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Sundance Trail to Dark Canyon, UT

no permit
89 1 0
Guide 1 Triplog  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List UT > Canyonlands
3 of 5 by 1
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Difficulty 4 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance One Way 4.18 miles
Trailhead Elevation 5,615 feet
Elevation Gain -1,600 feet
Accumulated Gain 230 feet
Avg Time One Way 4-6 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 4.95
Interest Historic & Perennial Creek
Backpack Yes & Connecting
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
21  2015-09-05 nonot
45  2005-10-14 SAMBA
23  2003-10-13 SAMBA
Author nonot
author avatar Guides 93
Routes 235
Photos 1,947
Trips 469 map ( 4,405 miles )
Age Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Oct, Apr, May, Sep → 8 AM
Seasons   Late Autumn to Early Spring
Sun  7:07am - 6:03pm
Official Route
1 Alternative
Nearby Area Water
Dark Canyon - Colorado River to Sundance Trail
3.4 mi away
3.3 mi
850 ft
Dark Canyon - Youngs Canyon to Sundance Trail
5.6 mi away
8.3 mi
2,058 ft
White Canyon Hwy 95 Milepost 57
White Canyon Hwy 95 Milepost 57
7.1 mi away
3.0 mi
350 ft
Black Hole of White Canyon
Black Hole of White Canyon
7.1 mi away
7.8 mi
780 ft
Lean-To Canyon
7.1 mi away
11.4 mi
1,210 ft
Youngs Canyon
9.6 mi away
7.9 mi
3,054 ft
East Fork Cheesebox
11.4 mi away
13.8 mi
1,850 ft
Middle Gravel Canyon
11.6 mi away
9.2 mi
1,200 ft
Cheesebox Canyon
11.7 mi away
9.6 mi
1,300 ft
Mancos Mesa WSA Trails
13.1 mi away
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Fauna Nearby
Geology Nearby
Culture Nearby
Rock'n and Slide'n
by nonot

The Sundance trail takes you from the rim above Dark Canyon down to the stream that runs through this canyon, ending at a sandy beach popular for backpacking, not far from Lean-To Canyon.

This is a very remote place, plan to be totally self-sufficient. Also, don't expect a nice trail, but it is the easiest way into Dark Canyon complex.

Also, don't bust the crust, stay off the crypto-soil!

The Sundance trail is named

Note that it appeared on my visit that they have rerouted hikers to make use of the 4WD road, rather than the older, straighter router directly to the edge, my guess is they were seeing too much damage to the crypto biological soil.

Follow the 4WD road for about a mile, then pay attention to the markers that denote where it leaves the road. From here there are several braiding paths, but they generally converge again. You will be led to the edge of a slope on the cliff overlooking dark canyon. I would recommend day hikers admire the view and turn around here. The "trail" down the slope is nothing but an erosion gully through a landslide area. Very little trace of a decent trail can be found, so pick your path carefully and avoid sending rocks down onto your fellow hikers. When you finally reach the bottom, two good trails will both take you towards the creek and a sandy beach. From here, travel up or down Dark Canyon is possible, and there are more campsites if you want to camp elsewhere.

Water Sources
Dark Canyon creek itself is reliable, but bring a filter and be prepared to have to clean it often as the water is very silty.

Many options near the creek.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2017-10-07 nonot

    One-Way Notice
    This hike is listed as One-Way.

    When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    High Clearance possible when dry

    To hike
    US95, just north of White Canyon crossing, take FR208 (or FR208A), then follow it east from the T to Squaw Rock Rd and then FR2821. Bring a GPS as I don't remember signposts. High clearance was needed, despite what I had read.
    page created by HAZ_Hikebot on Oct 07 2017 2:13 pm
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