Owl Creek Fish Creek Loop Trail

HARD 6 reviews

Owl Creek Fish Creek Loop Trail is a 15.2 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Blanding, Utah that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
15.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,794 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

backpacking

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

views

wild flowers

historic site

backpacking
2 months ago

We began at Owl around 2pm in 95°F weather. We came upon our first ruin, about half a granary, about 100 feet from the top. The second bunch of ruins we almost missed, being hidden behind a "waterfall". We didn't see any after those until we reached the confluence, at which we decided to take a day hike south. We came upon 2 granaries on that hike, one circular and one rectangular structure. There was another granary we found that was falling apart. All of the structures going past the confluence were very hard to spot and very easy to miss with their camouflage construction.The easiest way to spot them is to look for their perfect square openings. We didn't see any structures on our way back up Fish. Although there is a small creek with flowing water right along the trail. I'd do this hike again and make my way farther south to find more structures if I knew there was water to be found south of the confluence.

hiking
4 months ago

Fun trail with some trail finding to do. Cool ruins and scenery. We did see some bear scat, but nothing to be alarmed about. A little bit tough to get out the Fish Creek side. There was a rope there when we did it and it was helpful. Some fore thought and planning and this can be a great over night hike. My GPS tracks with all side trips was right at 20 miles.

backpacking
9 months ago

I did this as an overnight in mid-October. I'll leave a few tips here for anyone considering this trip:

- the loop is longer than 15 miles. My GPS track shows 19 and I have seen others tracking around 21 miles. I don't know where the '15 miles' comes from, and this isn't the only site that claims that.

- this can be extremely difficult hiking. Large sections of the canyons have no real 'trail' to speak of, and where there is (was?) a trail a lot of it can be overgrown or very easy to lose track of. Bring a map and pay attention.

- you can go in via Owl or Fish. Fish requires descending down or climbing up a 15'ish foot crack/dihedral. I went down that way. Understand that if you can not climb it, you are faced with backtracking 19-21 miles to get out via Owl...

- Obviously I then exited via Owl, and be warned the last few miles of the hike are pretty rough including some exposed sections and slab/friction climbing to get up and around obstacles in the creek

- The rangers had received a report of someone seeing bear prints in Fish but they weren't sure if it was accurate. I saw three piles of bear scat within the first couple miles of the descent in to Fish so, again, just something to be aware of.

- There are very few ruins to be seen on the loop itself. Supposedly there are more to be found if you hike down south of the confluence of Fish and Owl creeks. Very high effort, low reward trip if you are looking to see remnants of the ancients...

- Very important: there is no direct phone to reach the Kane Gulch ranger station. The only person you can speak to is the ranger who sets up your permits ($8 per person per trip) which you then have to pick up in person at the ranger station itself (during high season anyway). The permit guy has no knowledge of conditions or water availability which means that you will have no knowledge of conditions or water availability until you are standing in the ranger station 5 miles from the trailhead. Plan accordingly, bring enough water to cover your trip, and hope you won't end up having to haul it in.

hiking
Monday, January 11, 2016

Lots of scrambles! Started on the Fish Creek side. It was not marked well, we spent most of the afternoon trying to find the decent into the canyon. Once we found it, there's a sudden drop that we had to climb down & lower our packs into. After this is a very steep scramble down. Be very careful going down! Once we were down into the canyon, there trail isn't too bad. Lots of creek crossing. There were several more small scrambles, and trying to find where the trail was. Flooding had washed away a lot of it. There are several great camp sites along the way, water is available. The scramble up Owl Creek has some really nice indian ruins. Overall It's a nice trail, just make sure you're in good shape & have a good amount of water for the scrambles.

hiking
Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Loved it! There's definitely some rock climbing to be done both in and out of the canyon so be ready for that.

hiking
8 months ago