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Best done as a multi-day adventure, the Narrows along Halls Creek are some of the best in Utah.


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Map Key

23.7

Miles

38.2

KM

94%

Runnable

5,283' 1,610 m

High

3,929' 1,198 m

Low

2,455' 748 m

Up

2,456' 749 m

Down

4%

Avg Grade (2°)

52%

Max Grade (27°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Commonly Backpacked · Geological Significance · River/Creek · Swimming · Views · Wildflowers

Free backcountry permits are required for all overnight trips and can be obtained at the visitor centers. Fires are prohibited. Dispersed/at-large camping in vehicles is prohibited within the park but allowed on nearby BLM and USFS land.

Overview

Among the tall cliffs of Hall Mesa on the east and the sheer slickrock slopes of the Waterpocket Fold on the west, this run through the Halls Creek drainage (a.k.a. Grand Gulch) travels through the park's southern range. Along the way, runners can investigate a number of side canyons that connect with the Halls Creek drainage.

At the isolated southern end of the park is Halls Creek Narrows, a deeply carved canyon in the white Navajo sandstone. An enduring stream and cover from the towering canyon walls create a sanctuary in the middle of the surrounding desert.

The round-trip, lollipop run is best done as a multi-day (3-4 day) trip. The route is not an official or maintained trail by the park. Conditions, including obstacles in the canyons, change frequently due to weather, flash floods, rockfall, and other hazards.

Routefinding, navigation, and map-reading skills are critical for this unsigned route. Do not rely solely on the unofficial route markers (rock cairns) as they are not managed by the National Park Service and therefore may not indicate the route in this description.

Need to Know

The route is mostly unmarked and having a topographic map is highly recommended for navigation.The route is extremely hot in summer. Water can typically be found at the Fountain Tanks and in the Narrows.

Use caution in narrow canyons, especially during flash flood season (typically July–September). Making your way through the narrows requires wading through water that might be deep enough to require swimming.

Runner Notes

If attempting a run here, be prepared for wet feet and slow-going.

Description

The run starts at Halls Creek Overlook. From this dramatic vista, a steep trail dotted with rock cairns descends 800 feet over 1.2 miles to the Halls Creek drainage. Pay attention to the surroundings as there are no signs that show where this route heads out of the canyon. This is especially important for the return journey when you have to turn onto the trail heading back up to your vehicle.

The rest of the route is mostly unmarked but is more obvious as you continue along the wash down the canyon (south) to the narrows. Look for an old wagon trail that followed this same path and can be seen in a number of places. This wagon path makes for an easier route through the wash.

At the narrows, Halls Creek leaves its logical path down the wide canyon that separates the Waterpocket Fold and Halls Mesa and cuts into the Navajo Sandstone on the west side of the canyon. The change is immediate and dramatic. Look for a large stand of cottonwoods that is near the entrance to the narrows.

For the next 3.8 miles, the creek winds through a deep, narrow canyon that will always require some wading in water. The depth of the pools can change depending on the precipitation and season. Flash floods regularly wash out the sediment, which leaves pools that may require wading or swimming.

If you choose not to enter the narrows and want to continue south in the main drainage, or if you want to bypass the narrows on your return trip, follow the route over Hall Divide which blocks the main canyon just beyond (south of) the entrance to the narrows. The easiest way to negotiate the 1.7 mile (2.7 km) Hall Divide is to look for the old wagon route and follow it over this obstacle. The hike across Hall Divide can be hot and shade-less; make sure you have adequate water. An alternative is to hike over Hall Divide first, during the cooler part of the day, and return via the narrows. To return to the trailhead, simply retrace the route back up the canyon to Halls Creek Overlook.

Contacts

Shared By:

Zander Göpfert with improvements by C Webster

Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 5 votes

#2932

Overall
  4.4 from 5 votes
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Photos

Halls Creek Overlook.
Feb 19, 2016 near Blanding, UT

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