One of the most celebrated qualities of the incredible Southern Utah landscape is its diversity. From stunning rock formations and breathtaking forests to radiant red sand and jaw dropping white cliffs, the area truly has something for everyone. In some lucky cases one trail may boast a little bit of everything.
The Greenhalgh Trail is located just outside of Kanab, Utah. The vast canyon offers rich red rocks, an abundance of trees and plants, red and white sand, unique white rock formations, and even ancient petroglyphs. With so many options and gorgeous scenery in every direction, trails are available for every age and fitness level. Horses and dogs are also welcome.
The trail is named after the Greenhalgh brothers who settled the area in the 1900s, but many locals prefer to refer to the canyon as “Trail Canyon”. To access the trailhead, drive North on Highway 89 through Kanab, traveling 3.8 miles before making a left down a gravel road with Hog Canyon to your right. The gravel road descends 0.1 miles and stops at a narrow bridge. Park before the bridge and make your way by foot across to a sandy ATV path. After 0.4 miles, the path veers to the right, bringing you into a small clearing marked by a sign reading “Greenhalgh Trail”. You’ve made it to the trailhead!
The first half mile of the trail actually used to serve as a mail route that led parcels to the west, making it an important part of the area’s history. Shortly after the half mile mark, the trail splits. A slight left maintains a fairly level path and leads hikers back into a sandy wash marked by marsh-like plants and two large clearings. One in front of the other, both clearings are headed by dry waterfalls.
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Taking the right at the split results in a quick elevation gain. Hikers can choose to keep climbing until the sand turns from red to white, the rocks morphing into sparkling white pinnacles. You can also make a short climb and then trek back deeper into the canyon, overlooking the previously mentioned clearing. This option takes you back into more trees and red rocks.
Those who are extremely lucky may stumble upon one of the rock art sites in the canyon. Please treat ancient artwork with respect and do not touch or draw on the rock art. Any artifacts should also be left at the site. We all play a part in preserving ancient history so that others can enjoy it for years to come.
Trail Canyon is truly one of the most precious gems that Southern Utah has to offer. It feels as though hikers are walking into another land, land filled with enchantment and adventure. Pack plenty of water and pick your path; there is no wrong option.
Written by Lauren Kehoe