Day Hikes in the Escalante Canyons

The amount of day hikes that are available in the Escalante Canyons is essentially infinite in that the terrain is completely open for exploration by the day hiker.  The primary challenges are knowing how to navigate the landscape and knowing how to understand the weather patterns.  For the experienced navigator, the adventures are endless.  It is a common thought that to explore just the Escalante Canyons well would take more than a lifetime. After 20 years hiking predominately these canyons, I still have numerous places within these canyons and surrounding desert that I want to explore.

On this page you will find information about some of the more common hikes in the Escalante Canyons.  I indicate a day hike level and a navigation level to help you gauge if the hike is appropriate for you.  If you are not sure, please feel free to contact me, see below.

Regardless of the difficulty level of a hike, it is advisable to always pay attention to one’s footing, brush, trees and other plants as well as wildlife when hiking any trail or route.

Lower Calf Creek Falls Trail

The Lower Calf Creek Falls Trail is the only designed and maintained trail in the Escalante Canyons.   It is mildly strenuous and requires minimal navigation.

Mildly strenuous hikes are two to four hours long.  The terrain is fairly level though there will be slight undulations in the terrain.   The elevation gain is typically less than a few hundred feet over a two to three mile distance.  Stream or shallow river crossings are likely.  Participants should be in fair physical condition and accustomed to walking the distance of the hike.

Minimal navigation skills are required along this trail.  The trail is quite obvious, straight forward and is hiked frequently enough that there is a high probability of having other hikers on the trail at the same time.

 

Mildly Strenuous Day Hikes along common routes

All the other hikes in the Escalante Canyons are along routes.  The common routes have paths that have been created by use only.  These routes, which have not been designed and constructed, may have sections that require scrambling or strict attention to one’s balance and may have sections where the route is not obvious.

Mildly strenuous hikes are two to four hours long.  The terrain is fairly level though there will be slight undulations in the terrain.   The elevation gain is typically less than a few hundred feet over a two to three mile distance.  Stream or shallow river crossings are likely.  Participants should be in fair physical condition and accustomed to walking the distance of the hike.

Minimal navigation skills are required along these common routes.  The routes are fairly obvious, straight forward and are hiked frequently enough that there is a high probability of having other hikers on the trail at the same time.

Escalante River to the Natural Arch

Escalante River Downstream for two miles (after Phipps Wash, the trail becomes significantly less obvious)

Devils Garden

Moderately Strenuous Hikes along Common Routes

Moderately strenuous hikes are four to six hours long.  The terrain has a fair amount of elevation gain.  The elevation gain is often along a long gradual slope and does not generally require scrambling, though short sections of scrambling using the hands may be  encountered.  Participants should should be in good physical condition and be a accustomed to hiking the distance of the hike.

Basic navigation skills are required along these common routes.  The routes are fairly obvious, straight forward and are hiked frequently enough that there is a high probability of having other hikers on the trail at the same time.  These routes require more attention to the path in order to discern the correct route.  A map and map reading skills are helpful, though many people hike these routes without a map.

Upper Calf Creek Falls

Zebra and Tunnel Slot Canyons

Peek-a-boo and Spooky Slot Canyons

Moderately Strenuous Hikes along slightly used routes

Moderately strenuous hikes are four to six hours long.  The terrain has a fair amount of elevation gain.  The elevation gain is often along a long gradual slope and does not generally require scrambling, though short sections of scrambling using the hands may be  encountered.  Participants should should be in good physical condition and be a accustomed to hiking the distance of the hike.

Moderate Navigation skills are required for these hikes, which means that a common path exists, however the route has turns that may not be obvious and the trail markers along the route are not always visible or identifiable.  Hikers should know how to read maps and the landscape to follow the route accurately.

Phipps Arch

The Mail Trail

 

Mild to Very Strenuous hikes along Routes that require Functional Map and Compass Navigation Skills

The hikes in this area are truly limitless.  The hikes, other than those indicated above, require far more navigational skills and may require more physical skills. I am always excited to help people explore the area, whether by helping you understand the logistics of a hike you plan to explore on your own or by guiding you on a hike that you have determined may be better done with an experienced guide.

I am happy to guide any hike, including the hikes listed above.  If you would like a guide for a hike, please take a look at some of our Day Hiking options.

If you are a hiker that is capable of the more intense hikes and would like additional information, please feel free to contact me.

Here is how you can get in touch with us.

Telephone – 435-335-7710

Email – using our contact form

Come home to nature, it welcomes you!