Sundance Trail to Dark Canyon

Hite, Utah

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2 Reviews
5 out of 5
Although the Sundance Trail into lower Dark Canyon is short, the significant elevation loss and difficult nature of the trail make it the most strenuous hike in this book. It is also one of the most spectacular hikes, affording far-ranging vistas en route. The trail, signed Dark Canyon, Sundance Trail, begins behind the trailhead register and information signboard, crosses the dam of the stock pond, dips into a shallow draw, and mounts bumpy slickrock, where cairns show the way. Soon the tread reappears, and you thread your way through an open woodland of gnarled and stunted pinyons and junipers. Snakeweed, cliffrose, and blackbrush form scattered low mounds of coarse shrubs across the mesa. Since multiple trails have been forged between the trailhead and the canyon rim, hikers should make an effort to follow the most-used trail and avoid cutting across the well-developed microbiotic soil crust between the various paths.
Hiking Grand Staircase-Escalante & the Glen Canyon Region

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Hiking Grand Staircase-Escalante & the Glen Canyon Region

by Ron Adkison (Falcon Guides)

Although the Sundance Trail into lower Dark Canyon is short, the significant elevation loss and difficult nature of the trail make it the most strenuous hike in this book. It is also one of the most spectacular hikes, affording far-ranging vistas en route. The trail, signed Dark Canyon, Sundance Trail, begins behind the trailhead register and information signboard, crosses the dam of the stock pond, dips into a shallow draw, and mounts bumpy slickrock, where cairns show the way. Soon the tread reappears, and you thread your way through an open woodland of gnarled and stunted pinyons and junipers.

Snakeweed, cliffrose, and blackbrush form scattered low mounds
of coarse shrubs across the mesa. Since multiple trails have been forged between the trailhead and the canyon rim, hikers should make an effort to follow the most-used trail and avoid cutting across the well-developed microbiotic soil crust between the various paths.

©  Ron Adkison/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Backpacking, Hiking
Nearby City: Hite
Distance: 6.8
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Difficult
Duration: 3 to 4 days
Season: Apr through May; Sept
Accessibility: Dog-friendly
Local Maps: Indian Head Pass, Bowdie Canyon
Driving Directions: Directions to Sundance Trail to Dark Canyon

Recent Trail Reviews

5/28/2011
0

This was my first time to dark canyon. The hike in is very strenuous, but I agree with the other review that it is not as dangerous as they make it sound. The canyon is beautiful, there was plenty of water when we were there, and the symphony of frogs was quite impressive.


6/8/2002
0

This trail is not as dangerous as it sounds. If you have backcountry experience and basic route finding skills, this is a great place to visit. The trail down to Dark Canyon is steep and loose. Take your time and look for cairns on the way down and you will be fine. Once at Dark Canyon, water is abundant and there are many camp spots. Lost Canyon probably has the best camp spots, but there is one sweet shaded one where the Sundance Trail meets Dark Canyon Creek. Protect your food VERY well. The squirrels here are skilled (fat) thieves. The side trip down Dark Canyon to the Colorado River is worth it. The canyon is narrow. Stay on the right side of the creek when possible. Also, explore up Dark Canyon for nice cascading waterfalls. This eTrail is detailed and provides all you need to have fun in this lower portion of Dark Canyon. Since this is close to Hite, it is “popular,” but you will probably only see a few other hikers like we did.



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Apr 2018