III or V R
The Kingdom portion of
Halls Creek area, Utah.

Quick Facts

The times are from a Basecamp near the confluence of Millers and Halls Creek then back to Basecamp.
Add extra time in for the approach into the area from the car park or another base camp spot of your choosing.
09-07-12, 6 people, 1 Day (Travel time in route 9.5 hours) Pictures Icon
09-20-13, 6 people, 1 Day (travel time in route 9.5 hours) Pictures Icon
04-20-17, 4 people, 1 Day (travel time in route 11.75 hours)

Shortcut route approach to the confluence of Millers and Halls Creek:
    Time Required -
  About 5.25 hours each way for the hike in / out via the Short Cut Route.
    Elevation Range - 4300 to 3840

The Canyon Route from a basecamp near the confluence of Millers and Halls Creek:
Time Required -
7 to 11 hours
Distance -
3 miles Total, 1.3 miles Technical
Rappels - 6 Rappels, Longest Rappel 140 feet.
Elevation Range - 3860 - 5140 Feet
Shuttle Required - No Vehicle - Passenger for short cut route. Permit Required - No

Gear Used for Canyon

Rappelling and anchor gear, Ropes and or pull cords for rappels up to 140 feet and 70 feet of 1 inch webbing for sling placement.  Bring a couple of potshots in case they are needed to escape potholes.  Even in high water conditions some of the potholes are awkward or difficult to exit.

Wet suits may not be needed on very warm or hot days.  There are mandatory swims and some sections of wading, so cool or cold days a wet suit is recommended.

General Comments

Halls Creek itself is a very long drainage running north up from Lake Powel for over 30 miles.  The Halls Creek Area runs through portions of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Capitol Reef National Park and Grand Staircase / Escalante.   When someone refers to the Halls Creek area, they are typically referring to the lower 10 or 15 miles of Halls Creek.

A small popular portion of the Halls Creek area has routes named after animals with positive emotions, Smiling Cricket (aka Poe), Baboon Laughs and Happy Dog Canyons.  I refer to this area as The Kingdom, as in the Animal Kingdom.  The Kingdom falls inside the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and is about 3 miles up Halls Creek from Lake Powel.

Happy Dog Canyon is in The Kingdom area of Halls Creek.  Accessing Happy Dog Canyon via land is best done as an overnight.  Allow a day for the approach, another day for the canyon and another day for the exit.  The remote nature of the area makes it more worthwhile to plan a basecamp then spend multiple days playing in canyons nearby.

There is poison ivy in various places on the routes around the Halls Creek Area.  Most (not all) of it is easy to avoid if you are looking for it.

Happy Dog is a remote canyon requiring a long approach.  The time rating of III or V reflects the remoteness of the place.  To do Happy Dog from the car park and back is an over night trip giving a time rating of V.  If you pack into the area for a multiday trip and are planning your times from a near by base camp, Happy Dog has a time rating of III from base camp back to base camp.

Note:
There are two over land routes that can be used to access The Kingdom area (it is also commonly done from the lake from a boat).  One land route is via an old airstrip and the distance is about 9.2 miles from the start of that route down to Millers Creek.  The shortcut route follows open desert to a rubble pile allowing access down the cliffs into Halls Creek and is about 5.9 miles down to Millers Creek.

This route description describes the shortcut route since it is 3.3 miles shorter, has less elevation range and does not need a high clearance vehicle to access it.  If you would like information for the old airstrip route, I have made a separate page for the Old Airstrip Route into Halls Creek.

Happy Dog Canyon gets the risk factor rating of R due to a section of stemming about 25 feet off the deck for about 100 feet.  The technical difficulty rating of 4 is due to the pothole crossing that may require potshot or pack tosses for exit.

Happy Dog Canyon has multiple potholes to cross.  Some of the potholes are awkward to get out of even when completely full of water and would be very difficult in low water conditions.  Some of the potholes have sand and debris near by to fill a potshot with while others do not.  In low water conditions there may be some potholes where a pack toss will be required to exit.

The narrow section down canyon rap 4 is about 1000 feet long and where the physical work of Happy Dog takes place.  There are a couple sections of high stemming to 25 feet off the deck, multiple pools to cross, a few stem style downclimbs to 25 feet and 4 potholes to cross that may require potshot or pack toss to escape in low water conditions.  Even in high water conditions some of the potholes here are difficult or awkward to get out of.  Some of the potholes do not have sand or debris nearby to fill a potshot with so be prepared to do a pack toss if the need arises.

Happy Dog is a fun day but does require some solid effort to get through.  The Happy Dog Arch near the head of the canyon and the alcove below the final rappel are both worth the visit all by themselves for scenic beauty.

After the final rap is a narrow riparian section to walk with a lot of thick, big, healthy poison ivy.  Be careful!

Driving Directions

To get to the Trailhead

DRIVING DIRECTIONS TO THE SHORT CUT ROUTE ............

The junction of highways 95 and 276 is about 26 miles south on highway 95 from Hanksville Utah. 

From the junction of highways 95 and 276, drive south on highway 276 for 35 miles to the turn off on the right (west) for the south end of the Burr Trail (extBurrTairlS).  Turn right (west) to drive down the Burr Trail which is paved here.

About 2.25 miles from Highway 276 the Burr Trail is still paved but crosses a major drainage (wBurrTrailDP01) and may be washed out or flooded at times.

About 2.8 miles farther the Burr Trail crosses over Bullfrog Creek (wBurrTrailDP02) and may be washed out or flooded at times.

About 1.25 miles farther the Burr Trail goes up a couple switch backs to climb up onto the mesa.  After getting to the top of the switch backs drive 0.3 miles farther to a large dirt turn out on the left (west) side of the road.  The large dirt turn-out is where you will park (pkKingdomSrtCt) to take the shortcut route into The Kingdom.

To leave the Exit Vehicle / Escape Pod

No exit vehicle is needed.  This is done as a loop route.

Maps

GPS coordinate information listed at the bottom.  For information about waypoint naming and map symbols, refer to the Glossary page.

Map Link Icon
Click the links for maps of the route.
Map of the drive into the route.
Map of the route into The Kingdom via the Shortcut Route.
Map of the Canyon route from near Millers Creek.

Details

The Approach to The Kingdom via the Short Cut Route:

Note / Navigation Warning:
The shortcut route into The Kingdom leads over to a rubble pile forming a weakness in the high cliffs running along Halls Creek.  It is very important to navigate to the rubble pile weakness.  If you navigate to some other point along the top of the cliffs you will likely find yourself at the top of very high sheer drops with no way down into Halls Creek.

The shortcut route into The Kingdom does not have a trail and has few landmarks over most of it.  Good map reading and navigation skills are required to complete this route.  A GPS can make life a whole lot easier as well.  Other routes over this terrain will work also as a lot of the terrain is forgiving.  However the route described here follows a path that is overall a direct line in AND avoids a lot of un needed ups and downs.

From where you parked (pkKingdomSrtCt) walk at a bearing of 258 degrees (true not magnetic) for about 0.6 miles across the desert. 

About 0.6 miles from the parking area is a large drainage to cross.  There is an easy slope (wHalls-SC-RP01) to get down into the drainage just north of the apex of a sharp horseshoe bend.

Note:
If you happen to find your way to the apex of the big horseshoe bend and find the drop to the drainage is a sheer drop, route find your way north 100 to 200 feet where you will find a slope leading down in.

Once down in the drainage, cross it and climb up the bank on the west side by scrambling up onto the nose of the ridge formed by the horseshoe bend. 

Note:
The scramble up the nose of the ridge is easy, but if desired there is an easier slope to walk up just north of the ridge in the apex of the upstream corner (wHalls-SC-Slop).  See the map to note where it is, which is simpler than trying to explain it in text.

Once at the top of slope up the nose of the ridge (wHalls-SC-RP02), continue west along the ridge for about 900 feet to where the ridge ends and you are out on open desert (wHalls-SC-RP03).

When you get to the end of the ridge travel across open desert southwest on a bearing of 237 degrees (true) for about 0.46 miles toward the bottom of a rubble pile going up a steep sandstone band.

From the bottom of the rubble pile (wHalls-SC-RP04) it is an easy scramble slash walk up the slickrock slope for about 500 feet (horizontal distance) to the top of the slope where you are once again greeted with wide open desert (wHalls-SC-RP05).

Once at the top of the slickrock slope travel southwest on a bearing of 232 degrees (true) across open desert.  About 0.71 miles from the top of the slickrock slope you should drop down into a large drainage at the confluence of two forks (wHalls-SC-RP06).

From the confluence do not follow down the drainage. Instead, cross over and continue southwest across desert westish on a bearing of 230 degrees (true).  As you walk you will start to notice a whitish sandstone cliff band in the distance slightly left (south) of your course.  Aim slightly right (north) of it to where it looks like you can scramble up onto it.  About 0.4 miles after leaving the drainage at the confluence will be a short easy scramble up to the the top of the whitish cliff band (wHalls-SC-RP07).

After you are on top continue west for about 0.25 miles on a bearing of 255 degrees (true) down to a confluence / fork in a large drainage.  From that confluence (wHalls-SC-RP08) travel up the fork of the drainage that goes west (not the ones that go south or north).

About 1000 feet up the west fork the drainage will make a sharp bend right (north) then about 400 feet farther north up the drainage will be a large cairn in the wash (wHalls-SC-RP09).  The large cairn in the wash signifies where to leave the drainage and scramble up and west to the open desert above.

Note:
At this point you are just over a mile from the top of the rubble pile allowing access down the side of the cliffs running along Halls Creek.  Also of note is that this later half of the route is difficult to explain verbally or written.  With that in mind good navigation skills are helpful and a GPS is a big asset here.

After getting to the top of the scramble up out of the drainage (wHalls-SC-RP10) route find your way southwest on a bearing of 248 (true).  While traveling on this bearing you will be traversing along a sloped area slowly working to a wide top out area (wHalls-SC-RP11).

From the wide top out area continue southwest on a bearing of 230 degrees (true) about 0.17 miles to where you will cross over a small drainage (wHalls-SC-RP12).  After crossing the small drainage continue southwest on a bearing of 240 degrees (true) for about 0.3 miles to where you will drop down into another large drainage (wHalls-SC-RP13). 

This large drainage (wHalls-SC-RP13) has several large drainages / ravines traveling up to the and northwest and southwest.  Choosing the proper ravine will get you to where you need to go.  This area is a little convoluted but if you look around you should notice 4 ravines / drainages.  The ravine / drainage you want to go up is the one traveling southwest at a bearing of about 245 degrees (true).  Of note there is also another drainage to the left (south) of the drainage you want running roughly the same direction and parallel.  Both Ravine / drainages will get you pretty much to the same place.  The actual bottom of the correct ravine / drainage is (wHalls-SC-RP14).

Travel southwest about 850 feet to what feels like the top of the ravine (wHalls-SC-RP15).  As you are traveling up the ravine you will be pointed directly at a white sandstone peak ahead.  The peak you will be pointed at is the middle peak of three small peaks in the area. 

As you get to the top of the ravine continue up the slickrock slope up toward that center peak which is now about 500 feet away.  As you get close to the peak contour around the left (south) side of it and walk over to the cliff edge looking down into Halls Creek. 

As you get around to the west side of the peak and over to the top of the cliffs (wHalls-SC-RP16) be on the look out for various cairns marking the way down over the side of the cliffs down toward Halls Creek.  Next is the descent down the rubble pile area.

There are a few cairns on the route down but they are widely spaced and not always obvious so be prepared to figure out your own way down. The route down the side of the cliffs into Halls Creek will work its way down the rubble pile section, while at the same time traversing to the right (north) eventually getting to a dirt slope that will allow easy walking down into Halls Creek.  The distance from the top (wHalls-SC-RP16) of the cairned route down the rubble pile and traversing down to the top of the dirt slope (wHalls-SC-RP17) is about 0.22 miles.  When you get to the top of the dirt slope, simply walk down to a use trail about 500 feet away.

Note:
It is also possible to begin traversing south on the rubble pile and work over to a ramp near a side drainage to drop down to the bottom.  However this route involves a little more route finding, a little more scrambling and doesn't seem to safe significant effort over the route traversing down to the north.  But if you are feeling adventurous it does go and may be a fun alternative for you.  A point for the top of the ramp (wHalls-Opt-2) is shown on the map but no waypoint info is added to the route description.

When you get down onto the use trail (wHalls-SC-RP18) turn left (south) and follow the trail as it stays roughly along the top of a cliff running along Halls Creek.  Follow the trail about 0.65 miles south until you see a very large obvious slickrock half dome shaped fin. 

Just before reaching the huge half dome shaped fin (wHalls-SC-RP19), LEAVE the use trail and follow down the slope on the north side of the half dome shaped fin down into the Halls Creek water course.  About 700 feet down along the slope you will be down in Halls Creek (jHalls-SC-Bot).

After getting down into Halls Creek walk south down the creek about 0.3 miles to where Millers Creek joins (wHalsCrsMilers) in from the right (west).

Note / Basecamp:
Once you have found your way to Miller Creek it is a good time to look around for a good spot to set up basecamp and drop all your overnight gear.  From your basecamp you can grab your tech gear and head out for trips though the local canyons.  Of note Millers Creek has water flowing as well as Halls Creek.  There have been reports of beaver activity in Halls Creek and reports of people getting sick from the water.  Millers Creek is where we typically get our water and have not had issues with it.  Your mileage may vary.

Continuing the Approach from a Basecamp somewhere near Millers Creek..........

About 0.25 miles down from Millers Creek the trail crosses over to the east side of the Halls Creek (wHallsHappyCrs) about 250 feet before reaching the bottom of Happy Dog Canyon.

Note:
To continue over to Baboon Laughs Canyon or Smiling Cricket Canyon you would cross over to the east side of Halls Creek and follow the trail high up on the east bank to continue south down Halls Creek.  But that is not where this description takes you.

From where the trail crosses (wHallsHappyCrs) to the east side of Halls Creek just before getting to the Happy Dog drainage, do not cross the creek to the east side.  Instead go west up the dirt slopes about 450 to the base of the slickrock slope going up to the west.

When you get to the slickrock (wHappyDogRP01) start up the slope continuing west).

About 950 feet up the slope is a large flat area (wHappyDogRP02).  Start up the steep slope continuing up west from the flat area.

A little over 500 feet farther is another large flat area (wHappyDogRP03).  Continue route finding your way west up the steep slickrock slope.  From this flat spot follow the slickrock ridge running up the left (south) side of this large flat area.  The canyon on your left (south) is Happy Dog Canyon.

About 0.2 miles farther the slope levels off a bit for a while for easier travel.  Shortly after leveling off a little there is a flat area (wHappyDogRP04) as you pass by the top of a side ravine on the right (north) that drops down into Millers Creek.

Continue route finding your way about 800 feet to where the slickrock begins to slope up steeply again (wHappyDogRP05).

After about 100 feet the slope tops out (wHappyDogRP06) then begins slightly down hill for a little bit.  From the brief top out note a peak about 500 feet ahead to the west.  The route up to Happy Dog will skirt around the left (south) side of that peak.

As you are skirting around the left (south) side of the peak (wHappyDogRP07) you will have good views down into parts of upper Happy Dog Canyon.

After getting around the peak note the red sandstone loafs a few hundred feet ahead to the west.  Navigating through those loafs is a little convoluted.  As you start up the red loafs a good route through them is to stay far right (north) near a sharp drop off (wHappyDogRP08) down into Millers Creek.

As you get to the west end of the red sandstone loafs there will be an easy down climb (wHappyDogRP09) of about 15 feet that will drop you down onto a dirt saddle.

After crossing this saddle travel about 450 feet up over a small hill then back down to another flat area (wHappyDogRP10).  When you get to the flat area walk about 150 feet south over to the bottom of the slope (wHappyDogRP11) going up from the left (south) end of the flat area.

Go west up the slope a little over 200 feet to the top of a draw / ravine (wHappyDogRP12).  This draw drops down to the left (south) of a sandstone peak and leads down to the top of Happy Dog.

As you get down the draw you will start to see the top of Happy Dog a couple hundred feet away.  Scramble down to a slickrock flat area just up out of the canyon.  From the flat area you can scramble right down into the head of the canyon (yHappyDogTp) where there is a sharp drop of about 30 feet west down into a side ravine leading down to Millers Creek.  Happy Dog Canyon continues east from here.

Note:
Just before getting down into the actual drainage at the top of Happy Dog look for a arch / hole in the sandstone about 8 feet in diameter and positioned so you can walk into it.  Walking onto this arch places you inside a large alcove looking over the top part of Happy Dog.  This is a very interesting not to be missed feature.

The Canyoneering / Technical Section:
From the top of Happy Dog (yHappyDogTp) walk / scramble down canyon a little over 200 feet where you will be next to the Happy Dog Arch (sHappyDogArch) but this time down in the canyon below it looking up.

Down canyon from the Happy Dog Arch are multiple small potholes that could be about waist deep if full of water and a few easy crack downclimbs of up to 10 feet.

About 500 feet down canyon of the Happy Dog Arch is a drop of about 12 feet (wHappyDogRP13) and is the first of 4 downclimbs before reaching rap 1 about 150 feet farther down canyon.  These 4 downclimbs are 10 to 15 feet each with the top of each being a fairly easy downclimb but the bottom needing a partner assist.  A couple of these downclimbs will need a very aggressive partner assist to get the last man down.

Rap 1 (dHappyDogR1) is anchored from a small tree about 15 feet back from the drop and drops about 35 feet over a VERY awkward overhang. Most of rap 1 is free hanging as you drop over a hanging garden area. When pulling the ropes for rap 1, try to back up as far as you can to avoid adding more rope grooves.

Note:
There are sections of skinny canyon with stemming and galumphing between raps 1 and 2.  It may be a good idea to remove your harness for the journey of about 0.5 mile to rap 2.

At the bottom of rap 1 is a wide open section with flat-ish sandstone floor to walk.  About 550 feet down canyon the walking comes to an end where the canyon starts to become narrow again (wHappyDogRP14).  As the canyon gets narrow galumphing will be required for movement down canyon.

There are multiple small potholes that you can avoid by stemming or bridging over for the first 350 feet of the galumph section until you get to a much larger pothole (wHappyDogRP15).   This pothole was about waist deep by hugging the LDC side on our visit in 2012 but was sand filled so I am not sure how deep it could be and may require a potshot to exit out of if scoured out in future years.  Down canyon of here is a narrow section to wade through. section to wade through.

About 150 feet down canyon is another large pothole (wHappyDogRP16).  This pothole is deep and is a definite swimmer for about 15 feet.  If full of water the exit is pretty easy but with water only a foot low the exit is already awkward and moderately difficult.  A potshot may be required here to toss an exit rope.  There are spots of sand behind you for material and the toss would be fairly easy to make.

As soon as you exit the pothole there is another pothole which was almost swimmer depth in 2012 but has a sand bottom so it may get deeper.  The exit of this pothole is also awkward and may require a potshot to exit if water levels are low.

Note:
There is no sand between these two potholes.  If you need a potshot for the second pothole you may need to farm sand from up canyon so be sure to keep someone back until you evaluate what is needed for both pothole exits.

Just after the two potholes is a section of galumphing with a couple easy V shaped sloped downclimbs before getting to a wide open spot for easy walking about 450 feet down canyon.

The walking section is about 350 feet long with a waist deep pool to wade through at one point. 

At the end of the walking section (wHappyDogRP17) the canyon starts to get narrow again where galumphing is required to continue down canyon.

The galumphing section goes for a little over 200 feet and has sections that are very tight at the bottom.  If your stemming skills are strong, travel is easier up off the deck about 15 feet but you can stay low and squeeze through the skinny stuff at the bottom with your pack off.

As the canyon opens up after the skinny section it is easy walking for almost 200 feet to a couple of pools in a wide area.  Both pools can be carefully bypassed by traversing the sandstone features on the RDC (south) side.  Bypassing the second pool you will need to go a little higher on the side and be careful dropping back in the steep slope on the down canyon side.

Note:
Bypassing these pools also bypasses rap 2.  Rap 2 (dHappyDogR2) looks to be about 12 feet and drops down to the second pool with a thick section of vegetation to fight through to get to it.  We bypassed the pools and rap 2 on my visit(s).  There were a couple sketchy parts of the bypass as you go around the second pool but it looked much better than fighting the brush and water below for a 12 foot rappel.

Just after the bypass or the two pools and rap 2 (depending on your choice here) is a drop of about 12 feet to a pothole about 6 feet across and deep (full of water when we were there).  The drop can be gently downclimbed but a dynamic move / jump is needed to get you over the pool if you prefer not to swim.

Continuing down canyon are a few potholes / pools to get through or around and are mostly easy to get out of if you drop in.  One of the pools has a drop of about 12 feet that we jumped into on our visit.  If water levels are low a pack anchor can get the last man down safely.

Rap 3 (dHappyDogR3) is a little over 600 feet down canyon of rap 2 (or the bypass if you used it) is anchored LDC from two bolted hangers and drops about 140 feet down a vertical wall.

Note:
Raps 3 and 4 can be bypassed bypassed by going up and around RDC from the top of rap 3, then scrambling down around a crack system into a short side drainage down to the canyon floor about 60 feet down canyon of rap 4.

At the bottom of rap 3 is a downclimb of about 10 feet down to a pool where a partner assist will be needed  The pool can be avoided with careful walking along the rim of it but would be an easy walk out if you decide to swim.  About 50 feet down canyon of the pool is a drop down into a V shaped slot and is the top of rap 4.

Rap 4 (dHappyDogR4) is anchored from a single bolted hanger and drops into the side of a V shaped crack dropping about 30 feet.  There is sand in the area if you wanted to use a sandtrap or potshot as an anchor.  Only the first 15 feet of the rappel needs a rope and the lower half can be dowclimbed.

About 60 feet down canyon of rap 4 is the bottom of (wHappyDogRP18) a side drainage / crack system that joins in from LDC (south) side.  The bypass route to get around raps 3 and 4 drops down next to the side drainage.

Down canyon of rap 4 and the side drainage is a narrow section where the physical work of Happy Dog takes place.  The 1000 foot narrow section down canyon of here has a lot going on.  Giving every detail of what is in the narrow section would be very convoluted, so a basic run down will have to do.

The narrow section down canyon of here is about 1000 feet long, has a couple sections of high stemming to 25 feet off the deck, multiple pools to cross, a few stem style downclimbs to 25 feet and 4 potholes to cross that may require potshot or pack toss to escape in low water conditions.  Even in high water conditions some of the potholes here are difficult or awkward to get out of.  Some of the potholes do not have sand or debris nearby to fill a potshot with so be prepared to do a pack toss if the need arises.

As the narrow section ends (wHappyDogRP19) where the canyon turns right and opens up.  At this open area you can escape the canyon and scramble up the LDC (north) side up to the approach route.

After the narrow section and the canyon widens out there are two long pools to swim with a V shaped downclimb of about 30 feet between them.  Next is a short walking section over to a short section of easy galumphing to a pool to swim across, a 12 foot downclimb to another pool just before reaching rap 5.

Rap 5 (dHappyDogR5) is about 550 feet down canyon after the hard working narrow section.  Rap 5 is anchored  RDC from a single bolted hanger and drops about 70 feet with an overhang part way down that drops you down over a hanging garden area.  The bolted hanger for rap 5 does not look to be in good shape.  If the bolt is undesirable there is plenty of sand where a sand trap can be used.

Rap 6 (dHappyDogR6) is anchored from two bolted hangers RDC and drops a total of about 130 feet over two stages.  The first stage drops about 25 feet to a waist deep pool and the second stage is mostly free hanging and drops down to a huge alcove area.  There are two bolted hangers at the top of the second stage of rap 6 that do not look to be in good shape and should not be used.

The alcove at the bottom of rap 6 is very beautiful and worth the trip! Down canyon from rap 6 is fairly easy travel but has a lot of thick poison ivy to push through.

About 700 feet down canyon of rap 6 the LDC (north) side starts to open up where a dirt bank (yHappyDogBt) will allow you to scramble up out of the drainage.

The Exit:
After scrambling up onto the LDC bank route find your way east about 500 feet back to Halls Creek (wHalsHappyCrs).

Next find your way back to base camp where you can pack up for the long journey out or stay overnight for another fun day in one of the other nearby canyons.

GPS Waypoint Information

GPX Files Available for DOWNLOAD.
Downloadable GPX files for many of the canyons listed here are now available at the BG-Gear Store.  In addition to the waypoints, the GPX files also offer routes and tracks for the canyon.  Over time more GPX files will be added.

If you want to avoid manually adding waypoints into your GPS or mapping software, want the additional routes and tracks or simply want to support the efforts put into BluuGnome, head over to the BG-Gear Store and grab the files that interest you.

Elevations are approximate.  Waypoints with no elevation data will display NaN in place of the elevation.

For information about my waypoint naming convention and map symbols, refer to the Glossary page.

Notes for GPS information:
BEFORE
entering coordinates from this website, please ensure your system (GPS or mapping software) is set to the same datum used here.  Waypoint coordinates are listed with WGS84 datum and in Lat/Lon hddd.ddddd° format.  Entering coordinate information with inconsistent datum's can result in the waypoints being off by hundreds of feet.  It is important to keep this in mind when entering waypoints from any source.

Happy Dog (1) - Drive into the Shortcut Trailhead
  1. extBurrTairlS          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.57554   W -110.71199        Elev: 3,990 Feet
    Exit off of Highway 276 to start onto the south end of the Burr Trail. The Burr Trail is paved here and leaves the highway going west.
  2. wBurrTrailDP01          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.57949   W -110.74897        Elev: NaN Feet
    Burr Trail is paved here but crosses over a draiange and may be washed out or flooded at times.
  3. wBurrTrailDP02          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.59983   W -110.78411        Elev: NaN Feet
    Burr Trail is paved here but crosses over Bullfrog Creek and may be washed out or flooded at times.
  4. pkKingdomSrtCt          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.61615   W -110.79873        Elev: 4,150 Feet
    A large dirt turn-out on the west side of the road. This is where you park if using the shortcut route into "The Kingdom". The Kingdom is the area with the animal named canyons (Smiling Cricket, Babbon Laughs and Happy Dog). To start on the route walk slightly north of due west from the parking area and cross over a small drianage about 450 feet away.
Happy Dog (2) - Shortcut Route into Millers Creek
  1. pkKingdomSrtCt          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.61615   W -110.79873        Elev: 4,150 Feet
    A large dirt turn-out on the west side of the road. This is where you park if using the shortcut route into "The Kingdom". The Kingdom is the area with the animal named canyons (Smiling Cricket, Babbon Laughs and Happy Dog). To start on the route walk slightly north of due west from the parking area and cross over a small drianage about 450 feet away.
  2. wHalls-SC-RP01          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.61426   W -110.81002        Elev: 3,910 Feet
    A slope that leads down into a large draiange. This is just north of the apex of a sharp horseshoe bend.
  3. wHalls-SC-RP02          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.61352   W -110.81020        Elev: NaN Feet
    Up on the ridge fromed by the horseshoe bend. Continue west to follow the route into The Kingdom.
  4. wHalls-SC-Slop          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.61359   W -110.81162        Elev: NaN Feet
    An optional slope to go up or down rather than scramble up the end of the ridge.
  5. wHalls-SC-RP03          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.61285   W -110.81300        Elev: 3,960 Feet
    Ridge formed by the horseshoe bend in the drainage ends as it widens out into open desert. Continue southwest on a bearing of 237 for about 0.46 miles to a rubble pile allowing you to sramble up to the shelf above.
  6. wHalls-SC-RP04          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.60929   W -110.81993        Elev: 4,090 Feet
    Bottom of a rubble pile where you start scrambling up the slickrock slope to get to the top.
  7. wHalls-SC-RP05          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.60861   W -110.82161        Elev: 4,150 Feet
    Top of the slickrock slope. From here you are greeted with wide open desert to teh west.
  8. wHalls-SC-RP06          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.60226   W -110.83181        Elev: 4,040 Feet
    Confluence in a drainage. Cross the drainage here and continue southwest across the desert on a bearing of 230 degrees (true). As you walk you will notice a whitish slickrock cliff band slightly left of your course off in the distance about 0.4 miles. Aim to the right of the cliff band area where it looks like you can scramble up onto it.
  9. wHalls-SC-RP07          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.59838   W -110.83757        Elev: 4,080 Feet
    A spot where you can easily scramble up onto the top of the whitish cliff band. This is north of the cliff band you have been seeing on the walk in.
  10. wHalls-SC-RP08          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.59745   W -110.84194        Elev: NaN Feet
    Fork in a large drainage. To continue on the shortcut route to The Kningdom follow up the fork traveling west.
  11. wHalls-SC-RP09          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.59753   W -110.84565        Elev: 4,010 Feet
    Large cairn in the wash. This cairn notes where you will leave the wash and climb up to the west. Scramble west up out of the draiange to the open desert above. You will need to do a little route finding to scramble up this section.
  12. wHalls-SC-RP10          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.59706   W -110.84680        Elev: NaN Feet
    Top of the scramble up out of the drainage. Continue southwest to continue on the shortcut route into The Kingdom.
  13. wHalls-SC-RP11          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.59599   W -110.85002        Elev: 4,125 Feet
    Wide top out area shortly after route finding your way up out of the draiange with the large cairn.
  14. wHalls-SC-RP12          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.59444   W -110.85227        Elev: NaN Feet
    Cross over a small drainage and continue southwest on a bearing of 230 deg true.
  15. wHalls-SC-RP13          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.59158   W -110.85706        Elev: NaN Feet
    Route drops down into a drainage here whre there are several ravines going up to the northwest and southwest. Travel up the drainage / ravine running southwest on a bearing of 245 deg true.
  16. wHalls-SC-RP14          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.59119   W -110.85812        Elev: 4,170 Feet
    Bottom of the correct drainage running up to the southwest at a bearing of 245 deg. true.
  17. wHalls-SC-RP15          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.59028   W -110.86071        Elev: 4,310 Feet
    A point that starts to feel like the top of the ravine. There is still a slockrock slope continuing toward a sandstone peak. Continue southwest up toward the peak then veer left (south to contour around it to get to the top of the cliff band.
  18. wHalls-SC-RP16          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.58945   W -110.86279        Elev: 4,400 Feet
    Top of the cairned route down the rubble pile along the cliff down into Halls Creek. The route down the rubble pile drops down while at the same time traverses north about 0.22 miles to the top of a dirt slope that leads down toward Halls Creek.
  19. wHalls-SC-RP17          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.59212   W -110.86400        Elev: 4,085 Feet
    Top of a dirt slope after traversig down the rubble debris area. Walk down this dirt slope west about 500 feet to get to a use trail.
  20. wHalls-SC-RP18          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.59197   W -110.86583        Elev: 3,960 Feet
    Bottom of the route down the rubble pile area where you end up on a use trail. This use trail is up out of Halls Creek following along the top of a cliff band. Follow the use trail south for about 0.65 miles until you see a large slickrock fin / half dome shape. Just before the halfdone shape follow the slope down into Halls Creek.
  21. wHalls-SC-RP19          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.58203   W -110.86799        Elev: 3,865 Feet
    Top of the slope where you can leave the use trail up on the top of the cliffband and walk down into Halls Creek. On the route in on the shortcut route this slope is just before reaching a huge obvious slickrock half dome shaped fin. This slope is in the north side of the half dome.
  22. jHalls-SC-Bot          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.58020   W -110.86821        Elev: 3,831 Feet
    This is where the short cut route into The Kingdom area of Halls Creek drops down into Halls creek water course.
  23. wHalsCrsMilers          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.57711   W -110.86952        Elev: 3,840 Feet
    The trail down Halls Creek crosses over Millers Creek here.
Happy Dog (3) - Approach from Millers Creek
  1. wHalsCrsMilers          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.57711   W -110.86952        Elev: 3,840 Feet
    The trail down Halls Creek crosses over Millers Creek here.
  2. wHalsHappyCrs          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.57440   W -110.87043        Elev: 3,860 Feet
    A point where the trail crosses Halls Creek near the bottom of Happy Dog Canyon. Cross Halls Creek here to continue south down Halls Creek on the trail on the east side of the draiange.
  3. wHappyDogRP01          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.57478   W -110.87217        Elev: 3,890 Feet
    Start up the slickrock slope here to start up to Happy Dog. This is a little over 100 feet north of the Happy Dog draiange itself.
  4. wHappyDogRP02          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.57642   W -110.87452        Elev: NaN Feet
    A large flat area on the way up to Happy Dog.
  5. wHappyDogRP03          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.57666   W -110.87615        Elev: 4,310 Feet
    Another large flat area on the way to Happy Dog. Continue route finding your way west up the steep slickrock slope. The canyon below you to the south (left facing up) is Happy Dog Canyon.
  6. wHappyDogRP04          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.57762   W -110.87962        Elev: 4,590 Feet
    A flat area near the top of a side ravine on the right (north) that drops down into Millers Creek. Continue west.
  7. wHappyDogRP05          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.57749   W -110.88235        Elev: NaN Feet
    The route begins to climb steeply again up slickrock.
  8. wHappyDogRP06          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.57717   W -110.88568        Elev: 4,930 Feet
    Slope tops out. Continue west down a gentle slope for a short distance. Note a peak about 500 feet ahead to the west. The route up to Happy Dog will skirt around the left (south) side of the peak.
  9. wHappyDogRP07          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.57750   W -110.88757        Elev: 5,000 Feet
    Skirting around the left (south) side of a sandstone peak. In this area you have great views down into parts of Happy Dog.
  10. wHappyDogRP08          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.57802   W -110.88876        Elev: NaN Feet
    As you go over the red sandstone loafs stay to the far right (north) near the sharp drop off down into Millers Creek.
  11. wHappyDogRP09          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.57784   W -110.88937        Elev: NaN Feet
    Easy downclimb of about 15 feet dropping down to a dirt saddle.
  12. wHappyDogRP10          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.57695   W -110.89029        Elev: NaN Feet
    Another flat area.
  13. wHappyDogRP12          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.57655   W -110.89084        Elev: 5,140 Feet
    Top of a small draw / ravine leading down to the top of Happy Dog Canyon.
  14. sHappyDogArch          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.57627   W -110.89127        Elev: 5,120 Feet
    Happy Dog Arch. Very cool feature that is like a large alcove with an access arch / door in the back.
  15. yHappyDogTp          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.57628   W -110.89200        Elev: 5,120 Feet
    Top of Happy Dog Canyon. West of here is a sharp drop of about 30 feet down into the side of Millers Creek. Happy Dog continues down canyon to the east.
Happy Dog (4) - The Canyon and Exit to Halls Creek
  1. yHappyDogTp          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.57628   W -110.89200        Elev: 5,120 Feet
    Top of Happy Dog Canyon. West of here is a sharp drop of about 30 feet down into the side of Millers Creek. Happy Dog continues down canyon to the east.
  2. wHappyDogRP13          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.57630   W -110.88949        Elev: NaN Feet
    Drop of about 12 feet where an aggressive partner assit can be used to get the last man down. Just after is a drop of about 15 feet where and aggressive partner asist will be needed for the bottom half.
  3. dHappyDogR1          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.57639   W -110.88899        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rap 1 - Happy Dog Canyon. Anchored from a small tree about 15 feet back from the drop and drops about 35 feet over a VERY awkward overhang. Most of rap 1 is free hanging as you drop over a hanging garden area. At the bottom of rap 1 is a large wide open area to walk. There are sections of skinny canyon with galumphing and stemming so removing your harness after rap 1 may be desired for the 0.5 mile journey down to rap 2.
  4. wHappyDogRP14          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.57659   W -110.88712        Elev: NaN Feet
    Easy walking section ends as the canyon begins to get narrow here where travel down canyon requires galumphing.
  5. wHappyDogRP15          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.57603   W -110.88605        Elev: NaN Feet
    Potholes up to this point were avoided by stemming or bridging over. The pothole here is much wider so you will have to go in. May be a swimmer for about 20 feet and need a potshot to escape IF sand washes out in the future.
  6. wHappyDogRP16          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.57569   W -110.88560        Elev: NaN Feet
    Two potholes one right after the other here. The first is large and is a swimmer for about 15 feet. Easy exit if full of water. If water is low a potshot may be required to toss an exit rope before dropping in. Should be a pretty easy toss to make. The second pothole is also a swimmer and may be difficult to eascpe with low water also requiring a potshot toss. There is no sand between these potholes so leave someone back until BOTH potholes have been evaluated so they can assist farming sand from up canyon if needed.
  7. wHappyDogRP17          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.57574   W -110.88294        Elev: NaN Feet
    Start of another section of galumphing just after a wide section of easy walking.
  8. dHappyDogR2          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.57675   W -110.88146        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rap 2 - Happy Dog Canyon. Looks to be about 12 feet into a pool after fighting through a thick vegetation section. Rap 2 is between two pools. On our visit through Happy Dog we bypassed both pools and rap 2 by traversing the RDC side and dropping back to the canyon floor after the second pool.
  9. dHappyDogR3          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.57618   W -110.87964        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rap 3 - Happy Dog Canyon. Anchored from two bolted hangers LDC and drops about 140 feet down a vertical wall. Raps 3 and 4 can be bypassed bypassed by going up and around RDC from the top of rap 3, then scrambling down around a crack system into a short side drainage down to the canyon floor about 60 feet down canyon of rap 4.
  10. dHappyDogR4          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.57608   W -110.87934        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rap 4 - Happy Dog Canyon. Is anchored from a single bolted hanger and drops into the side of a V shaped crack dropping about 30 feet. There is sand in the area if you wanted to use a sandtrap or potshot as an anchor. Only the first 15 feet of the rappel needs a rope and the lower half can be dowclimbed.
  11. wHappyDogRP18          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.57591   W -110.87910        Elev: NaN Feet
    A side drainage / crack system joins in from RDC. This is where the bypass route for raps 3 and 4 get back to the canyon floor. This is also the start of a narrow section down canyon of here about 1000 feet long. The narrow section down canyon of here is where the physical work of Happy Dog Canyon takes place. There are a couple sections of high stemming to 25 feet off the deck, multiple pools to cross, a few stem style downclimbs to 25 feet and 4 potholes to cross that may require potshot or pack toss to escape in low water conditions.  Even in high water conditions some of the potholes here are difficult or awkward to get out of.  Some of the potholes do not have sand or debris nearby to fill a potshot with so be prepared to do a pack toss if the need arises.
  12. wHappyDogRP19          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.57549   W -110.87553        Elev: 4,180 Feet
    The bottom end of a narrow section where the canyon takes a sharp right and opens up. It is possible to escape the canyon here and scramble up the LDC side to meet up with the approach route.
  13. dHappyDogR5          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.57444   W -110.87442        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rap 5 - Happy Dog Canyon. Anchored RDC from a single bolted hanger and drops about 70 feet with an overhang part way down that drops you down over a hanging garden area. The bolted hanger for rap 5 does not look to be in good shape. If the bolt is undesirable there is plenty of sand where a sand trap can be used.
  14. dHappyDogR6          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.57470   W -110.87441        Elev: NaN Feet
    Rap 6 - Happy Dog Canyon. Anchored from two bolted hangers RDC and drops a total of about 130 feet over two stages. The first stage drops about 25 feet to a waist deep pool and the second stage is mostly free hanging and drops down to a huge alcove area. There are two bolted hangers at the top of the second stage of rap 6 that do not look to be in good shape and should not be used.
  15. yHappyDogBt          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 37.57439   W -110.87218        Elev: 3,870 Feet
    Bottom of Happy Dog Canyon. This is not the bottom end of the actual draiange. This is where the LDC side gives way to a dirt slope you can scramble up to get up out of the canyon.