Explore the best trails near Blanding with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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Blanding, Utah Map
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excellent interesting trail with a rewarding overlook

hiking
1 day ago

Probably the most insane landscape I've ever hiked in. The sights were amazing and the end of the hike was worth the effort. My only complaint is that it was very difficult to navigate. Wrong turns are easy and we ended up waking 14 miles instead of 11. When you hit the river bed, follow it until the cairns branch up and off to the left. Do not follow the EC2 branch as the map suggests. We met two other groups of hikers on the way back that made exactly the same wrong turn as us. Lots of water and sunscreen is important on this hike and you will be stepping in deep sand at points.

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.

Lovely short hike through a canyon with a cowboy camp, cave springs with petroglyphs, and some fun short ladder ascents.

backpacking
6 days ago

Well worth the effort! Be aware of some scrambling required on slick rock which was a little sketchy to my wife, but nothing we couldn’t handle. We camped at EC 2 for a night and hiked to Druid arch for a side trip. Amazing experience!

16 days ago

This route takes you on a physically and visually stimulating trail. Up and over canyon ridges, into and around the next, down along the stream bed, and enough guessing/searching to keep your senses alert. Phenomenal path in an amazing area.

a long hike through a beautiful landscape. And at the end a view of the impressive Druid arch. There were, for me, as I am not a tall person, some more difficult spots to overcome, but it was all worth it.

hiking
20 days ago