Honeycombs Loop (Backpacking)

Loop • 17 mi • 3500 ft

Tucked away on the east side of Owyhee Reservoir is a land of striking beauty. In the dry canyons of this desert country are a collection of oddly shaped rock pinnacles, towers, and cliffs painted in a colorful array of browns, reds, and oranges. In spring, especially after a wet winter, the sagebrush and grasses turn green, and wildflowers like balsam root and paintbrush add yellows, reds and other colors to the scene. Hikers familiar with the canyonlands of southern Utah will feel right at home.
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Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Jordan Valley
Length: 17 total miles
Elevation Gain: 3,500 feet
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Most difficult
Duration: 2-3 days
Season: Usually open April to November; best early May
Local Contacts: Vale District, BLM
Local Maps: USGS Three Fingers Rock & Pelican Point
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Recent Trail Reviews


A fantastic trip for those looking for a challenge. When I went I saw several groups of wild horses along with unlimited views. I've been in this area a few times chuckar hunting but had never been deep into the canyons like this, and the rock formation are breathtaking. Make sure to carry enough water to last through the trip, as the only water source (even during spring) is the reservoir which you can hit twice in one day, and that is it. Definitely a challenge coming up painted canyon as there are large rock buildups keeping you from just sauntering up the bottom of the canyon. I wouldn't suggest going in alone.


Having been into the Honeycombs from the reservoir, I wanted to approach from the East. Our road milage was different than the write-up, but the description got us to the trailhead. We just had time for a day hike, so we traveled down Painted Canyon, then down Carlson Canyon to the recommended side trip to the north. About 1/2 mile up that canyon we scrambled up a steep gully on the left, by a huge rock spire, then across a saddle to eat lunch with a breathtaking view of the Honeycombs from above, looking down on the trail up to Juniper Ridge. We reversed the route to return to our vehicle. A fantastic trip, many excellent pictures, and well worth the long drive.

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