Explore the best trails near Hanksville with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.
off road driving
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.
hike about 1.5 miles in the wash, then the canyon begins to narrow. there are several relatively easy obstacles. we got to the first major choke stone at about 4.5 miles. there was a good sized and very cold pool in front of the obstacle and since we were close to the turn around time, we decided that discretion was the better part of Valor
The Alltrails description of this hike is from the Highway 24 trailhead but the map is from the Gifford House end. We hiked in from the Highway 24 end of the Cohad Trail switched to the Frying Pan Trail and then to the Cassidy Arch Trail to Casidy Arch. A truly great and strenuous hike (lots of up and down) but not difficult nor edgy. The way we did it it encompassed about 8.5 miles and about 5 hours. The Arch is impressive and the only one we've found in southeast Utah that is easily walked across on top given its massive width.
Great hike, even in the 100 degree July summer. Started around 8:00 in the morning, weather was perfect until we got to the top of Little Wild Horse canyon. That is when the sun hits you and for the remainder of the hike you are in the sun. Took us 4 hours to complete, and that is with an inexperienced hiker. Little Wild Horse is beautiful, but I would skip Bell canyon next time and just go up and back through Little Wild Horse.
Hannah L. on Little Wild Horse Bell Canyon Trail
LOVE this trail. I've done it a few times, but it was several years ago. Be sure to check the weather because the area is at risk for flash floods. Bring lots of water with you.