Halls Creek Canyon Trail is a 22.8 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Hanksville, Utah that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, camping, and backpacking and is best used from September until May.
Directions from Highway 24: Drive southward on Notom-Bullfrog Road to the Bullfrog Marina Access. Turn right, south, and drive one mile before reaching the Halls Overlook spur road. Turn right on to this road and travel three miles to the overlook. The spur road is suitable for high-clearance two-wheel drive vehicles in good weather.
I went there with a small group the beginning first September. We drove south from Capitol Reef NP. We had a 4runner, but road could have easily been done with something smaller. Bumpy, but otherwise drivable. The last .5 miles to the TH got a little crazy. If you have a smaller car, you may have to walk that. Back country permits were required but free at the visitor's center.
They will give you a topo map of the trail. If you're good at reading maps, it is a valuable reference for where you are because once we dropped into the canyon we had no service and no GPS.
The creek was completely dry for the first 5 or 6 miles. If you're going late summer, make sure you bring plenty of water. It is really hot and dry.
At about 6-mile we stated seeing small puddles of water pop up. The water pump came in really handy at this point.
We followed the creek bed going in. It probably made the hike longer, but it was easier to navigate. There are tons of trails winding down the canyon so if you decide to stick to the trail, don't be discouraged if you lose it. You'll find another one.
There are no signs marking the trial down there. You pretty much follow the canyon the whole way.
We camped just before the slots the first night. We decided to leave our camp set up the next day and just hike the slots with day packs. This worked pretty well and made we it back to camp just before sunset.
We started seeing more water in the slots. Bring your water shoes because you will get wet. There was only one point that the water was deep enough to have to swim through. The rest of the creek wasn't any higher than the calf.
Once you leave the slots on the south side, the trail cuts back north across the desert. This trail may be easy to miss at first but as long as you're moving in the right direction, you'll find it. Use the canyon walls as reference.
It is a really fun hike. I would recommend going earlier in the year if you want to find more water and cooler temperatures. We only saw one other group while we were down there.
TBH, I've been through better slot canyons, but it was awesome overall.
We traveled with a university group of 9 in mid-march from the TH to Fountain Tanks. We came via the Burr Trail Road then headed south on the Notom-Bullfrog Road. The last .5 mile or so of the road to the TH is pretty gnarly (high clearance recommended) and could be impassable when wet. The roads were dry for us and the Tahoe and Jeep did fine. The TH has a picnic table and parking. The first 1.5 miles of trail drop right into the canyon and are pretty strenuous. Once in the valley, the hiking is flat and easy. The trail parallels the creek and is easy to find. The creek was running low and was very silty. We made it to the Fountain Tanks and they were a much more reliable water source. Exploring other slots nearby, we found many other pools that had clear water. Lots of Cryptobiotic soil made campsite selection tricky. Lots of fresh tracks and wildlife! The temps during the day were in the low to mid 50's with a light breeze from the south and low 30's at night. It threatened to rain our last day, but no precip. Cell phone reception is nonexistent. Bring a SAT phone or Spot-type device for communication. A permit is required for camping and can be only be obtained in person at the Capitol Reef Visitor Center in Torrey. For updates on weather, trail and road conditions, etc. call the Center @ 435.425.4111. Such an awesome place with lots of options for exploring!