The Golden Cathedral Trail

Escalante, Utah

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1 Review
5 out of 5
The slickrock country that surrounds the lower Escalante River is a hiker’s paradise of redrock canyons, natural arches, hidden springs, and Indian artifacts. Most of the hiking trails in the area lead into the canyon tributaries of the Escalante. More than twenty canyons drain into the river before it reaches Lake Powell, and nearly every canyon contains something special. This hike will take you into two of the canyons of the Escalante River drainage: Fence Canyon and Neon Canyon. Fence is the rock suggest that the trail is often used by packhorses. The route descends 450 feet over 0.5 mile before finally leveling out on the flat, sandy bench at the bottom of the Navajo Sandstone. From there you will see a hiker-made trail heading off in a northeasterly direction along the north side of Fence Canyon. Initially Fence is nothing more than a dry desert wash, but it quickly gains depth and within a mile the canyon floor steps down 200 feet over a pouroff that effectively prevents travel along the streambed.
Utah's Incredible Backcountry Trails

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Utah's Incredible Backcountry Trails

by David Day (Rincon Publishing)

The slickrock country that surrounds the lower Escalante River is a hiker’s paradise of redrock canyons, natural arches, hidden springs, and Indian artifacts. Most of the hiking trails in the area lead into the canyon tributaries of the Escalante. More than twenty canyons drain into the river before it reaches Lake Powell, and nearly every canyon contains something special.

This hike will take you into two of the canyons of the Escalante River drainage: Fence Canyon and Neon Canyon. Fence is the rock suggest that the trail is often used by packhorses. The route descends 450 feet over 0.5 mile before finally leveling out on the flat, sandy bench at the bottom of the Navajo Sandstone. From there you will see a hiker-made trail heading off in a northeasterly direction along the north side of Fence Canyon. Initially Fence is nothing more than a dry desert wash, but it quickly gains depth and within a mile the canyon floor steps down 200 feet over a pouroff that effectively prevents travel along the streambed.

©  David Day/Rincon Publishing. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Escalante
Distance: 9.5
Elevation Gain: 1,200 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Duration: 6 hours
Season: Spring and fall are ideal. The canyons are very hot in the summer and cold in the winter.
Trailhead Elevation: 5,620 feet
Top Elevation: 4,640 feet
Local Contacts: Utah Trails, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Escalante Interagency Visitor Center
Local Maps: Egypt (USGS), Canyons of the Escalante (Trails Illustrated, # 710)
Driving Directions: Directions to The Golden Cathedral Trail

Recent Trail Reviews

4/17/2010
0

I gave this trail a five due to the challenges it presents with the water fording and trail seaching, plus the all wheel drive road that leads you to Egypt. Ok everyone please read this! The information provided in this Trail Guide is not accurate! First, thing is you need to follow the stacks of rocks (man-made) this is your trail and then look for foot prints. The biggest error in this print is that you have to cross the river a total of four times. And then turn left into the slot canyon. The sand dune that is discribed is heavily vegetated. There is a trail but you can miss it because the cow trail continues past the turn. But my family and I were able to complete this in one day. Even with the time lost due to the wrong directions. We were able to get back in the dark using our high powered flash lights and head lamps. And oh yeah my Hound Dog sniffed the trail out to the "T". My 6 and 9 year old did this 11 mile hike in one day and loved the I spy game of finding the pile of rocks.



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