March 13, 2013

Happy Canyon Overlook

Poison Spring Cyn; background / Happy Cyn; foreground 

Our trip into Sams Mesa Box Canyon settled the question of a possible future backpacking trip. The next morning I sat in the sun looking at maps and drinking coffee. We didn't want to spend a bunch of time driving around so we settled on driving about 20 minutes further out onto Sams Mesa. The contour lines on the quad begged exploration along the north rim of Happy Canyon out to a point that forms between Happy Canyon and the Dirty Devil River. Long story short: We walked 11 miles for a picnic!
After leaving the blazer at roads end we slogged about two miles through dunes and blackbrush, which left us literally asking each other "just what in the hell are we doing"? Once we got to the rim of Happy Canyon we took a break above The Pinnacle and contemplated turning around. We ate some nuts, and decided to continue, happy we did, because the rim walk was the best part of the hike. We saw no sign of anyone, and wondered at how impossible such a walk would be in mid-summer because of the exposure. A bit over 5 miles from the blazer we arrived at the point of land overlooking a canyon system that rivals Island in the Sky district of Canyonlands Nat'l Park.
Several hours later, back at the car, we camped at another wonderful overlook feeling super lucky to have scored such nice weather, just in time for Lisas spring break.

Burr Point; upper right background

The Pinnacle from Happy Canyons north rim

pee stain & a picnic spot

Happy Canyon Narrows from Sams Mesa

Another wonderful rim camp


  1. Nice Mick! Looks like another great desert adventure! Keep it up and come to Alaska sometime for some wilderness!

  2. That makes two of us in Ft Lauderdale; one from here out there and one from there out here. Lovin' life, all of us, hopefully. Skip