Round Trip Distance: 5 miles
Cellphone: 3-5 bars
Usage: Hiking -Dogs - No bikes - No OHV
Time: 2 hrs. 15 min.
Facilities: Vault toilet at trailhead
Trailhead: Pollock Bench
View Flume Canyon in a larger map
I had just finished hiking the Pollock Bench Loop trail and I still felt like doing a little more hiking. Flume Canyon was the perfect trail. Flume Canyon is named after a narrow gulch that is around 2 miles long where the seasonal stream that drains the upper canyon cuts deeply as the water flows down to the Colorado River. It is so narrow in places that it reminds me of some of the 'crack canyon' hikes in southern Utah.
The trail begins at the Pollock Bench trailhead. The first trail junction is only about 50 feet from the trailhead. I took the trail to the left following the F1 marker. The trail to the right heads to the Pollock Bench and Rattlesnake Arches trails. There is also trail that connects the upper section of the Pollock Bench Loop to the upper section of the Flume Canyon trail. There is another trail that connects the upper portion of the Flume Canyon trail to the Devil's Canyon trail. Now it's getting exciting to consider all of the different variations that you can come up with for hiking in this area.
The lower section of the Flume Canyon trail climbs in and out of several different washes. I saw deer tracks several times in this area. There were 4 or 5 people on horseback just ahead of me. I appeared to be over taking them so I slowed my pace a bit. Within a short time they disappeared over a rise and I never saw them again.
After hiking about 6 tenths of a mile I came to the beginning of the Flume Canyon Loop. Some people take the left for and when they get to the flume they hike right up the stream bed. It's a pretty nice hike but it's not a place to get caught in the rain. You can look at the sides of the cliffs in the flume and see how high the water gets during flash floods. I took the right fork which led up the ridge that divides the different sections of the canyon. The trail climbs gradually up the ridge. The further I hiked the more interesting the scenery became.
After hiking for about a mile and a half the trail began to hug some short cliffs of Entrada sandstone. For some reason I really like hiking along cliffs like this.As long as rocks aren't falling on my head anyway.
I came to the junction of the F2 trail that connect this trail to the Pollock Bench Loop after hiking a little over 2.25 miles. There are some good views of a balanced rock that I had been watching as approached closer to it over the last mile. The trail began to turn towards the east and after ascending to 4950 feet it began dropping down to the seasonal stream bed of Flume Canyon creek.
The next couple of miles were a lot of fun to hike as the trail wound through the cliffs following the stream bed down towards the Colorado River. I followed the trail to the D1/F1 junction which was just past the 3 mile point. This is where you can cut over to the Devil's Canyon trail. The stream bed drops off into the flume after a short distance and the trail follows along the upper rim on the west side. I saw a couple that had hiked up the flume and were at the point where they had to turn back. Once you get in the flume there is no getting out except the way you came.
I continued hiking and when I approached the 4 mile point the trail began to break out into the open area of the lower section of Flume Canyon. Another mile of hiking and I was back at the Pollock Bench trailhead.
This trail was a lot of fun to hike. The difference between the east and west sections of the trail make it seem like two different places. The hiking is easy enough but I gave it a moderate rating because of a few sections that are a little harder to negotiate. If you are looking for a hike in the 5 mile range that only requires a moderate amount of effort then I highly recommend the Flume Canyon trail. If you want to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.