Negro Bill Canyon Trail

Moab, Utah

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1 Review
3 out of 5
Negro Bill Canyon was named after William Granstaff, a black prospector and rancher who grazed his cattle here during the late 1800s. It is a lovely canyon, cut into the Navajo Sandstone by a small, perennial stream that begins about six miles from the southern shore of the Colorado River. The trail winds along the stream through an oasis of cottonwood and willow trees, cut off from the desert above by towering sandstone cliffs. Like all good hikes, this one also has a reward at the end. Morning Glory Natural Bridge spans the head of one of Negro Bill’s side canyons at the end of the trail. According to Bureau of Land Management statistics, Morning Glory is the sixth largest natural bridge in the United States. It’s span is 243 feet. Today the canyon is still a wilderness study area, and may soon become the Negro Bill Wilderness Area. Many residents of Grand County are still against the idea, but fortunately tempers are no longer as hot as they once were. Four-wheel-drive vehicles are not now using the canyon and, although there are still some visible signs of the old jeep roads, most of the mess has now been cleaned up. With each passing year the old, unsightly scars are becoming less noticeable.
Utah's Incredible Backcountry Trails

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Utah's Incredible Backcountry Trails

by David Day (Rincon Publishing)

Negro Bill Canyon was named after William Granstaff, a black prospector and rancher who grazed his cattle here during the late 1800s. It is a lovely canyon, cut into the Navajo Sandstone by a small, perennial stream that begins about six miles from the southern shore of the Colorado River. The trail winds along the stream through an oasis of cottonwood and willow trees, cut off from the desert above by towering sandstone cliffs. Like all good hikes, this one also has a reward at the end. Morning Glory Natural Bridge spans the head of one of Negro Bill’s side canyons at the end of the trail. According to Bureau of Land Management statistics, Morning Glory is the sixth largest natural bridge in the United States. It’s span is 243 feet.

Today the canyon is still a wilderness study area, and may soon become the Negro Bill Wilderness Area. Many residents of Grand County are still against the idea, but fortunately tempers are no longer as hot as they once were. Four-wheel-drive vehicles are not now using the canyon and, although there are still some visible signs of the old jeep roads, most of the mess has now been cleaned up. With each passing year the old, unsightly scars are becoming less noticeable.

©  David Day/Rincon Publishing. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Moab
Distance: 4.5
Elevation Gain: 400 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Duration: 2.75 hours
Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Trailhead Elevation: 3,980 feet
Top Elevation: 4,380 feet
Local Contacts: Grand Resource Area, Bureau of Land Management, in Moab
Local Maps: Moab (USGS)
Driving Directions: Directions to Negro Bill Canyon Trail

Recent Trail Reviews

6/30/2002
1

For a change from harsher red rock topography, Negro Bill is an occasionally shaded hike along a stream to a wonderful 200 ish foot arch with a large pool of water to rest and refresh. OK for families as we did hike with two 9 year olds. Lots of hoping across boulders in the stream. LOTS OF WAIST HIGH POISON IVY!!! Nice hike as it combines arches, streams, water, boulders and even trees and vegetation, making it a nice addition to your plans after Arches. Lovely drive along Colorado River to get there and back.



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