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This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Golden Wall - Castle Bridge - Buckhorn Loop, UT

no permit
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Guide 3 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List UT > Southwest
4.5 of 5 by 2
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Loop 4.8 miles
Trailhead Elevation 7,161 feet
Elevation Gain 753 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,385 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 11.73
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
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Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
5  2015-05-06 AZLOT69
217  2014-05-31
Utah/Arizona Strip Trek - May/June 2014
32  2013-09-27 kingsnake
Author kingsnake
author avatar Guides 83
Routes 182
Photos 7,946
Trips 637 map ( 5,893 miles )
Age 57 Male Gender
Location Sunnyslope, PHX
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Sep, May, Jun, Aug
Sun  6:17am - 6:26pm
Official Route
0 Alternative
Geology Nearby
Hoodoo you love?
by kingsnake

Likely In-Season!
Overview: This is a gorgeous trail with no tourist traffic. (A real concern considering how many tourists there are on this stretch of Utah 12.) I Once I left the trailhead, I only saw four people on the trail; the busloads instead herded north on the Pink Ledges or Birdseye Trails.

Warning: There are many sections of this trail that are slippery, narrow and off-camber (the trail slopes sideways downslope). It can be hiked without poles, but they would be very useful for balance and braking.

Hike: The hike starts at pullout on the south side of the road, 200 yards west of the visitors' center. Cross the wash south of the TH, pickup the Golden Wall Trail, and proceed south. You will begin a gradual climb up a wash. The beautiful rock formations begin at about a half mile, and continue for the next 3.5 miles.

0.60 mi.: The Golden Wall Trail splits right. Turn left onto Castle Bridge Trail. The first of two steep climbs begins.

1.05 mi.: High point of Castle Bridge Trail is a narrow, slippery spur. Edge out on it to get good views of the Sevier River valley, and points west. Descend into a small canyon.

1.20 mi.: Rejoin Golden Wall Trail, then begin the second climb up the phone/power line saddle.

1.73 mi.: Pass under the phone/power line, then begin a slight descent on the nicest section of trail surface on the north side of a wash. If you like wash walking, you could easily continue down the wash, which exits at the Cassidy TH, .75 miles east of the visitors' center. Otherwise, turn west up the trail to a narrow, exposed saddle.

2.52 mi.: The highpoint of the hike is on that narrow, exposed saddle. Beware high winds: I almost got knocked off my feet. Descend southeast down an even narrower spur, which actually has railroad tie steps for several hundred yards.

2.74 mi.: The trail begins meandering in and out of draws as it follows the countour line for the next half mile. This is probably the slipperiest, most off-camber section of trail.

3.17 mi.: Just before you reach the first bench (of four on Buckhorn Trail), a short side trail proceeds up a nearby knoll. The visitors center staff told me it is the narrowest, slipperiest trail in this area. The side trail will add a half mile and 200 AEG, round trip, to your hike. Take a sit down break at the first bench, and enjoy the views while you have a bite to eat. Afterwards, begin descending the switchbacks to the 30+ space Red Canyon Campground.

3.91 mi.: Take the road to the far west end of the campground. It's not exiciting, but at least you can enjoy the smell of some good cookouts. (And if you are bold enough, weasel a brat.)

4.28 mi.: Begin following the Utah 12 wash back to where you began.

4.81 mi.: Polygamy Porter time! (So good, you can't have just one.)

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2013-10-03 kingsnake
    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.

    Most recent Triplog Review
    Golden Wall - Castle Bridge - Buckhorn Loop
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    After our Page hikes, we drove west on US 89 to Kanab, where we stopped for the night. Dinner was BBQ and Polygamy Porter -- you can't have just one! (and I didn't) -- at Houston's Trails End, a combination restaurant / souvenir shop. I was pleasantly surprised they sell beer in (at least some) restaurants, as I was under the impression blue laws restricted beer sales to clubs. :DANCE: We stayed at the Parry Lodge, which is apparently where the movie stars stay when they are filming western's in the area. I can't see it: The rooms were *tiny*.

    The only other time I passed through Kanab, was in May, 1983. My unit -- TacSat Squad, 82nd Platoon, A Company, 50th Signal Battalion, 35th Signal Brigade, 18th Airborne Corps : rambo : -- had flown out of Ft. Bragg for a multi-week FTX at Camp Williams, on the southern fringe of Salt Lake City. I managed to get a weekend pass, so I threw some clothes and toiletries in my laundry bag, tossed it over my shoulder, then headed out the gate and down the hill to to I-15, where I stuck out my thumb and started hitchhiking to Phoenix ... 650-something miles away.

    The first day, I walked the most in one day -- 35 miles! (I measured by the green mileage markers) -- I ever have. Getting rides in Utah, even back then, was hard. Unlike Melvin Dummar, I was not picked up by any billionaires. :M2C: I was sunburned, and had been rained on, hailed on and even snowed on. (Spring came late to Utah that year.) I got into Kanab after dark, and found a room at a motel that I remember as just south of the main road east out of town. (Turns out the motel is still there, across the street from Nedra's Too.) Next day, I could not get a ride for several hours, until I got picked up by a one-legged guy from Montana who took me all the way to Bell Rd. :thanx:

    I ended up flying back to SLC. Late. They gave me a two day pass, and I thought I had four. :whistle:

    Not sure what is going on, but there was literally not a single restaurant I ate at in Utah that did not have at least one fly buzzing my table. :roll:

    The next day, we drove up US 89. Note that there is no gas station between Kanab and Bryce Canyon which has an air pump, which was an issue because the cold weather / altitude had lowered my tires from their recommended 33 pounds to such a degree the warning light was going off. While the drive from Page to Kanab was pleasant enough, it was the drive from Kanab to Red Canyon that really opened our eyes to southern Utah's beauty. Good thing I was driving the speed limit, as there were a number of cops hiding on the side of the road, just after the speed limit dropped to 40, or even 30, mph. :A1:

    Utah 12 between US 89 and and the highway "tunnels" is jammed with tourists, even this late in the season. Most of them not paying attention to the road, and those on foot not paying attention to the traffic. :roll: (The visitors' center told me they sometimes have to close down Bryce and Zion to prevent over-use issues.)

    I hit the trail a little after 1100, my wife accompanying me for the first half mile. While I continued south on Golden Wall, she looked at rocks in the wash. :) It was 43° when I started, and very windy. But the scenery ... :o . I left my poles behind, and wished I had them with me as there are many sections of the hike which are narrow, slippery and off-camber. The winds did not help any, as on the most exposed area, I was almost blown off my feet. (Seriously, give this a listen: .)

    I just put up a description for the hike, and if you plan on being in the area, make sure you add it to your must do list. :)

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Kanab, drive north on US 89 for 59.8 miles to Utah 12. Turn east, driving 3.2 miles to a pullout on the south side of the road, just before the visitors' center. Watch out for tourists wandering across Utah 12: They are taking photos, not paying attention to traffic. Watch out for cops on US 89 -- there's a lot of them. Best obey speed limits on that road.
    page created by kingsnake on Oct 03 2013 3:07 pm
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