Excellent Trail, the ruins were breathtaking. Will return to hike Bullet in it's entirety.
May 23 2015 as part of the Bullet Canyon to Government Trail Route
Shaylee, Kessler, and I met my dad, Matt, and Dani at the Kane Gulch Ranger Station in the morning. We obtained our permit and Matt and I did the car shuttle to the head of the Government Trail. We stopped 0.3 miles from the trailhead since the road got really rough. On the drive, it rained lightly at times.
We all headed down Bullet Canyon. After not too long, it began to rain heavily and water spilled off the scrambling sections. I noticed a big pictograph high on the cliffs above the gulch. I doubt many people see it. There were also several desert wildflowers about, which were a gift from the recent rains.
This time we missed the rim top ruin and continued down to Perfect Kiva Ruin to eat lunch while seeking shelter from the pouring rain. We had a long and leisurely lunch at Perfect Kiva. Perfect Kiva is one of the few ruins where it is OK to enter, so we descended into its dark depths via a wooden ladder.
The rain tapered off a bit and we contoured around the rock benches to Jailhouse Ruin, which is almost camouflaged and blends into the wall nicely. The ruins were really neat and we stopped to take photographs. The ruins were named after a window with cross bars that makes the ruin have the appearance of an old jail cell. There is an upper level of the ruin as well, which is accessible only by some serious rock climbing. Above the upper ruin were some big white and green pictographs. There were also some interesting pictographs near the walls of the lower ruin as well.
Not that far from the ruin, I picked up what looked like a flat rock and it turned out to be a very nice looking potsherd. I put it back exactly where I found it.
We continued down canyon, but Kessler and I thought we forgot something at the ruins, so we ran back up canyon to search around while the others continued down canyon. We didn’t find our missing item, so returned to the packs. It was in our packs all along. We met the others at another ruin that they were checking out. From afar, we observed another ruin high on the cliff.
It rained on and off as we continued down Bullet Canyon, visiting one more ruin along the way, and observing another from afar. There was a good campsite at the junction of Bullet Canyon and Grand Gulch, where Kessler, my dad, my nephew, brother, and I had camped nine years previous, just after Kessler turned four. We wanted to continue down canyon to Green House Canyon, so we pushed on down Grand Gulch. This section of Grand Gulch isn’t hiked as often as the other sections and the going was rougher and slower. It was still raining and we had to wade down canyon and through the tall and wet grass, which soaked us. I noticed a pictograph panel of hand prints and “upside down rainbows” and I climbed up to it. The others didn’t want to make the climb, but I took photographs.
We continued battling our way down to Green House Canyon where we made camp. Luckily, there was a nice water source near the camp. There was also a ruin above camp which we climbed up to and explored the area.
It was a pretty long day, but I still walked up Green House Canyon to see if there was more water available around the ruin. Incidentally, there was also a slightly murky pool just below camp that was fine for cooking.
It was a wet day and it had its challenges (mostly due to the heavy rains), but it was a good day.
After setting up camp, we cooked dinner and rested for the night.
May 28 2006 as part of the Kane Gulch to Bullet Canyon Route
With my dad, four year old son Kessler, five year old son Matthew, and my brother Mark.
Like the rest of Grand Gulch, an incredible canyon opens up out of the unpromising plains near route 261. Beautiful orange walls, a huge pourover, and of course pristine Anasazi ruins. It took longer than we thought, and we missed a cairn in the rain on the way out of the canyon and had to go all the way back down and repeat the process.
Down Bullet Canyon and out Government Trail.
Went through here on the way through Grand Gulch and out Polly's Canyon.
Going downhill may have influenced my experience but it didn't seem like I hit any class 3 sections. If so, they were on the easy side.
So much to see!
Great fun scrambling through these rockfalls and perfect kiva lives up to it's name. Took this guy in and out for a 6 day trip in grand glulch.
Must see perfect Kiva. Overnighting in the cave is a must. Saw my Father go over the edge of a cliff in this canyon and thought I had lost him.
Dayhike to Perfect Kiva and Jailhouse ruins. Great canyon, though my allergies were killing me that day.
It was after a small flash flood so was a bit wet leading up. Wonderful ruins, worth the trip
Lead a backpack up Bullet.
Kane Gulch - Bullet Canyon (April 20-22, 2001). Nice scenic canyon in Grand Gulch. We explored Jailhouse Ruin and Perfect Kiva Ruins during a three day backpack.
May 23-25 2015
Down Bullet Canyon and out Government Trail.
May 26-28 2006
Down Kane Gulch and out Bullet Canyon.