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Little Death Hollow Trail

Difficult

Trail

8.6 mile 13.9 kilometer point to point
93% Runnable
Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 645' 196 m
Descent: -1,263' -385 m
High: 5,548' 1,691 m
Low: 4,930' 1,503 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 4% (2°)
Max Grade: 29% (16°)

Dogs

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Map Key

Trail shared by Tilman Giese

A spectacular slot canyon on the edge of Grand Staircase - Escalante National Monument.

Tilman Giese

Features River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers

Need to Know

A high-clearance vehicle is required to get to the trailhead. Be aware of flash flood danger—do not enter the canyon if a storm is approaching.

Description

Little Death Hollow is one of the longest and most impressive slot canyons in Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument and is in no way inferior to similar slot canyons in Capitol Reef National Park. Negotiating the canyon can be difficult at times, and you'll need to scramble across boulders in the slot sections of Little Death Hollow.

The first 3 miles of the trail are a very easy run on a fairly well-defined trail that crosses the Death Hollow wash a number of times. You generally follow a straight line towards the mouth of the canyon with the Little Bown Bench on your right and the Big Bown Bench on your left. There is an interesting large boulder on your right about 1.5 miles from the trailhead that has a petroglyph panel of, most likely, bighorn sheep at the bottom. As you continue into Little Death Hollow, the trail crosses the wash a number of times, but is not always easily recognizable. You can stay in the wash if that's easier since the trail will eventually also drop into the wash.

You come across an impressive forming arch in the western canyon wall at about 2.3 miles. A side canyon will enter from the left at 3.2 miles; keep right. The canyon gets more and more scenic after that. The first narrow section starts at 4 miles, but is easy to navigate. The canyon widens again shortly after half a mile. Several large boulders will be in your way and will require careful scrambling. A very fine stretch of narrows is at about 5.2 miles where the walls are at times barely shoulder wide, and you need to squeeze through. Probably the best slot section is at about 6 miles in, and it actually lasts for almost a mile with brief interruptions. Depending on the last storm, getting through this part of the route will take much longer than you anticipate because you'll need to climb over and under a large number of obstacles stuck in the slots. Especially backpackers might have a difficult time with their packs. But the effort is more than worth it—these slot sections certainly stand out in Utah.

The canyon widens quickly after 7 miles as you approach the confluence of Little Death Hollow and Horse Canyon. Cottonwood trees line either side of the canyon. The confluence is a good place for a lunch break. You can either retrace your steps or continue on to Wolverine Creek Trail. Going back up Little Death Hollow can be significantly more challenging as you need to climb up some steeper drops.

Flora & Fauna

You'll find a rich collection of desert plants within the first few miles from the trailhead and near the confluence with Horse Canyon. This includes big sage, single leaf ash, prickly pear cactus, piñons, junipers, and skunkbush.

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  5.0 from 1 vote

#792

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Trail Rankings

#63

in Utah

#792

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1,136 Since Dec 22, 2018
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Photos

An arch in the canyon wall of Little Death Hollow
Dec 23, 2018 near Escalante, UT
Little Bown Bench as you make your way into the heart of Little Death Hollow
Dec 23, 2018 near Escalante, UT
Little Bown Bench on the northern side of Little Death Hollow
Dec 23, 2018 near Escalante, UT
Narrowing canyon walls of Wingate Sandstone
Dec 23, 2018 near Escalante, UT
Just a few feet between the sandstone walls
Dec 23, 2018 near Escalante, UT
A prime slot section in Little Death Hollow
Dec 23, 2018 near Escalante, UT

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