Professor Creek and Mary Jane Canyon Trail is a 8.6 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Moab, Utah that features a waterfall and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
We made the mistake of going to the sign in the parking lot to start the hike. This is NOT the waterfall hike, so will have to come back to try it again. Apparently if you go in the opposite direction from the sign, there is another trail.
This hike is 4.6 there and 4.6 miles back, 9.2 round trip. It is beautiful and the Canyon walls get bigger and bigger the further you go. Make sure you are wearing shoes that can get wet, about ankle deep. A lot of people that we saw on trail did not. This trail is accessible for all vehicle types. Don't take the first off road fork. Drive to the end of the road you are on and there is a very obvious trailhead with a map and parking area. The trail starts across from the dry creek bed not by the sign. Follow the trail/footsteps that you see. You follow the creek all the way in. It is pretty shady as well. I would say about half of the trail is in the sun and half in the shade. Beautiful views.
It is a really great hike. I'm not sure if this is always the case but there was absolutely nobody else with us on our journey. It was really a nice departure from Arches and the business of some other surrounding areas. Plus, this hike was just so much fun with amazing scenery!!
I would rate this as more moderate than easy. There is not a lot of elevation gained but balancing on the rocks requires a lot of ankle use which isn't super common. I highly recommend bringing hiking sticks for balance. Trail is super fun- there are a few scrambles but nothing crazy. A lot of exposure at the beginning but the last third or so is mostly shaded. The waterfall at the end is super cool. TONS of frogs and lizards! Absolutely no GPS once you get into the narrower part of the canyon.
This is a hidden gem! I was so surprised that there was such a cool and wet trail just west of Fisher Towers. The first 20 minutes is in the sun but the rest of the trail follows a creek and you go in and out of narrows with cliff overhangs. Your feet will be wet most of the time!. Don't take the main trail, it is not Professor Creek, go east or left of the parking lot down the dry wash. Plan on 4 hours out and back.
After finally doing this hike this past April it is now on my top 3 for hikes around Moab. I have three black dogs and they get hot in the sun. This hike has shade once the canyon walls close in, it has water to walk through when you are out in the sun and being in a canyon means my dogs can't wonder off too far. I also think it has a pretty view. -Heather
For a full review on this hike check out my blog post at: http://www.mylifestyletoyours.com/04/2016/hiking-mary-jane-canyon/
Great trail! Beautiful walk up the river. Highly recommend taking a dip in the waterfall.
Great trail! Follows the creek the entire way. We brought out Keens and walked in the water most of the hike. The waterfall at the end was a treat.
This hike is kind of a small version of the narrows.
We didn't see a ton of other people on the trail and were there on a Saturday.
Awesome little hike! Really fun to explore the off shoot canyons as well.
Such a fun hike!
This hike is like a mini "Narrows". The entire hike is flat, and you'll either follow an occasional trail along the creek, but most of your time will be spent splashing through Professor Creek. Our group found the most success using river shoes, as we could walk wherever we wanted, without rocks getting in your shoes. The views are impressive throughout the entire hike, and there is never a dull moment. As you get deeper into the canyon, the walls around you get taller and taller. You'll eventually come to a waterfall just over 4 miles out, and you continue past this point (impassable). This is one of my favorite hikes in the area.
Professor Creek/Mary Jane Canyon is one of my favorite hikes in the Moab area. The hiker trail follows Professor Creek up the narrowing canyon to a chokestone waterfall that is impassable. There is an exit route from the canyon that allows you to hike around the chokestone and back into the canyon.
I have the waterfall at just over 4 miles out from the parking lot. My calculations can be off. We have reached the waterfall in about 2 hours with a direct route up the creek, or about 3.5 hours with exploring the several feeder canyons.
Canyon walls provide shade, and the creek is shallow and cool. I wear light boots and kept them dry until just before the waterfall. The canyon starts wide and ends at the chokestone falls very narrow.