Glen Canyon National Recreation Area: Ticaboo Creek

This hike explores a network of canyon forks anchored by scenic and isolated camping and reliable water sources in central Ticaboo Creek.
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This hike explores a network of canyon forks anchored by scenic and isolated camping and reliable water sources in central Ticaboo Creek.

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 45.8

Waypoints

TIC001

Location: 37.7018356323242, -110.579971313477

Among the 2,000 miles of winding shoreline and 96 side canyons, nowhere in Glen Canyon are there more hidden treasures than in the Ticaboo Creek-Fourmile Canyon region north of Bullfrog Marina. Here, a web of canyons cuts deeply into Navajo sandstone, creating well-watered gorges, slots, slickrock bowls, and soaring sandstone domes tucked between the Little Rockies and the lake's cliffy rim. Unknown to all but the most avid map studiers, the Ticaboo region offers a striking example of the secret worlds that lie within Glen Canyon.

Earmark 3-6 days for this trip. We scrambled through a network of canyon forks, all anchored by excellent camping and water sources in central Ticaboo Creek. The best way to get intimate with the area is to basecamp and explore side canyons to little-known gems and Lake Powell.

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Start near a water tank managed by the BLM for cattle, and follow faint switchbacks into an arm of the South Fork.

TIC002

Location: 37.7039489746094, -110.576332092285

Main route veer R down canyon. Optional: Drop pack, and turn L for a short side trip up the South South Fork (labeled SSF01)

SSF001

Location: 37.7079162597656, -110.582229614258

Keep NE, passing over sandy washouts and seasonal potholes

SSF002

Location: 37.7120208740234, -110.590896606445

Big pothole; canyon deadends ahead

TIC003

Location: 37.708984375, -110.567497253418

Short side canyon on R, and even shorter one ahead on L.

SFR001

Location: 37.7193832397461, -110.56893157959

You've left Glen Canyon NRA and now back BLM country. The canyon walls are less dramatic. If time permits and you have a rope, it might be possible to link this point up with Waypoint TIC010 via sandstone domes and a short arm off the Ticaboo.

TIC004

Location: 37.7086219787598, -110.560050964355

South Fork on L. This rocky, sandy fork flattens out in a space bigger than a football field after about a mile (track labeled SFR01). To stay on main path, continue E down canyon.

TIC005

Location: 37.7068176269531, -110.558296203613

Graffiti on R. There's a copy-cat Kopelli drawing and several names with dates painted or carved into the red wall.

TIC006

Location: 37.7072334289551, -110.553886413574

Seasonal water source

TIC007

Location: 37.705883026123, -110.552047729492

Sandstone benches offer good campsites on R.

TIC008

Location: 37.7084007263184, -110.528015136719

Ticaboo Creek. Before you continue L on the main route, drop your pack, grab the camera, and head E to Lake Powell. This 2.2-mile sidetrip (labeled TLP01) is well-worth the detour. It leads into a re-vived redrock hallway bursting with new plant life.

TLP001

Location: 37.7069511413574, -110.522918701172

High water mark from 1999. Continue down canyon, past a gardens of new growth and leftover silt banks from the lake.

TLP002

Location: 37.703498840332, -110.514717102051

This marks the lake level in November 2005. There's two great overlooks--be weary of extremely undercut rocks--with views stretching into the lake. Look for schools of carp circling near the water's surface.

TIC009

Location: 37.728515625, -110.540946960449

This old cowboy camp has an old handmade table and is the best camp in Ticaboo. Reliable water source nearby and lots of shade.

TIC010

Location: 37.7308006286621, -110.547515869141

Just before this S-curve in the canyon there's a small cave on N wall.

TIC011

Location: 37.7354164123535, -110.547317504883

From this point, you can choose your own adventure to Fourmile Canyon. Turn L here for Middle Fork (labeled MFR01). Keep striaght for other options.

MFR001

Location: 37.736198425293, -110.55241394043

After a short bit through the narrows of the Middle Fork, turn R here and head striaght up the sandstone dome for far-stretching views of the surrounding sandstone country.

MFR002

Location: 37.737133026123, -110.55249786377

Great lunch spot, and photo opportunity. Head over dome and down into the North Fork.

TIC012

Location: 37.7362480163574, -110.546180725098

North Fork. This is the main route to Fourmile Canyon. Turn L. Or, continue striaght for another longer path (labeled SID06) to Fourmile and more side canyon exploration (labeled SID07).

SID001

Location: 37.744743347168, -110.536331176758

Turn L for a 2.2-mile NW route to Fourmile. Rocky but fairly easygoing.
Optional: Turn R (labeled FSD01) into one of the many fingered slots in this region. We took the one due E, hoping for an unmapped, non-technical route out.

SID002

Location: 37.7565574645996, -110.549644470215

Continue NW

FSD001

Location: 37.7479820251465, -110.52604675293

No luck. The canyon ends abrubtly at an impressive wall--gorged and shaped in all sorts of contortations by falling water.

TIC013

Location: 37.7431831359863, -110.555702209473

Continue NW, following North Fork

TIC014

Location: 37.757682800293, -110.566535949707

Great open sandstone views all-around

TIC015

Location: 37.7623825073242, -110.565017700195

Hike into Fourmile Canyon. Your route out goes left up canyon, heading W. Optional: Camp nearby and spend a half day hiking to Lake Powell (labeled FML01).

FML001

Location: 37.763599395752, -110.558120727539

Redrock walls narrow

FML002

Location: 37.7637825012207, -110.55256652832

Huge blocks broken off from the wall above sit in the sandy canyon floor; continue E to somewhat reliable water source

FML003

Location: 37.7664031982422, -110.537422180176

Running H20

FML004

Location: 37.7708854675293, -110.516014099121

Sea of tumble weed

FML005

Location: 37.768798828125, -110.497589111328

High Water Mark of Lake Powell

TIC016

Location: 37.7698822021484, -110.58251953125

A giant rock is supended in the narrow canyon wall. Ahead is some fun scrambling out of Fourmile.

Giant Rock

Location: 37.7699089050293, -110.582702636719

This rock is wedged between the canyon walls. The only way around is to climb under. © Kris Wagner

TIC017

Location: 37.7714538574219, -110.587265014648

Possible campsites near rim

Canyon Wall

Location: 37.7722244262695, -110.587104797363

The canyon walls are really tall here still. This shot was taken from the canyon bottom.
© Kris Wagner

TIC018

Location: 37.771656036377, -110.608100891113

The faint trail, marked with occasional cairns, climbs through a pass in the Little Rockies. Continue W.

TIC019

Location: 37.7823371887207, -110.64461517334

Trail ends @ UT 276.