East Zion Cabins
Zion RV Park
Zion National Park
Pink Sand Dunes
The Ultimate Southwest Vacation includes the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument!
Stay in Mt. Carmel Jct., the heart of the parks, and visit
the treasures of the Southwest.
Mileage: Mt. Carmel Jct.
Plan your Grand Staircase- Escalante National Monument vacation
with our Utah and Arizona maps.
Zion Park 12 miles
Grand Staircase 9 miles
Sand Dunes 11 miles
Dixie Forest 22 miles
Cedar Breaks 45 miles
Red Canyon 47 miles
Coyote Butte 57 miles
Bryce Canyon 60 miles
North Rim 85 miles
Toroweap 90 miles
In these pages you will find insiders information on the best
Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument hikes. This detailed
guide includes road maps, park maps, pictures, trail beta, backpacking, history,
fees, geology, flora, fauna, campgrounds, things for kids to do and even information
on the Grand Staircase hidden treasures.
Making summer memories in Utah's national monuments.
Directions: East Zion to Staircase
Salt Lake City, travel south on I15 to U-20. Exit on U-20. Turn south on U-89
and follow U-89 to Glendale.
From Las Vegas: Travel I15 to exit 16. Follow U-9 to the south
entrance of Zion and through to the east entrance. Take U-9 for 12 miles to
Mt. Carmel Jct, where U-89 and U-9 meet. Drive north on U-89 to Glendale.
From Glendale, turn right on 300 N. (Bench Road) Follow the
graded dirt road, Skutumpah, into the Grand Staircase. Remember the Grand Staircase
is a wild and remote place. The dirt roads may be impassible when wet and there
is usually no water, services or cell phone access. Skutumpah is a backway and
should only be traveled in dry conditions. Call for road and weather information
before travel: 435.644.4680
Hiking through the sand stream of Hackberry Canyon is scenic and enjoyable.
Hackberry Canyon Parking
Tall Stone Pillar
11° 55.562 W
Hackberry Canyon is a tributary of Cottonwood Creek, which eventually joins the Paria River. The trailhead for Hackberry Canyon is 14 miles up the Cottonwood Road, north of Highway 89, in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. This charming hike up a narrow slot canyon is reminiscent of many of the slot canyons that make Southern Utah famous for its slot canyon hiking. What sets this hike apart from some of the other slot canyon hikes is its remote setting and the refreshing gentle flow of spring water in the sandy canyon floor. This is a fun hike, welcoming the unseasoned hiker, yet offering a true wilderness experience.
Photo Album: Hackberry Canyon Photos
Trail Map: Hackberry Map
Day Hike: Yes.
Trail Distance: 2.1 miles one way to the dino tracks.
Average Hiking Time: 4 hours round trip.
Equipment: Hiking shoes that drain water well, 2 quarts of water per person, GPS to locate the dinosaur tracks, sun protective clothing.
Trail Usage: Cottonwood Road is impassible if wet.
Sun Exposure: Full sun
Trail Conditions: Hackberry Canyon is a nice stroll through a sandy stream. This is an easy hike that kids and families with enjoy.
Trailhead: Cottonwood Road
Trailend: Same as trailhead
Elevation Gain: 125'
Best Season: Spring and Fall. Anytime the water is running
Off the Beaten Path: Yes
To locate Cottonwood Road, drive south from Mount Carmel Junction, 17 miles to Kanab. From Kanab, drive east on Highway 89 toward Page. After crossing over the Paria River, the BLM Paria Contact and Information Center will soon be passed on the right. It is a 3 mile drive from the station to Cottonwood Road. Cottonwood Road is on the north (left) side of Highway 89 and marked by signage.
Set your trip meter as soon as you turn onto Cottonwood Road. It is 14.4 miles to the parking area for Hackberry Wash. There is no sign, but look for a small dirt turn-off on the left side of the road. The drive up Cottonwood Road may be quite washboarded. Cottonwood Road is impassible if wet.
From the parking area walk to the west and immediately drop into the wash below. Locate the cairned path through the willows to the west. Soon Hackberry Canyon is entered after walking .25 miles to the west. The walls begin to rise as the canyon narrows. Trying to keep shoes dry is a futile effort if the water is flowing. Walking in the sandy creek becomes easiest and quite refreshing. After .75 miles a large rock tower becomes quite the impressive landmark. The narrows are about 1.25 miles in length before the canyon walls separate and expose an ever widening valley.
Continuing another .75 mile looking on the left bank, just above the wash floor, for a wide bench with a few scattered boulders. This is where the dinosaur tracks are found. The boulder is fairly small (3' wide x 5' long and 2' high) but contains possibly 8 or more obvious Grallator (dinosaur) tracks. This is a good area to have lunch and take a break for the hike back.