Less than half a mile east of the small tunnel in the upper East Canyon is a pair of drainages north of Route 9 with many unofficial nicknames. "The Root Canals" (and "The Twins") refers to the drainages' resemblance to a molar's roots on the topo map. East Root Canal is also more popularly known by locals as "Many Pools" because of its many interesting pothole formations. This open wash makes for a lovely leisurely hike in some beautiful sandstone scenery and is most interesting during spring runoff or after recent rainstorms.
Along Route 9 in the upper East Canyon, roughly .9 miles east of the small tunnel, park at a fairly prominent pull-off/parking area on the south side of the road; there is also a smaller parking spot just further down the road. Carefully walk along the road and look for a suitable path of use to scramble down into the "Many Pools" drainage. Once in the drainage, the hiking is fairly easy as you make your way up the open wash to view the many pothole formations in the watercourse and interesting hoodoo formations in the hills above. During the spring and summer months, tadpoles are often found living in the pools.
There are no significant obstacles on this hike although sticky hiking shoes are very helpful and there is one dryfall that you can bypass by hiking around. Roughly one mile from the road, you will see the narrow head of the canyon (the "root" formation). Most casual hikers will choose to turn around at this point, but you can continue to explore further up the canyon and even scramble all the way out to join up with the Deertrap Mountain Trail on the plateau above. The scramble up and out is quite strenuous and involves a fair amount of bushwhacking so I don't recommend it--the lower open sections of this hike are more pleasurable and photogenic. Retrace your steps when you have had your fill.
West Root Canal Option:
Although less interesting than the "Many Pools" hike, you can walk the road west of the parking spot and hike down into West Root Canal (which I affectionately call "Tallstack Canyon"). This drainage is taller and darker and makes for a short interesting hike until you reach a narrow section of stagnant pools that discourage further travel upstream. Retrace your steps when you have had your fill.
"Many Pools" is a great little hike in the upper East Canyon: unique, photogenic, not too strenuous, and still off the beaten path. This hike is also easy enough for experienced children to enjoy, but take care and use your best judgement as this is not an official trail.