Nipple Creek and Tibbet Canyon Trail

Big Water, Utah 84741

Nipple Creek and Tibbet Canyon Trail

Nipple Creek and Tibbet Canyon Trail Professional Review and Guide

"Most of this trail is contained within the Grand Staircase–Escalante National Monument. The winding trail runs up narrow Nipple Canyon, leaves it briefly to run through a very scenic area of badlands, and then climbs out the head of Nipple Canyon. It passes prominent Nipple Butte before descending back down wider Tibbet Canyon. There are a couple of backcountry campsites, but those looking to camp for the night will find better spots along Smoky Mountain Road.

Special Attractions: Varied scenery within the Grand Staircase–Escalante National Monument; Winding creek canyons of Nipple Creek and Tibbet Canyon; Nipple Butte. High-clearance 4WDs are preferred, but any high-clearance vehicle is acceptable. Expect a rough road surface; mud and sand are possible but will be easily passable. You may encounter rocks up to 6 inches in diameter, a loose road surface, and shelf roads, though these will be wide enough for passing or will have adequate pull-offs."

Nipple Creek and Tibbet Canyon Trail Reviews

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My wife and I did this trail since we were campng at Lake Powell and had our fairly new Jeep. We didn't want anything too demanding. This trail was great for us. It started out pretty lame as a gravel road. Once we turned off 230 to Tibbet Canyon, it got a lot better. It's a nice loop that took us about 3 hours to do. 230 (I think) to Tibbet Canyon to Nipple Creek (327 I think). It was pretty dry, but I would guess it would be much more challenging wet since a lot of time is spent crossing and driving through creek beds. Signs warn of heavy penalties for deviating from the trail. It was all pretty well marked and maintained. We had trouble finding the entrance so we stopped at the park welcome center in Big Water. They were great. They gave us maps and told us about some of the trails. The trail start ended up being directly across the street. There was a cross street with a brown park sign pointing us the right direction. The sign wasn't very descriptive.
Did this trail while overnight in Page, AZ which in itself is very nice but still small enough to walk around without being labeled as a tourist. Page, AZ is next to the second largest man-made lake, Lake Powell, 186 miles long. But, back to the trail: It was easy to find, mostly grated road running along some rock formations and canyons parelleling Lake Powell.

Nipple Creek and Tibbet Canyon Trail Photos

Trail Information

Big Water
Nearby City
Trail Type
2 hours
4,000 feet
Trailhead Elevation
5,000 feet
Top Elevation
USGS Glen Canyon City, Nipple Butte, Tibbet Bench, Smoky Mount
Local Maps