Bull Valley Gorge

Panguitch, Utah

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After entering the canyon, you’ll encounter several obstacles, all simple to downclimb—unless there are pools. Water makes footing treacherous. Take advantage of rocks and logs jammed below boulders to lower yourself, usually only 6 to 10 feet. If there are pools, you can’t assess the depth or see the logs and rocks for footing. If the water is too cold or you’re uncomfortable proceeding, abandon the hike here—more difficult obstacles lie ahead. If there are no pools, your passage will be much simpler. Although there could still be water ahead, it’ll be less deep and less frequent. The winding canyon deepens to over 200 feet as you approach the bridge, 30 to 45 minutes from the top. Looking up, you’ll spot the remains of an old pickup, a remnant from an accident in the 1940s that now serves as the base of the bridge. The gorge narrows significantly to only a few feet across. There may be more pools, which are deeper and longer when water is present. After the bridge, the gorge widens and deepens, reaching depths of over 400 feet. You’ll encounter more obstacles, most similar in height and difficulty to those experienced early on.
100 Hikes in Utah

DESCRIPTION FROM:

100 Hikes in Utah

by Steve Mann & Rhett Olson (The Mountaineers Books)

After entering the canyon, you’ll encounter several obstacles, all simple to downclimb—unless there are pools. Water makes footing treacherous. Take advantage of rocks and logs jammed below boulders to lower yourself, usually only 6 to 10 feet. If there are pools, you can’t assess the depth or see the logs and rocks for footing. If the water is too cold or you’re uncomfortable proceeding, abandon the hike here—more difficult obstacles lie ahead. If there are no pools, your passage will be much simpler. Although there could still be water ahead, it’ll be less deep and less frequent.

The winding canyon deepens to over 200 feet as you approach the bridge, 30 to 45 minutes from the top. Looking up, you’ll spot the remains of an old pickup, a remnant from an accident in the 1940s that now serves as the base of the bridge. The gorge narrows significantly to only a few feet across. There may be more pools, which are deeper and longer when water is present. After the bridge, the gorge widens and deepens, reaching depths of over 400 feet. You’ll encounter more obstacles, most similar in height and difficulty to those experienced early on.

©  Steve Mann & Rhett Olson/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Panguitch
Distance: 7.5
Elevation Gain: 480 feet
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: 6 hours
Season: March to May, September to October
Local Contacts: BLM Grand Staircase - Escalante National Monument
Local Maps: USGS Bull Valley Gorge
Driving Directions: Directions to Bull Valley Gorge

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Apr 2018