Hackberry Canyon Trail

Cannonville, Utah

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The Hackberry Canyon hike is well suited to those backpackers who enjoy remote areas with lots of solitude. It is in a rugged part of the state, between the Kaiparowits Plateau and the Vermilion Cliffs, where there are few good roads and fewer serious hikers. Unfortunately water is also scarce in this region, and the first 11.3 miles of the hike are waterless. Only after the gorge has cut nearly all the way through the Navajo Sandstone to the top of the Kayenta Formation, does a spring finally appear to wet the stark white sand on the canyon floor. At this point the canyon begins to undergo a dramatic change as the colors of life are added to the black and white textures of upper Hackberry. In the next few miles even the walls of the canyon change their hue from the harsh white of the Navajo Formation to the softer reddish tones of the Kayenta Sandstone. The plateaus above Hackberry have been used by cattle ranchers since the 1800s, and traditionally they have depended on the lower part of the canyon as a source of water for their animals. A couple of trails into the canyon are still occasionally used by local livestockmen, but human activity is only a fraction of what it was at the turn of the century.
Utah's Incredible Backcountry Trails

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Utah's Incredible Backcountry Trails

by David Day (Rincon Publishing)

The Hackberry Canyon hike is well suited to those backpackers who enjoy remote areas with lots of solitude. It is in a rugged part of the state, between the Kaiparowits Plateau and the Vermilion Cliffs, where there are few good roads and fewer serious hikers. Unfortunately water is also scarce in this region, and the first 11.3 miles of the hike are waterless. Only after the gorge has cut nearly all the way through the Navajo Sandstone to the top of the Kayenta Formation, does a spring finally appear to wet the stark white sand on the canyon floor.

At this point the canyon begins to undergo a dramatic change as the colors of life are added to the black and white textures of upper Hackberry. In the next few miles even the walls of the canyon change their hue from the harsh white of the Navajo Formation to the softer reddish tones of the Kayenta Sandstone. The plateaus above Hackberry have been used by cattle ranchers since the 1800s, and traditionally they have depended on the lower part of the canyon as a source of water for their animals. A couple of trails into the canyon are still occasionally used by local livestockmen, but human activity is only a fraction of what it was at the turn of the century.

©  David Day/Rincon Publishing. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Cannonville
Distance: 19.6
Elevation Gain: 1,340 feet
Trail Type: Shuttle
Duration: 11 hours
Season: Spring, summer, fall, winter
Trailhead Elevation: 6,100 feet
Top Elevation: 6,100 feet
Local Contacts: Kanab Resource Area, Bureau of Land Management
Local Maps: Slickrock Bench (USGS), Calico Peak (USGS)
Driving Directions: Directions to Hackberry Canyon Trail

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Apr 2018