“An out-and-back following Wiregrass Wash with minor elevation change, some narrow canyons, two "bridges", easy for all.”
— Ben N
This is an easy run following the Wiregrass Canyon Wash Trail
. The walls of the canyon are an amateur geologists dream!
The trail winds through a mini slot canyon, then opens up wider as the wash meanders towards Lake Powell. There are two natural bridges that connect adjacent wash branches. The walls of the canyon are a beautiful white, yellowish color and can rise a few hundred feet at some locations. They also contain all sorts of vegetation and wildlife. Keep a look out for the lizards!!
The trail eventually leads to the far northwest shores of the lake. Bring plenty of water as it gets hot and dry in the sun.
Features: River/Creek — Views
Need to Know
Beware of any rain as this canyon appears to have a large watershed. Also, bring plenty of water as this is an arid climate and there's little shade as the canyon widens.
The trail starts from a BLM road. Google Maps labels it "NP 230", but if you enter from the small town Big Water, you'll see a sign for the Glen Canyon Rec Area and the sign shows Route 12. This road is rather bumpy, but we traversed it in a standard Honda Civic. You travel for about 10 minutes to the trail sign where you'll find a spot to park. There is a very cool view of the mesa as you get to the trailhead.
The trail is fairly straightforward as you follow the wash. You can likely take any of the tributaries in and out, though we started at the sign.
The trail begins along the Wiregrass Canyon Wash. For the first mile, you meander through the canyon until you hit bedrock. Here, the canyon narrows and you may need to climb down some rocks, but it's not difficult. At one point you need to climb out (we had our dog with us, otherwise we could have climbed down) of the canyon. There are some trail markers that show a recently traveled path. Though this area was difficult to maneuver, it offered some amazing slot canyon views.
The canyon then widens out and the remainder of the trail is along the wash floor, which can be sandy in some spots, but makes for an overall easy run. Very cool "spooky" rocks can be seen along the canyon walls. There are two "bridges" where water enters Wiregrass from an adjacent canyon. The first bridge is a little ways past the slot canyon portion (about 1.5 miles into the trail). The last one was at the end of the GPS track, roughy 3.8 miles from the trailhead.
You can extend the trail further downstream and it should eventually reach Lake Powell. If we had the time, we would've explored further. This is a unique run for any skill level. Let us know what you think!
Flora & Fauna
Other travelers have seen larger horned lizards, but we only saw small (inch or two) ones scurrying around. A few small prairie animals and some tiny birds. Desert environment so it probably depends on other water sources and time of the year.